For those of us who may not be as car savvy as others, when something like your car key locking up and not being able to turn to start your car ignition, can cause a minor amount of panic to set in. If you have no idea what is happening, it can be very stressful. Your mind can tend to go immediately to the worst case scenario, that your car is broken.
Don’t panic. This can be a very common occurrence, your wheel is locked. This can happen if the steering wheel has been moved since you last took your key out of the ignition. To unlock it, move the steering wheel from side to side while turning the key simultaneously. As soon as the key can turn, the wheel will unlock.
If the ignition cylinder is still stuck, then try using a dry lubricant in the lock. You want something that won’t collect dust or grime over time. Spray the lubricant into the keyway of the ignition, wipe off any excess on the outside, then insert the key a few times so the lubricant can work into the mechanism, then turn the key. Try jiggling it if the key doesn’t turn right away.
If you’re still not able to get the key to turn, it might be a different issue. Perhaps the key is damaged. Try using a spare key to see if it works. If it does, there might be a twist or bend or worn teeth on the original key that is causing it not to turn. So replacing the broken key is an easy option. Locksmiths or dealerships can make a copy of your spare key that works, or if you don’t have a second key, they can make a copy of the damaged key (that will now work). Calling a locksmith can be a cheaper option than a dealership, so check with a good locksmithing company first.
If all else fails, the problem may lie in your ignition cylinder and may need a replacement. You can try to fumble through figuring out how to fix this on your own, or just save yourself a lot of time and frustration and call a locksmith. Again, you can call your dealership, but you’ll probably find that a locksmith is a more economical option.
Once you’ve figured out where the problem lies, it can be an easy fix. Whether you do it on your own or by calling a locksmith. Either way, never fear, you’ll soon be on your way again.
We offer automotive, commercial and residential locksmith services in the Twin Cities.