Mechanics

KEY WONT TURN WHEN INSERTED INTO IGNITION

1996 Infiniti G20 • 97 miles

When I insert a key into the ignition it won't turn. Just started a couple days ago. If I play with steering wheel, put key in/out several times, jiggle key, etc it will eventually turn. My assumption it was related to tumbler but not sure. I tried lubing/graphite but it has not helped. Once I get it to turn, I can leave key in ignition even in off position and it will continue to work just fine. Once I remove it, I go through pain all over again. My question is two fold.

1. What are some things it might be?
2. If tumbler, can I have a locksmith key a new tumbler to my old keys and then install new tumbler? What issues might arise from that? I have an anti-theft system, but no fob or anything like that. Just a std metal key I have to insert into ignition. I figured it if was keyed to same key then then all should be well?
3. How hard is it to remove ignition/tumbler?
4. Is there a better way to do this cheaper?
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Reagan5811
September 6, 2011.




Yes, the key tumblers are bad and a locksmith can do the repair.

Removing the tumblers is rather easy but the key has to be turned to the ACC position from where you need to push a pin on the steering lock housing to release the lock. The tumbler can then be removed by pulling at the key to take it out.

KHLow2008
Sep 6, 2011.
Ok thanks. A few questions.
1. From the acc position my radio, lights, etc are on right? Do I unhook battery 1st?
2. Do I need a new lock/switch/tumbler, or does the locksmith repair the old?
3. Any issues I need to be aware of when trying to remove lock if I have an airbag?
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Reagan5811
Sep 6, 2011.
Yes, it is better to disconnect the battery negative terminal if you are going to take some time to have the tumbler repaired.

The locksmith would only repair the tumblers and unless the lock itself is faulty, there is nothing else you need to do.

If the steering lock assy has to be replaced, you would have to remove the steering wheel and for those equipped with air bags, the clock spring under the steering wheel has to be calibrated correctly while installing to avoid damaging it.

KHLow2008
Sep 7, 2011.

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