Step by step guide on how to repair an
that wont turn, this guide pertains to most vehicles.
Difficulty Scale: 3 of 10
- All vehicles have a
lockout safety device that will not allow the steering wheel to turn when the
is in the "OFF" position.
Step 2 - Vehicles equipped with
pressure while the engine
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 lock pin
will be relieved allowing the ignition key to be turned. Visit -
Ignition Key Not Turning
Step 4 - 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 tumbler, spray pressurized air along with an aerosol cleaner
into the lock assembly, once clean apply a light lubricant like liquid graphite
or WD40 it can help the lock tumbler release inside the lock cylinder.
Turn Wheel and Key
Appling LubricantStep 5
- Though is it difficult
for us to recommend, but using a mallet and striking the ignition key multiple times
can help loosen the tumbler and allow the key to turn. (used caution as not the
break the key off in the lock).
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Step 6 - 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
Striking Ignition Switch With Hammer
Step 7 - In extreme conditions such as high mileage
or a key chain adorned with many ornaments can wear the tumbler which causes the
key not to work.
If the door key is same as the ignition key, the door tumbler can be removed
and a key made if no security chip is installed, (older cars).
Ignition Switch Replacement
Step 8 - Most worn key problems will need a key
ordered from the dealer using the vehicles
Weighted Key Chain
Step 9 - Most vehicles with an automatic transmission
utilize an interlock cable that prevents the transmission to be moved from the park
If the gear shift selector is not completely in park it can cause the ignition
switch to jam due to interlock misalignment. To fix simply move the gear shifter
from park to drive then back into park again.
Vehicle VIN Number
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Article first published 2016-02-12