Key stuck in ignition (and the fix)

mprice62

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I am having the same issue with my wife's new-to-us 2002 Liberty. I am going to try to install a spring that will assist the cable with that last 1/8" of travel.
 

mprice62

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FIXED!!! And FOR LESS THAN $3.00!!!

So, I went to Lowes' and purchased a package of springs (Hillman#543311, 2 pack. Found in the same aisle as screws, and the specialty hardware drawers).

The spring is a 5/16" x 1-1/8"x .023" Extension Spring. It has a standard "U" shaped "hook" style end.

One end needs to be pinched together, so that the "U" is mashed together. Then, bend a right angle in that end, so that it will catch the brass "bead" on the actuator cable.

The other end needs to be bent, so that you straighten out the "U", and then reshape it into an "L", with a slight bend at the very end. This end goes through the clip on the "keeper" on the shifter cable (see photos).

The spring is strong enough to assist with the last 1/8" of travel in the actuator cable, but not so strong as to interfere with the functionality of the actuator, or the shift lever.

I hope this helps.
 

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mtnclimber

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Your KJ must be an '05 as the shifter cable retainer was different on my '06 - it did not have the slits in the retainer to hook the spring to. I had to find a different spot to attach the spring on mine. Also the spring did not quite take care of the spring return on mine as I had to loosen the set screw on the shifter knob and readjust the knob/lever height to mine so the key could be removed when in park.
 

formerfatboys

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52109779AG

Is this the part that I need on an '06 Jeep Liberty? Anyone have any tips on where to look in the service manual to find the section on this?

I have the same issue and using a screwdriver as shown in the YouTube video a few posts back does indeed get the shifter to stop slipping into others, but my key broke off and doesn't seem to want to come out which is an added bonus.
 

iamjpad

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Oh wow. I did this fix on 02 Liberty using the spring from Lowes and just like that problem is fixed.
Just to test it out before the spring was attached. I could see that if the cable didn't return fully, the key would be stuck so the spring fixed it for sure.
 

Damotee

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I get this problem on my 05 Renegade. Applying the brake and pressing the button on the shifter fixes it. Annoying for sure.
 

smittyfromPA

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My sister just told me a few days ago her key was stuck in the ignition of her 2015 Renegade. So its not just a Liberty thing.
 

Hdrider

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Both of my 02s do this every now and then. If you lightly slap the shifter in park it solves the problem. Works on ours every time.
 

RENEGADE Concept

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I've been dealing with this problem for a year and a half now. Changing the shift interlock cable seemed to work for several months and then it started doing it again. I've gotten by with information listed here. But here's a new twist I recently figured out - the problem is heat sensitive! Go figure. It's winter where I live so of course I'm always driving with the heat on this time of year. If I'm not in the vehicle very long with the heat running there's not a problem getting the key out. But if I take a longer drive and the interior gets warm it with get stuck nearly all of the time. However once the vehicle sits outside and gets cold again I can go out and like magic I can instantly turn the key that extra to take it out!
 

krazyjar

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04 Liberty Renegade

My key gets stuck and after it has cooled down the key comes right out as well.
 

RENEGADE Concept

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Since it's still cold out I've taken to driving with the heat off as much as I can so I don't have a problem. But when summer comes I'm screwed, because running the AC doesn't get things cold enough to help. So back to the dealership I will go again. Grrr
 

DFW333

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I just had this problem starting today. Glad to find out it appears to be an easy enough fix. As for the heat being an issue like in the last couple of posts, I've never had this issue before today and I'm in Texas. Had my 2006 Liberty since 2014, been through plenty of 105+ degree summers.

I'm surprised they don't issue a recall on this. The shifter being able to move without the brake or release button being pressed is incredibly dangerous. I get it's a different problem, but every video I see about the key not releasing also mentions the shifter issue as needing to be fixed at the same time.
 

DFW333

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I just got mine out with no difficulty at all. Took the cover off the gear selector and found a little pin that moves when the gear selector release is pressed. I pulled it up with my index finger and the key released. Looks like my fix will be to reset the screw on the front of the lever. Now just have to find a15 Torx bit.
 

daves06lrenegade

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I had this problem recently and I found by removing this cable at the steering lock assy (yellow push in connector)... I could remove the key...I could car less what position the shift lever is in when I remove the key...

Now if I could only find schematics for the dome light circuitry, door ajar switches, and the BCM... I have yet to locate the wiring diagrams within the Jeep Service manual... I have a dome light that will only go off with the stalk switch in the ON position... and never on when the doors are opened
Dave

Added 09/27/2018
Found a complete copy of the Jeep Liberty service manual with the schematics (area 8) and found that the wiring harness inside the swing gate was pinched by the door stop.. Now onto the transfer case wiring... Dave
 
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kmitch

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stuck key

Hey this happened to me as well just a long list in the line of things this Liberty has wrong. However, before you take it in to get fixed or spend a dime try this....there is a set screw on the shift handle towards the front of the handle it's a tox screw.....loosen the set screw and gently pull up on shifter while holding it tighten the set screw....it's worth 5 min of you time!!!!!! if you need the cable it's an easy diy thing.

Worked like a charm for the moment. Can get key in and out no problem.

Transmission can be moved about without the normal stops. I'll deal with that separately.
 

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