car ignition

More Fixes for Car Keys That Won’t Turn in the Ignition

Car keys that won’t turn in the ignition can be a real hassle and can serve as an indication of a more serious issue or a minor issue that you can fix yourself. Whatever the cause of the problem, it is important to take the time to diagnose and repair the issue before it becomes more of a problem.

There are a few things you can try yourself before contacting a locksmith to help determine the problem. While attempting to get the key to turn in the ignition, it’s important to keep an eye out for anything that could signal a bigger problem, as simple fixes can become complicated fast.

Turn the Steering Wheel

A steering wheel lock is the most frequent cause of a car key that won’t turn. This will occur if the steering wheel is turned before the ignition cylinder has been unlocked.

  • Rotate the steering wheel both left and right.
  • Take note of the direction with a little give and the side that the wheel cannot be rotated to.
  • Hold the steering wheel in the give-and-take direction as you pull it in that direction.
  • While continuing to crank the steering wheel, turn the key to the accessory position.
  • If nothing happens, turn the key while rocking the steering wheel.
  • If it doesn’t work, jiggle the key in the ignition while rocking the steering wheel.

The techniques for rotating the wheel and moving the key can be combined. The steering wheel will unlock, and the car should start as soon as the key is turned.

Grease the Lock

The keyway of the ignition cylinder is frequently the culprit when a car key won’t turn in the ignition. Your problem might be resolved by just lubricating the lock. 

  • Assemble your cloth, key, and lubrication.
  • Inject the lubricant into the ignition cylinder’s keyway.
  • Remove any overspray or leakage from the keyhole by wiping it off.
  • Turn the key after inserting it.
  • If that doesn’t work, try shaking the key.
  • If that doesn’t work, try again after adding extra lube.

Lubrication is not the solution if your automobile key won’t turn in the ignition when this doesn’t work after several minutes.

Rap the Key

You might need to attempt something more drastic to unjam your lock if lubrication doesn’t work. Although bump keys do not function on automobiles, you might be able to resolve your problem by utilizing a hammer or a vibrating device together with your non-working car key. This is done to move the lock’s internal parts into the right alignment.

  • Put the ignition of your car in “drive.”
  • The key should be struck or vibrated using a hammer or other implement.
  • As you attempt to turn the key, use your tool on the key.
  • Try using your tool on the ignition cylinder if this doesn’t work.

Be very careful with how much force you use during this operation, as you could harm your key, the ignition, and more if you don’t.

Fix the Key

When the ignition key doesn’t turn, there may be a problem with the key you are using, and you should fix that specific point of failure. 

  • See whether a different car key will work by attempting a spare.
  • Check the bitting on the key’s blade for any wear.
  • Check for any breaks, bends, or twists.

Knowing the problem can make fixing the key quite easy. Assume there is an electronic problem if there is no apparent visual problem.

Handle Your Car Keys Properly

Taking the time to properly care for and maintain your car keys can go a long way in preventing issues from occurring in the future. If, however, your car keys still won’t turn in the ignition, it is best to consult a professional before attempting any more DIY fixes.

Don’t hesitate to call Action Lock Doc if you need to rekey your car ignition. We have been providing quality locksmith services to the DFW area for over forty years. 

With available 24-hour emergency locksmith service, our locksmiths are highly trained and updated on specialized products and techniques to provide quality solutions to your problems. Contact us to learn more.