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How to Repair an Ignition Key That Doesn’t Turn?

It’s a real bummer when our cars decide to play hard to get, especially right when we’re counting on them.

You’re ready to hit the road, keys in hand, and bam! Your ignition key decides to be a stubborn little thing and refuses to turn.

Talk about a major inconvenience, right?

But fear not, because when faced with this automotive situation, the key is keeping cool and not making matters worse.

In this guide, we’ve got your back with five down-to-earth tricks to turn that stubborn key.

Let’s begin our ways to understand clearly why the “key won’t work in the ignition” situation.

How Does an Ignition Key Function? 

In most modern cars, ignition keys have a symmetrical shape that a driver easily inserts into the ignition. Once the key is slotted, a set of tumblers within the ignition is set up in a specific arrangement, allowing the key to rotate within the ignition cylinder easily.

As soon as the key is turned within the cylinder, the circuit powers up the starter motor by responding back to a computer chip which powers up the engine.

Read More: How to Replace Car Keys? 

What Are the 5 Easy Ways to Fix an Ignition Switch Problem? 

Start with Turning the Steering Wheel 

Sometimes, we don’t realize it, but the issue might not actually be with the ignition key; the problem might lie with the steering wheel locking mechanism.

In many vehicles, the steering wheel is engineered to lock automatically once the key is extracted from the ignition cylinder, causing the wheel to remain fixed in one position.

To troubleshoot this, attempt a subtle turning of the steering wheel both to the right and left while carefully attempting to turn the key in the ignition.

Should this approach prove unsuccessful, an alternative method involves rocking the wheel back and forth while gently wiggling the key.

Upon successfully turning the key, the steering wheel should unlock itself.

Try Wiggling the Key Inside the Ignition Switch 

If turning the steering wheel doesn’t work for you, another thing to try is gently wiggling the key in the ignition.

Be careful, though – don’t push too hard because that could worsen things.

By jiggling the key a bit, you might be able to successfully turn the key within the lock that is stopping the key from turning.

Use Lubrication to Make the Lock Work! 

If your key isn’t turning, it might be the lock causing trouble, not the key itself.

A good trick to try is using some lubricant on the lock. It will eventually eliminate any dirt that might stop the key from turning.

The best thing to use here is a silicone-based lubricant because it tends to keep the dirt away and prevent the same issue from happening in the future.

Simply spray the lubricant into the lock and wipe off any extra dirt or debris. Now, put your key in and try turning it. If the key still doesn’t turn, give it a gentle wiggle, as we discussed.

If that doesn’t do the trick, add more lubricant and try again.

If your key is still stubborn after a few minutes, then there must be some other issue of dirt in the lock.

Check the Gear Shift or Dead Car Battery 

If you’re having trouble turning your ignition key, a quick fix might be checking the gear shift. In automatic cars, the key won’t turn if the car isn’t in park or neutral.

Before attempting to turn the key, gently move the gear shift from side to side to make sure it’s fully in position.

It’s also a good idea to see if your car battery is dead.

The key won’t turn if the battery is gone in newer cars with advanced ignition systems.

While a dead battery can be annoying, it’s usually an easy problem to fix.

Get Yourself a New Car Key 

If you’ve tried all the other ways and nothing works, then it’s quite possible that your car’s ignition key needs a replacement.

If you’re looking for a new car key and you want to get the best ignition key repair service done by a certified expert, look no further than our automobile locksmith at Multi Locksmith.

Maybe your car key has finally met its end…

The problem can simply be fixed by getting your existing car key repaired. Therefore, it’s always best to have a spare car key cut and kept safe.

Just get an extra new one.

Get serviced by a licensed locksmith in East Bay, California, today!