5 Ways to Repair A Car Key That Isn't Turning In The Ignition

When your car key won’t turn in the ignition, what should you do?

Despite the fact that this question was asked by a single user on Quora, hundreds of business owners face this issue on a regular basis.

Have you ever found yourself unable to turn your automobile keys within the ignition? It can be aggravating to put your car keys in the ignition and have them refuse to turn on. And it always occurs unexpectedly. As a car owner, you may be tempted to attempt every possible means to get your key into the ignition. However, your ignition switch malfunctions after several attempts, and you cannot start your vehicle.

This unforeseen circumstance may significantly impact your vehicle or leave you stranded. The key itself and the ignition system could be the source of this automobile key ignition problem.

So you’re wondering, “What do I do if my key won’t turn in the ignition? “Maintaining simplicity is the smart course of action. Below are some simple remedies to the problem of a key that won’t spin in your ignition. Keep an eye out for anything that makes your required repair more complex, even if it appears to be straightforward.

Tips to fix a key that won’t spin the ignition

Fixing a key that won’t spin in the ignition includes the following steps:

  • Make a steering wheel turn.
  • Ensure that the lock is lubricated.
  • The Key is Rapping
  • Replace the key.
  • Remove the key and replace it.

Make a steering wheel turn

A locked steering wheel is the most typical cause of a car key that won’t turn. When the steering wheel is moved after the key has been taken from the ignition cylinder, this occurs:

  • Right and left turn on the steering wheel.
  • Take note of which side of the wheel cannot be rotated and which direction has been given.
  • Pull the steering wheel in the given order and hold it in place.
  • While keeping the steering wheel turned, 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.

Turning the wheel and moving the key can be mixed and matched. The steering wheel should unlock, and the automobile should start as soon as the key is turned. If the key does not turn, you may be dealing with a more severe problem.

repair car key ignition

Ensure that the lock is lubricated

The most common cause of a car key not turning in the ignition is a jammed keyway in the ignition cylinder.. Perhaps lubricating the lock will resolve your issue. You may argue that WD40 is the go-to example for lubrication of any kind, but in this case, I would not recommend it.

It’s a long-standing debate in the locksmithing and lock picking communities about which lubricant is best for locks, so I’ll recommend either silicon or graphite-based lubricant at the risk of igniting a firestorm. You want something that won’t collect dust, grime, and particulates over time, which will cause the lock’s internals to jam to a greater extent.

You can use WD40 as long as you plan on replacing the ignition cylinder after you successfully turn the key. It doesn’t matter if it gets gunked up even more over time if you’re going to replace it anyway:

  • Collect your lubricant, key, and cleaning cloth.
  • Spray the lubricant into the ignition cylinder’s keyway.
  • Wipe any overspray or leaking from the keyhole away.
  • Turn the key in the slot.
  • Jiggle the key if that doesn’t work.

If this doesn’t work, add additional lubrication and try again. When your car key won’t turn in the ignition, and it’s been minutes since it worked, lubrication isn’t the solution.

The Key is Rapping

You may need to attempt something more drastic than lubricant to unjam your lock. Bump keys do not work on vehicles, but you might be able to solve your problem by utilizing a hammer or a vibrating mechanism with your key that won’t turn in the car. This “rapping,” if you will, is intended to jolt the lock’s internal components into place.

Springs can become dislodged, and other minor pieces inside the lock can become jammed. If lubrication fails to unstick or get things moving properly, you can shake everything briefly into positions, just in time to turn the key correctly.

You don’t have to use a hammer to get the job done. It could be anything that produces a visible vibration and can be applied to the key and the cylinder. The goal is to move the inside of the lock more than you could with your key, automobile, or dashboard alone.

  • Insert your car key into the ignition.
  • Strike or vibrate the key with a hammer or other tool.
  • While attempting to turn the key, use your tool on it.
  • If that doesn’t work, try tapping the ignition cylinder with your tool.

Be careful how much force you use in this process, as you could harm your key, the ignition, and other items. If you’re trying to break a locking mechanism with your key, proceed with caution, as your desire to break things may be more successful than you intended.

