What to Do When You Cant Turn Your Key in the ignition?

We Are Going To Discuss What to Do When You Cant Turn Your Key in the ignition in this Article

All of a sudden, you can be in a situation when you can’t turn your key in the ignition, and you are in such kind of situation. Perhaps the first question pop up in your mind is, ‘What to do now?’

There exist several issues which may be the reason for this problem. If you want to fix the problem, then the finest way is to start by identifying the cause. So, let’s now know about some of the common issues which you should check at first when such kind of problem appears.

Identifying the General Issues

Is your Car in Parking Mode?

Cars are set with an automatic transmission, and automatic transmission has a neutral safety switch (NSS). So, when the car transmission is not in a park or neutral position, the engine won’t start.

If you start your car when in the drive, the vehicle can move forward, which can result in hurting someone or damaging the car.

So, you should make sure that the shift lever point is indicating the “P” (P means park). When the shift lever is the meaning park or neutral, try to turn the key.

Is your Key Damaged?

If you can’t turn your key in the ignition, then one reason behind this problem can be key damage. Maybe your key is damaged and is unable to engage with the correct pins to the depth, which is necessary for spinning the cylinder.

In such a case, you have to check the key, whether it has broken teeth or it is excessive wear. If your key has been dented, then you have to replace it.

Is anything stuck to the key?

When your key is damaged, it impedes the key to connect with the correct pins, which stops spine the cylinder. When anything is stuck to the same key thing happens.

Perhaps, recently you have tried to open a package with your key, and from that tiny piece of tape are stuck to the key, which is preventing the key from working properly.

Just clean the key and re-insert it for trying again. You should avoid this habit of using the key in any other work other than using it in the vehicle.

Is Steering Wheel Locked?

When you turned off the car, did you put any pressure on the steering wheel? If you did, then maybe it has locked the wheel in place with the steering wheel.

What to do when you cant turn Your Key in the ignition?

What to Do When You Cant Turn Your Key in the ignition
What to Do When You Cant Turn Your Key in the ignition

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Turn the Steering wheel

If your car’s steering wheel is locked, then the key won’t turn in the ignition. In such a condition at first, rotate the wheel right to left and vice versa. Try to find out not which side the wheel can’t be moved. Check which direction it is set.

Now pull the steering in the given direction and stop it there. At the same time, keep trying to rotate the key as well as keep the steering wheel moving. If it doesn’t work, then freeze the steering and keep going to turn the key.

Aftermath, when the key finally turns, the steering wheel will be unlocked, and the ignition will start. Otherwise, there are still some other problems, and you have to check them.

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Rapping the key

Sometimes when the key doesn’t turn by using a hammer or other vibrating mechanism, you can solve the problem. Some small parts inside the lock can be stuck, or spring can be lost. In such a case, shaking things temporarily into positions while turning the key can solve the issue.

Other than the hammer, you can use anything else that can apply enough vibration on the key or cylinder. At first, place the car key in the ignition. Then use the tool on the key and keep trying to turn the key.

If this process fails to work, then try to use the tool in the ignition cylinder.

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Lubricating the Lock

When the ignition cylinder is jammed up, the key won’t turn in the ignition. You can use silicon or graphite-based lubricant, but if you have the intention to change the ignite cylinder after turning the key, then you can go for the most common WD40.

Start by gathering lubricant, cloth, and key. Now, sprinkle the lube-oil in the keyway of the ignition chamber.  You should wipe-out the over-sprayed lube. Next, enter the key and try to turn, and if it doesn’t work, wiggle the key. If it doesn’t work now, put more lubricant oil, and repeat it.

Fix and Replace the Key

When the problem is with your key, fix the key, and if it can’t be fixed, then replace the key. How badly the key is broken, you can make a copy of it. For this, you can contact a locksmith or your car’s dealership.

Change the Ignition Cylinder

Because of the faulty ignition cylinder, such a kind of problem can appear. In such a situation, change the ignition cylinder. But be careful when purchasing the ignition cylinder and make sure that you are buying the right model according to your vehicle.

Call a Locksmith

If you can’t figure out what the problem is and how to solve it, then probably the best solution is to call a locksmith who can assist you greatly.

What to Do When You Cant Turn Your Key in the ignition? Watch Video

Final Words

So, if you can’t turn your key in the ignition at first, you have to try to figure out what the problem is, and then you should choose your next step accordingly.

We hope that from our writing, you have got a broad idea about what to do when you can’t turn your key in the ignition

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