Step by step guide on how to repair an automotive ignition switch that wont turn.
Difficulty Scale: 2 of 10
- All vehicles have a steering wheel lockout
safety device that will not allow the steering wheel to turn when the key is in
the "OFF" position.
Step 2 - Vehicles equipped with power steering
utilize a pump which maintains pressure while the engine is running. If the
front wheels are turned when the engine is shut off, the system loses pressure
and forces the steering against the lockout pin.
Step 3 - In this case grasp the steering wheel
and apply pressure in the same direction as the wheels are turned, the pin will
be relieved allowing the ignition key to be turned.
Step 4 - Due to the nature of a lock, internal
components can wear causing the lock to stop operating. In this case the ignition
lock must be
Turn Wheel and Key
In extreme conditions such as high mileage or a key chain adorned with many
ornaments the ignition key can wear causing the key not to work. If the door key
is same as the ignition key, the door tumbler can be removed and copied if no
frequency chip is installed.
Dirt and debris inside the key lock can cause the tumbler assembly to stick
and jam, not allowing one or more of the key followers to operate. To service a key lock
spray pressurized air along with an aerosol cleaner into the lock assembly, once
clean apply a light lubricant to the tumbler.
Vehicles equipped with an automatic
transmission utilize an interlock cable that prevents the transmission to be moved
from the park position. Though rare, if the gear shift selector is not completely in park it
can cause the ignition switch to jam.
Article first published 2016-02-03