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Question DetailsAsked on 1/29/2018

replace ignition cylinder 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera i have new part. do not have old keys

I need a new ignition cylinder to replace old cylinder for my mothers 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, 6 cyl. I have purchased the part, with new keys, just need some one experienced in performing this task. The old keys have been lost over the years and car will probably need a jump after the new cylinder is installed. Just would like an estimate. Car is not drivable now so need a mechanic to come to house, located ain Clifford, IN, about 4 miles North of Columbus, IN.

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Since this cannot readily be taken to a dealer or repair shop for replacement, I would say a Locksmith (the Search the List category) who does car lock replacements is your best bet - because without the keys he will need to either drill out the old lock (a slow, expensive process) or will need an ignition switch extractor tool or ignition lock ring removal socket or similar tool, depending on brand. A GM ignition switch core extractor tool most likely in your case - and locksmiths are more likely to have that than anyone other than a GM dealer. Just pulling it with an impact puller or twisting it off with a large screwdriver like a car thief would can cause permanent damge to the steering column and wiring.

As for the old keys being lost for years - unless this car has run in the past 6 months or so, just a jump is unlikely to start it - battery is likely DEAD not just discharged, and if it has sat more than a year or two then the piston rings may be rusted up so trying to start it without first checking if it will hand crack over may total the starter motor or internally damage the engine. Plus cylinders at least (preferably entire engine) should be lubricated before starting to avoid excess immediate wear from all the oil having drained down over time - usually that is done by putting a drill motor on a shaft inserted into the oil pump or hooking up to its wiring (if electric) to circulate new oil through all the moving parts BEFORE trying to turn the engine over. Plus after that time coolant should be checked to be sure it has not leaked off, engine oil changed because it will be sludged and watery, etc - just trying to start a car that has sat for a long time like that is asking for trouble.

Angies List does not have a separate category for mobile mechanics - Auto - Service is their Search the List category for both shop-based and mobile mechanics, perhaps google for local mobile mechanics and then cross-check on Angies List for any ratings/reviews by company name.

My recommendation - choose a shop, have the car towed there (some will pay for or do the towing at no charge if total repair charge is more than about $500 or so), and have the car checked out before trying to start it - andprobably a new battery too.

BTW - since you do not have the keys, tow truck driver/locksmith/repair shop will probably require proof of ownership so they know they are not dealing with a stolen vehicle - and since likely in your mother's name, may require seeing/getting a copy of her driver's license or ID card too to match to the registration.

Cost - my guess is probably about $100 range, assuming the parts you have are correct, just for the ignition lock core replacement.

One other possibility - with proof of ownership, getting new keys from a locksmith or GM dealer - might well be cheaper than replacing the core - plus since keys are lost, you are talking not only the ignition cylinder but also the door locks if you go that route - so I would really check on the cost of just getting new keys, which they can do using the VIN number to look up the key cut code forthat car. Typically about $100-150 I would say for that age vehicle - additional door-only keys are about $25 additional at same time.

And of course - beware driving this without updating registration / license plates as applicable.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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