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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started having an issue where we would turn off the car and the key will get stuck in the ignition when trying to pull it out. I did a quick search online and someone said to turn the wheel a little bit and that seemed to work. So I got it out finally after doing that but I kept starting it back up and retrying it and almost every time it would get stuck again while turning it off. Sometimes the wheel turn would work, other times it wouldn't and I would just have to keep trying to pull it out on it's own and it would come out.

What is going on and what can I do to stop this from happening? Not having any other issues with the car besides this, no error message or anything on the display. Again, it's a 2008 Volvo S40 Automatic. Thanks in advance! Please keep in mind I'm not very car savvy.
 

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I had this issue when I took out the CEM to clean the connectors/contacts. When I installed it, one of the connectors wasn't seated properly. Everything functioned except the car wouldn't release the key once I took it out.

It's possible that your issue is CEM related, or that cleaning the connectors/contacts with electronics cleaner (and adding some dielectric grease once clean) on your CEM could fix the issue. The CEM is the white fuse box under the glove box.
 

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I just started having an issue where we would turn off the car and the key will get stuck in the ignition when trying to pull it out. I did a quick search online and someone said to turn the wheel a little bit and that seemed to work. So I got it out finally after doing that but I kept starting it back up and retrying it and almost every time it would get stuck again while turning it off. Sometimes the wheel turn would work, other times it wouldn't and I would just have to keep trying to pull it out on it's own and it would come out.

What is going on and what can I do to stop this from happening? Not having any other issues with the car besides this, no error message or anything on the display. Again, it's a 2008 Volvo S40 Automatic. Thanks in advance! Please keep in mind I'm not very car savvy.
Don't overcomplicate things right away.
Spray the key with a little WD40 and insert and turn a few times. Might have to apply WD40 a few times.
Turning the wheel is not uncommon to release the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@LittleRedRidingHood thanks but I don't know much about cars and I would be a little afraid messing with this CEM or how do to do that in the first place?

@GRUENDIG thanks for the reply. I'm a little nervous about spraying WD-40 on the keyfob or inside the ignition switch because others have said DO NOT do that. I'm scared I might create more issues that way no? I've called multiple independent dealers and the Volvo dealership and they all think it's a bad ignition switch that needs to be replaced, unfortunately. Really not looking forward to going to the dealership to fix it but no one else will touch it.
 

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Do not use WD40. I think the poster who suggested that might not be aware of the design of the S40-V50 key :).

As for the ignition switch, people that this has happened to have resolved the situation by replacing the switch. My understanding is that some electrical contacts inside the switch start to get dirty and mess things up. There's a thread floating around about how to clean those, but the whole process is kind of involved if you're not super comfortable doing it in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Do not use WD40. I think the poster who suggested that might not be aware of the design of the S40-V50 key :).

As for the ignition switch, people that this has happened to have resolved the situation by replacing the switch. My understanding is that some electrical contacts inside the switch start to get dirty and mess things up. There's a thread floating around about how to clean those, but the whole process is kind of involved if you're not super comfortable doing it in the first place.
Ok thanks for your reply. You are still pretty sure it's the ignition switch if I'm not having any other troubles? Like start up is fine, etc.

I found an independent Volvo shop in my area and called them about it. They said they could do it but they would have to charge an additional $300 than what a dealer would because they borrow the software from the dealer and have to charge that back because that's what they were charged. So they said it would probably be cheaper just to go to a dealer. I've had bad troubles with different Volvo dealers in the past though with them trying to upsell me on other things or possibly making more problems in my car than I started with so I'm very hesitant to do that but I've gone and scheduled an appointment with one Volvo dealer in my area for tomorrow morning. The Volvo dealership said it could be ignition switch, ignition module or base steering column needing fixed. One of those 3.

I read online from a Volvo tech that if it's just an ignition switch that you don't need software to replace it. I brought this up to that independent Volvo shop and he said that it might be an issue that doesn't need software but it also might be, in which case I would just be charged extra for them to use software so he recommended just going to the dealer so I don't have to pay software cost if it came to that. Ugh, hate this. If it's the ignition switch, I've heard it's like $500 to replace.

EDIT: Ok so update. It did this for the first time last night and it did it again when my wife got to work this morning. But when she got home today, it didn't do it and hasn't been doing it a few times after when I tried turning it on and off? What do I do? Should I still take it into a dealership? Could the ignition switch still be bad even if it worked fine just minutes ago? No idea what to do now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
From what I know, this will not improve on its own.
Thanks but what is your latest take now hearing that it had problems again this morning but then worked with no issues once she got home minutes ago? Could it still be a bad ignition switch or something else even though it worked fine minutes ago? Or should I just not worry anymore and skip the dealership for now? How long do I have to wait on this issue if it's a bad ignition switch or something else?
 

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Yep, I could have phrased that differently: any improvements are probably only temporary. The alternative to dealing with this now is one day (soon) not being able to get your key out while you're parked somewhere with something to do. As much as you don't want to go to the dealer, it is quite possibly your only option. If it was me, I'd handle this as soon as possible.
 

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Do not use WD40. I think the poster who suggested that might not be aware of the design of the S40-V50 key :).

As for the ignition switch, people that this has happened to have resolved the situation by replacing the switch. My understanding is that some electrical contacts inside the switch start to get dirty and mess things up. There's a thread floating around about how to clean those, but the whole process is kind of involved if you're not super comfortable doing it in the first place.
correct. is it not a physical key? or is it you push the fob into the ignition slot.?
 

