My Car’s Ignition Won’t Turn – What Do I Do?

First of all, don’t panic. This problem is not as uncommon as you believe. The first reaction many folks have when their car key suddenly refuses to budge in the keyhole is to panic, particularly if they are in a rush or need to be somewhere fast. We got some great information from a few locksmith pros in Colorado. They also provide ignition switch services in Highlands Ranch, CO if you are in need of services ever in that area.

car key in ignition wont turnIf you are like most folks, daily life involves their car. When something goes awry, such as when the ignition won’t turn, this can cause feelings of extreme helplessness and just not knowing what to do at the moment. The issue of a key not turning in your car’s ignition is actually not as unusual as you would think. Needless to say, this problem can be both time consuming and frustrating. When your key won’t turn in the ignition, there are many different reasons this is the case. Before you throw up your hands and walk away from your car, it pays to know what to do before you go ahead and dial road side assistance frantically.

Parking Brake

parking breakThe very first thing to check before actually trying anything else is to find out if you left your brake for parking on. The reason for this is because you might be too focused on getting your key to turn that you risk your car rolling away in the process.


car key imageCheck your car key. Does it lie completely flat? If it looks like it ‘curled,’ find a hard object or a wooden block to ‘hammer your key into shape.’ Do not use a hard metal steel hammer as keys are made of softer metals. Gently straighten your key using the wooden block and once it looks flatter than it originally was, you can try turning your key once more.


After you put your car in brake, check to see if the selector of your automatic car transmission happens to be in ā€œPā€ or park. Many modern cars are made in such a way that if your gear is not in either Neutral or Park, the key won’t turn. Folks who are in a rush or tired after work have a tendency to overlook this tiny detail.

Jiggling the Steering Wheel

Next, try turning your car’s steering wheel backwards and forwards as you attempt to turn the key simultaneously. What this does is it helps find your key a free spot to turn. Many times, modern cards end up with non-turning keys due to the column lock of the steering wheel being in a bind. In this scenario, exert force against the mechanism in the ignition and keep doing this to the point that you feel the key turn. Another term for this is ‘jiggling the steering wheel.’

Clean the Lock

When you jiggle the steering wheel and this doesn’t work, the next thing you should try is to lubricate and clean the lock’s cylinder. Spray liberal amounts of contact cleaner made for car parts to clear your keyhole of grime and dirt. Ensure that this does not drip on the carpet or car upholstery. To prevent fumes from accumulating, keep the car’s door open.

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