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Old 07-07-2008, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Key Interlock Release Problem

The key for my 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback is stuck in the ignition switch. The only way to remove the key from the ignition is to do a "manual override" of the key interlock release by inserting a long screwdriver in the hole under the steering column to pop the manual overide switch, which then releases the key. I must perform this manual override manuever each time I park the car (looks like I'm a thief), or leave the keys in the ignition switch (risk of car being stolen).

This problem started with a blown alternator that I later replaced and a battery I later recharged, and a car alarm system that went off while replacing the alternator. I have since reset the alarm system using the "turn the key 3 times/10 times quickly" method discussed in the owner's manual. The alarm system is now working. Also related - I replaced a blown fuse - which occured because of the alarm went off after the battery was reconnected, and that apparently which locked the automatic transmission in "park". I then problem solved that replacing that blown brake fuse would allow the transmission to come out of "park".

The issue now is having to do a manual override of the key interlock release every time to remove the keys from the ignition. The owner's manual says to do the manual override and then take the car to a certified Subaru mechanic to have the key interlock system "repaired".

I'd like to repair the key interlock system myself instead of paying a mechanic $75 bucks an hour to problem solve this issue.

Any ideas on how to reset the key interlock release so it behaves normally?
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This isnt a biggy. The switch in the shifter isnt responding to the park position.
What you are doing with the over ride is forcing the release switch to complete or interupt the circuit that holds the key in.

Look at that switch and see how it interfaces with the shifter. It may just need lubricating or an adjustment.

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