Advice / Life Hacks · September 26, 2018

5 Ways to Fix A Car Key That Won’t Turn in The Ignition

You’re running late for work. You get out of the house in a huff and hop into your car. But the car keys won’t turn inside the vehicle’s ignition. What to do? Undoubtedly, this is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you. However, most ignition key issues are a quick fix. Here’s how you can get your car on the road again when your key won’t turn in the ignition.

1.   Turning the Steering Wheel

Turning the Steering Wheel

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Turn the steering wheel right and left while paying attention to the side that’s blocked. Now turn the wheel to the side where it turns to and hold. You should then turn the key towards the accessory position while still holding the steering in position. If nothing gives, try turning the steering right and left as you turn the key. If this doesn’t work, jiggle the keys in the ignition while rocking the steering.  Keep doing this until the key turns. Once the key turns, the steering will unlock. You should now be able to start the car without much trouble. If this solution doesn’t work, then you probably have a more severe issue.

2.   Lubricate the Car Ignition

Lubricate the Car Ignition

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The reason for the key not turning could be a jammed-up keyway. If this is the case, then lubricating the car ignition lock could just solve your problem. You can use either silicon lubricants or graphite lubricants. You want to use something that won’t collect grime, dust, and other particles over time as this will result in a jammed lock.  Spray some lubricant into the keyway of the ignition cylinder. Make sure to wipe any excess lubricant. Now insert the key and jiggle it a bit. If it still doesn’t work, repeat the process by adding some more lubricant.

3.   Repair the Key

Repair the Key

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Could it be that your key has a problem? Check if the key has a point of failure and try to address the issue. If it is bent, you can straighten it and then try to start the car again. If it is broken, you can always have a professional locksmith look at it. There’s a chance it can be repaired. If you suspect that the key is the problem but can’t quite figure out what is wrong, then you should try using the spare key. Also, check the blade or bitting of the key for signs of wear.

4.   Replace the Ignition Cylinder

Replace the Ignition Cylinder

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If the key is not the problem, then you might have a faulty ignition cylinder. Have your car towed to a nearby facility that specializes in the model of your car. Explain the issue you’re having and let the experts propose the next course of action. You need to provide evidence of ownership to have the ignition cylinder replaced. You’ll get a new key with the new ignition cylinder.

5.   Call in a Locksmith

Call in a Locksmith

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If your key won’t turn in the ignition and you’ve tried all the above remedies without much success, then you might want to call in a Lock-up Toronto locksmith.