Replace the key

When the ignition key doesn’t turn, sometimes the issue is with the key you’re using, and resolving that specific point of failure is the only way to solve the problem. Even if the key is broken, there is still hope. A broken key can sometimes be repaired. This isn’t always the case, but it does happen from time to time.

The most important stage in this process is to figure out why your car key isn’t working. This will help you see how several problems can be solved in various ways. You should be able to investigate the automobile key as long as you can get it out when it won’t turn in the ignition.

  • Try a spare car key to see if a different key will work.
  • Consider a car key that refuses to turn in the ignition.
  • Examine the biting on the key’s blade for signs of wear.

It’s not difficult to fix the key; all you need to know is what’s incorrect. If the problem isn’t apparent, assume there’s a problem with the electronics.

Remove the key and replace it

When something goes wrong with your automobile key, the simplest solution is to replace it. A broken key can always be duplicated. No matter how the key is broken, there is a remedy, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. This technique can be approached in several ways:

  • Find an aftermarket electronic car key and decide how you want it cut and whether or not you want a transponder chip programmed.
  • Purchase your supplies and perform your service at your local hardware store’s lock and key section.
  • Make contact with a locksmith.
  • Make a call to your car dealership.
  • The cost of duplicating a car key will vary depending on how much work you undertake yourself.

The most expensive choice is to contact your dealership because it is the most obvious and takes little investigation. In terms of cost, getting a locksmith in the middle ground, while doing all of the work yourself is the cheapest alternative.

Why is your Key refusing to turn in your ignition? 

Are you unsure why your key won’t turn in the ignition? If you remove the key from many automobiles, the steering wheel will lock if you turn or bump it. This is designed to dissuade stealing.

Many people become concerned if they lock the wheel when leaving the car and then discover the ignition is locked when they re-insert the key and start it. Hold the steering wheel with one hand and wiggle back and forth while turning the key. The car will start as soon as the steering wheel is unlocked.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to turn the key if your automobile isn’t in the park or neutral. Even if the car is in the garden, move the shifter around a little to ensure it’s in this gear. Then try turning the key one more.

If the ignition cylinder is still locked after trying the fundamentals, there are some extra things to look into. The automobile key may not line up correctly in the ignition to start the car if it is bent or worn out.

However, carefully flatten it with a hammer, preferably rubber or wood, and try starting the car again if the key is bent. Use your spare key if the original is worn out. You can also receive a replacement key by contacting your dealer and providing your vehicle identifying number (VIN). A new key can also be made for you.

How much does an ignition lock cylinder replace cost?

If your key doesn’t turn in the ignition, your ignition lock cylinder may need to be replaced. In older automobiles, replacing an ignition lock cylinder can cost roughly $40.00 for the part and 1-2 hours of work, bringing the total cost to around $250.

The lock cylinder on later vehicles is electronic in that it reads the key’s programming. These cylinders, as well as the keys and programming, are substantially more expensive. You can look through our list of Preferred Shops to find someone who can help you.

Is it possible to start an automobile if the steering wheel is not locked?

It is debatable. Regardless of whether the steering wheel is locked, the car will start if it is in “neutral.” The automobile will still move freely if it is in “park” and the steering wheel is not secured. This could end up causing damage to your vehicle or injuring someone. Before starting the car, it’s always a good idea to lock the steering wheel.

Final Verdict:

If you’re still having difficulties handing in the keys after exhausting all diagnostic options, we recommend contacting a professional auto locksmith for a more thorough examination. You’ve come to the right place! AAA Mega Locksmith can assist with the problem’s diagnosis.

Following that, we’ll take care of all of the necessary repairs. AAA Mega Locksmith offers commercial locksmith services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can dispatch professionals to your place right away to fix your ignition lock and key problems.

We guarantee that our services will be reliable and safe. Give us a call right now, and we’ll be happy to help! So If your lock is not working correctly, or you need to replace it with ignition then AAA Mega Locksmiths can help you. We provide a comprehensive range of locksmith services and are committed to assisting our customers in keeping their houses safe and secure.

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