Ignition Wont Turn?

Ignition Wont Turn

Car ignition lock failure is not a common occurrence. However, when it does, it can be frustrating. You enter your car, insert the key, but then the ignition won’t turn. There are a few things you may need to check before attempting anything else.

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Here is what to check first:

Is the Steering Wheel Locked?

When the key is not in the ignition, the steering wheels will lock as a safety measure to prevent the car from driving or theft. You may not have intended to lock your steering wheel when you parked the car, but just a little effort when you switch off the engine will lock the steering.

When the steering wheel is locked, the ignition won’t turn on. In such a situation, what you have to do is unlock the steering wheel and solve the ignition problem. To get around this, grip the steering wheel with one hand and turn back and forth while attempting to turn the key. The steering wheel will release, and your car’s ignition will turn on.

Ignition Won’t Turn Because of a Broken Key?

The issue might be unrelated to your vehicle and entirely related to your key. If your key is deformed, it may still fit into the ignition, but it will not line up correctly and turn the ignition. Take the key out of the ignition and inspect it carefully.

If it is bent, that might be the cause of your problem. You may try to stretch it back into shape, but be careful not to weaken the key and snap it completely. Gently test it to see whether it will easily slot into the ignition, and try turning it.

What Is the Position of Your Gearstick?

You may be unable to turn the key if your vehicle is not in parking or neutral. Check the gear lever and ensure you shift to park. Even if the car is in park, move the shifter slightly to ensure that it is in this gear. Then try turning the key again.

If you have checked all these and the ignition still won’t turn on, don’t freak out. Here is what to do:

Don’t Force the Key if the Ignition Won’t Turn

At this point, you may be tempted to use force to turn the key. However, this will not be a good idea since it might cause more harm to the ignition key lock cylinder. Forcing the key, especially if it’s an older metal one, may cause it to break.

When this happens, you will be stuck with half a key in your hand, and the other inside the ignition, and a far more expensive and time-consuming fix.

Faulty Ignition Lock Cylinder

With continuous use, the ignition won’t turn due to the lock cylinder wearing out and also getting clogged. Check that nothing visible is preventing the key from fully entering the cylinder. The key will not spin even if it is slightly further out than usual.

If something is impeding the key, try blowing it out with a can of compressed air. This will drain out any loose materials that may have become lodged inside the cylinder, allowing you to insert the key and turn it on normally.

If your key doesn’t go in smoothly, it might be the ignition lock cylinder. If you feel resistance when entering the key, the key won’t go in completely, or the key is difficult to withdraw, the problem might be with your car’s ignition cylinder. It’s a good idea to replace the component before your car’s key becomes stuck.

What Else Can You Do?

If you’ve done everything and the ignition cylinder is still locked, there are a few more things to look at. Try your extra key if the ignition won’t turn, just in case your current key is worn down. You can also receive a spare key by calling your car dealership and providing them with your vehicle identifying number (VIN). You may also order a new key.

Make sure the key cylinder is clear of any obstructions. The key tumblers within might become clogged or jammed on occasion. To fix this, apply WD 40 or a penetrating lubricant to the nozzle using the little straw that comes with the container. Then, right into the keyhole, fire a very small quantity. After that, insert and remove the key for around 30 seconds to work the penetrating oil into the tumblers and lubricate them.

Reach Out to Us Now

At Puget Sound Locksmith, you can get all your car key problems sorted out immediately. Whether you are stranded in a parking lot or in the middle of nowhere, just give us a call. We specialize in all types of ignition problems, from ignition won’t turn, to theft, damage repair, or complete ignition replacement. If you’re experiencing problems with your ignition key, please contact us today.

Contact us

Locked out? In need of timely assistance? We’re here to help! Puget Sound Locksmith has the equipment and experience to handle any project – emergency, commercial, residential, or automotive. Call us today for professional, reliable, and quality locksmith solutions around the Greater Seattle Area. 

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