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It's kind of an in-between. No metal key blade for ignition purposes, but it's got a plastic stub / arm that fits into into a hole in the ignition switch (fob sticks out like a giant key). Something inside the switch grabs that stub when you insert it, and eventually stops letting go.
 

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It's kind of an in-between. No metal key blade for ignition purposes, but it's got a plastic stub / arm that fits into into a hole in the ignition switch (fob sticks out like a giant key). Something inside the switch grabs that stub when you insert it, and eventually stops letting go.
Yea, do NOT spray WD40 there, its not a physical blade, doesnt work that way, as advised above.
can you check if your steering wheel locks react correctly when key inserted all the times? It should do "bzzzt" when you just enter the key in the ignition (without turning it) and "bzzzt" again when you take it out. If it always do bzzt and you can also start car normally etc - it may be not ignition switch itself as when those go it usually immobilise the car (ie car doesnt "read" the chip properly and does not unblock steering). Maybe its the physical issue inside that does not release the key but "release " command is sent every time...
just guessing here, not 100% sure how to solve it though :/
 

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It's kind of an in-between. No metal key blade for ignition purposes, but it's got a plastic stub / arm that fits into into a hole in the ignition switch (fob sticks out like a giant key). Something inside the switch grabs that stub when you insert it, and eventually stops letting go.
I looked up the key. yes it is a key configured type stub.
Because if this configuration when you insert the stub, tumblers like in a lock have to move. They might be dirty and need lubrication as any mechanical lock might need. The moving tumblers would then be linked to contacts.
As the OP said, he is having difficulty removing the key (not stopping or starting).
Because of who I am I would not be afraid to try to lubricate the switch with WD40.
Spray it on the blade (don't soak) insert and remove a few times and see what happens. Perform when necessary.
But that me.:)
 

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I looked up the key. yes it is a key configured type stub.
Because if this configuration when you insert the stub, tumblers like in a lock have to move....)
not 100% sure what you mean by above - "configured" like configured to match the key stub? FYI any key will fit the hole, I was able to put my friends s40 FL key inside my ignition no problem. It just didnt "bzzt"
 

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not 100% sure what you mean by above - "configured" like configured to match the key stub? FYI any key will fit the hole, I was able to put my friends s40 FL key inside my ignition no problem. It just didnt "bzzt"
Sure,
If the key looks the same it will fit. The car now says ok, there is now "a" key but I don't know who you are.
Step 1 - insert key/fob to look for identification from the fob.
Step 2 - confirm identification
Step 3 - start car.
The problem is "still and only" "removal" of the key.
I stand by my suggestion to lightly lubricate the "key stub".
 

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Sure,
...
I stand by my suggestion to lightly lubricate the "key stub".
ah yea, dont get me wrong - my exact thoughts aswell, hence me saying it may be actually mechanical problem. I am just cautious about people putting WD40 nozzle into opening and soaking wet all internals with it, hence I am careful with suggestions with using sprays :) but yes, all in all it may be it - simply seized internals, fingers crossed
 

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ah yea, dont get me wrong - my exact thoughts aswell, hence me saying it may be actually mechanical problem. I am just cautious about people putting WD40 nozzle into opening and soaking wet all internals with it, hence I am careful with suggestions with using sprays :) but yes, all in all it may be it - simply seized internals, fingers crossed
As I say "again", spray on the key fob stub.
I "never" said spray into the lock assembly.
By lubricating the stub you avoid saturating the lock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So just an update to everyone. I took it to a Volvo dealership in my area today. They ran diagnostics and they said it came up that the ignition switch needs to be replaced. It will be a total of $820 with tax included. They have to order the part in and I'm going to get it fixed on Friday. Again, the issue didn't show up last night when my wife got home or today at all even when I took it to the dealership. But they mentioned that there can still be times where it doesn't have issues but still needs to be replaced. I hate shelling out that money especially when it was fine last night and today but I guess I'll just have to trust them.
 

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So just an update to everyone. I took it to a Volvo dealership in my area today. They ran diagnostics and they said it came up that the ignition switch needs to be replaced. It will be a total of $820 with tax included. They have to order the part in and I'm going to get it fixed on Friday. Again, the issue didn't show up last night when my wife got home or today at all even when I took it to the dealership. But they mentioned that there can still be times where it doesn't have issues but still needs to be replaced. I hate shelling out that money especially when it was fine last night and today but I guess I'll just have to trust them.
And if you lubed the key fob stub - what would you lose? Maybe the heart break of finding out you don't need to replace ignition switch after all.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And if you lubed the key fob stub - what would you lose? Maybe the heart break of finding out you don't need to replace ignition switch after all.
Good luck.
I understand that but if on diagnostic testing it's coming up as bad and needing to be replaced, then it needs to be replaced and that's what the issues are from, no? Trust me I'm not happy giving out that kind of money either lol. Plus I've just heard multiple people tell me do not place any type of WD-40 on the key or in the ignition so I'm very weary of doing that. I don't want to create more issues. Plus I've done tons of research online about this exact issue and no where have I seen anyone suggest using WD-40 and it fixing the issue. In most of all the cases, people said they ended up just having to replace their ignition switch.
 
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