Imagine being late for work and the last thing you want is for your car to not work because the car key won’t turn in the ignition. This sounds like a problem that may never occur but you would be surprised at how often people have to face this issue. However, turning on the car ignition isn’t much of a problem if you know some basic hacks! So if you’re wondering “Oh shoot!, I’ll be late again”, don’t worry! We’re here to help you find the best solutions to fix a car key that won’t turn in the ignition:
Turning the steering wheel
The most common thing that people do when their key won’t turn in the ignition is to move the steering wheel back and forth. This removes the wheel cylinder from the ignition and the car starts easily. Following are few of the ways you can try:
- Move the steering wheel from right to left
- Pull the steering wheel in the direction that has give and hold it there for a while, that usually helps
- Now, change the key position while keeping the steering wheel turned
- If this doesn’t work, rock the steering wheel a few times
- If none of this works then move the key while rocking the steering wheel
As soon as the key turns, the steering wheel will unlock and your car will start!
Lubricate the lock
Lubrication is one of the easiest ways to smoothen any lock. Same is the case with the car. When you lubricate the lock of the car, it would be easier for the key to turn in the ignition. Here’s how you can do it:
- Get a lubricant, key and a cloth
- Spray the lubricant into the keyway of the ignition cylinder
- Wipe away any extra lubricant falling out of the keyhole
- Insert the key and turn
- If this doesn’t work, juggle the key and add more lubricant
If this method does not work then lubrication is not the solution.
Rapping the key
If you’re not familiar with the term, rapping means to shake. The reason the car key won’t turn in the ignition is because the insides of the ignition cylinder are positioned in the wrong way. Shaking the components helps them position back and start your car. For something like this, you can use a tool to create vibration that can be applied to the cylinder. The purpose of the tool is just to get the inside of the lock to move so it’s easier to shake the key. Here’s what you can do:
- Place the key in the ignition
- Use the tool of your choice and place it on the key, trying to move it
- In another case, you can try to use the tool on the ignition cylinder as well
Change the key
Another thing you can do in this situation is that you can check your key out. Sometimes the key is broken or bended which is why it won’t turn in the ignition. For something like this, you can do the following:
- Get your spare key and insert it inside the ignition. See if it works
- If it does, check your old key for bends, twists, turns or any biting on the blade of the key
- Compare both the keys thoroughly. If you notice the difference, that’s why your key wasn’t turning in the ignition.
Of course, if the new key isn’t working either, that means the issue was never the key.
Replace the key
If your key was the problem to begin with, then it’s pretty clear what you need to do. Sometimes, a broken key or a key that is a little twisted or not shaped properly can cause it not to turn in the ignition. So, the only option that you have here is to replace it with a new one. If you’re not sure how you can do that, you can always do a search for “locksmith near me” and you’ll find someone.
Replace the ignition cylinder
The next best thing you can do if the car key wasn’t the problem to begin with is to replace the ignition cylinder. In case if your car doesn’t start even when the ignition cylinder is working fine and the key has turned it in, then you need to replace your ignition switch asap.In order to buy an ignition cylinder you just need to make sure of a few things:
- Buy the cylinder of quality
- Don’t spend too much
- Get the right product for your vehicle
Call a locksmith
The final thing that you can do is to get your car keys replaced or the lock fixed from a professional locksmith. There are only a few things you can do on your own. In most cases, you would have to call someone professional with skill to help you out.