ANSWERS: 7
  • Ooh, I'm jealous! I want that car!! Sounds like it's locked. Try pushing it in and turning it past where it should go to come out (without wrenching the thing). That might unlock it. And if you continue to have problems, I'll gladly trade you cars! I hope you don't like air conditioning, for I have none!
  • WE TOOK OURS TO THE SHOP,COULDN'T GET THE KEY OUT. STUCK IN THE ON POS. BATTERY WAS DEAD NEXT MORN. CHARGED BATTERY AND KEY CAME OUT. TOOK IT TO THE DEALER,GUESS WHAT? HE SAID WE NEEDED TO BRING IT IN WHEN THE KEY WAS STUCK.SO IT HAPPNED AGAIN THE NEXT DAY AND I TOOK MY HAND AND BANGED THE SHIFTER IT WAS IN PARK, AND BANGED IT PRETTY HARD AND THE KEY CAME OUT. THEY TOLD US AT THE CHEVY DEALER IT WAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE SHIFTER, BUT WHY COULDN'T THEY CHECK IT OUT. A BUNCH OF DUMMIES AT THE CHEVY PLACE I GUESS.
  • This happened to me yesterday. The chrome piece on the shifter should pop forward when the car is placed in park. Although it appeared the shifter was in park, the chrome piece did not pop forward and the key was stuck. I took it to a dealer - they replaced the entire shifter at my cost. I kept the part. The guts of the shifter appears to be fabricated with plastic parts. There is a small piece that should change positions when the shifter goes into park. When it malfunctions, the chrome piece does not pop out. The service department told me I must have spilt something on the shifter. They are wrong. Chevy is wrong for putting such a cheap and flimsy device on the car.
  • On the bottom on the plastic covering the ignition switch is a small opening with a plastic cover. Remove the cover, place your finger until you find the release button for the key. The key will then come out. The reason this is happening is that the shifter assembly needs to be replaced. I just had mine replace today because I was having the same exact problem. Good luck.
  • Also had this ' key stuck in ignition ' intermittent problem on a 2007 Saturn Ion (same Delta platform as Chevy HHR). Saturn dealer ordered a new BTSI Solenoid ("brake transmission shift interlock" circuit). The solenoid was faulty and not always telling the ignition cylinder that the automatic transmission was in Park and "it's OK to let go of the key" - so the key would not rotate off to be released. This appears to be a sticky issue with cars built off the GM Delta platform (Chevy Cobalt, Chevy HHR, Saturn ION, Pontiac G5). You do not need to stick your finger up in any holes or replace the whole 'transmission assembly'. A technician explains it in detail this way: "There is a BTSI solenoid located on the underside of the steering column. This solenoid prevents the ignition from going to the "LOCK" position while the vehicle is not in park. This prevents the steering wheel from locking while the vehicle is in motion. There is a similar solenoid that, when not energized, prevents the shifter from being moved Out of "Park". This solenoid is energized when you depress your brake, and pulls the same mechanical lock away from the ignition, thus allowing you to turn the car on only when you are pressing the brake. If your shifter is messed up, or if your linkage is screwy, or if the BTSI solenoid does not register your vehicle as being in park, then you will not be able to turn your key to the "LOCK" position and remove it from the lock cylinder. Also, there is a wire running from your shifter to the BTSI solenoid that completes a circuit when the shifter is in the "PARK" position. If this wire is broken or otherwise failed, the solenoid will not energize. Usually, the solenoid itself will need to be replaced." Hope this helps!
  • A small actuator rod (see pic) that goes through the shifter stalk falls out due to the stalk cracking where the rod goes through it (Hey Chevy, it needs a metal reinforcement ring there!). The key release then never gets activated so you have to use the manual release button on the bottom of the steering column (Owner's Manual!!). This shifter unit is COMPLETELY NON-SERVICEABLE and the entire shifter block (see pic) has to be replaced (you can do it). Note that with no actuator rod the shift lever is free to move without pressing the shift button on the front of the shift lever, so it could accidentally be moved to another gear while driving, even reverse!! Also, the rod will often take some time to fall out and may get hung up causing the shift button to get stuck. Here are pics showing the keyhole where the rod goes into the stalk (just to the right of the piece labled 4 which is the brake shift lockout). The hole for the rod is in the whitish stalk and is not visible. When the shift button is pressed it moves the stalk down and the hole is visible. Always depress the brake before shifting and give it a second to actuate, and when shifting depress the shift button all the way to take the stress off of the rod.
  • anybody know if there are any recalls for all of these hhr problems. I have a 2006 and have the sxact same shifter/key problem. Also, my keyless quit working (replaced battery in remote), and now whenever we want to lock the doors, we lock them and get out, but when we unlock them with the key the horn starts going off untill iget the key in the ignition. also, the pools of water in the passenger floorbaords, the a/c blower that only works on high..... Is it fair that all of these hhr forum readers should have to foot the bill for all of these problems. Clearly it poorly manufactured parts and Chevy should recall all of this. I am sorry I ever bought this junk.

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