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1990 Honda Civic Ignition Key Sticks When Cold; Won't Recognize it's in Park


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silverthaw
New User

Dec 5, 2013, 8:34 PM

Post #1 of 4 (2088 views)
1990 Honda Civic Ignition Key Sticks When Cold; Won't Recognize it's in Park Sign In

Hello, I have been tinkering with this for some time and can't seem to find the source of the problem or anything online that definitively helps.

Car is a 1990 Honda Civic, 1.5 L engine... Automatic transmission.

The problem:

Whenever it is colder out (I live in Canada so it get's fairly chilly), and the car itself is cold (engine and interior) if I shift into PARK and turn off the car, it won't release the key (it gets stuck in the ignition). If I leave it for a while, it eventually will turn and come out but is a royal pain as the colder it is the longer it seems to take (as long as 15 - 20 minutes). I am pretty sure what is happening is the ignition is not realizing it is in park and as a safety precaution it is locking the key, i'm just not sure what it is that I need to replace or adjust? Hoping somebody has had a similar experience and has an idea of what I need to do, or can point me to some helpful information.

Thanks!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 6, 2013, 1:35 AM

Post #2 of 4 (2065 views)
Re: 1990 Honda Civic Ignition Key Sticks When Cold; Won't Recognize it's in Park Sign In

1990: At age alone things to check. Key itself for wear, use lock de-icer into column lock set. Should be simple inexpensive key to have a duplicate made.

This must be a console shifter with a cable, rod or maybe electrical way to tell column that it's in park. May need adjustment, or lube and probably have to go looking around,

T



silverthaw
New User

Dec 6, 2013, 6:07 PM

Post #3 of 4 (2044 views)
Re: 1990 Honda Civic Ignition Key Sticks When Cold; Won't Recognize it's in Park Sign In

Thank you for the reply,

I have tried using silicone lubricant in the ignition as well as a duplicate key. This issue never occurs on warmer days.

Yes, the shifter is in the center console. I believe you are correct, it is an issue with the shifter, some sort of sensor or something but I have no idea where it is or how to adjust it... I have tried tinkering but no luck so far. I was hoping someone on here might have a better idea of what to replace or adjust.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 7, 2013, 3:37 AM

Post #4 of 4 (2027 views)
Re: 1990 Honda Civic Ignition Key Sticks When Cold; Won't Recognize it's in Park Sign In

OK - I dare say most all automatics long before this model year did not allow taking key out or lock the steering wheel unless in PARK. However this is actuated from console to column is where the problem lies. Cold sensitive and has been colder than norms at least earlier does change the length or size of things and it's reaching it's limits.

Bet is this isn't adjustable like a cable for throttle of a crude lawn mower but not sure either. Rods, cable or electrically actuated would be the choices IMO.

They key and lock cylinder itself is probably NOT the problem. I think this will require looking at the mechanism right where the shifter is watching what moves and what could be persuaded to make this fully be in the range of real PARK position.

Just be careful of plastic panel parts to get a view now more brittle. Again, you may be able to move ever so slightly the mechanism so it in better range from there.

Can you push harder as if trying to pass PARK and make it work now? One problem is it probably will be operational by the time you get a look at things but would know if it can be dealt with and how it works right there. Lube when finished, it's plenty old enough for the factory lube to be long gone,

T







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