It’s common to have cars with ignition keys that fail to turn. The experience is usually very frustrating and time consuming and it can delay you in going where you want. Ignition key problems are usually brought about by the model of your car or the situation that you are in.
Most car owners have complaints against vehicle that either the key sticks in the ignition or it doesn’t turn. It was not a cost issue until the cars were under warranty but after the warranty expired, the value of the cars steadily depreciated in the used car market. Plus the owners have to shell out quite a bit to get it repaired at their own cost.
The time period while the ignition works well depends but whether it is two months or 5 years, the bare truth is that it will get jammed. You may have issues with the car key getting stuck in the ignition and only jiggling the ignition will allow you to start which is a sure sign that you need to call in a professional to get the ignition repaired or changed. But if you own a vehicle, you just cannot get away with this problem.
Many believe that the reason for the jamming and ignition switch issue is related to poor design and cheap quality manufacturing by the manufacturers. Some ignition switches are known to catch fire, thus it is best to keep in mind that any malfunction could leave you stranded anywhere.
The connection between the ignition and the car’s computer is through the Transponder microchip inbuilt within the car key. Changing the ignition switch, which is a professional and complex operation, needs an expert auto locksmith to do the installation. You can’t just take it to the dealership for getting this done due to high costs.
Why does this problem arise?
Well, the basic reason is that the ignition assembly is not of the quality that is desired and thus gets worn out very fast, leaving you with numerous glitches. Other experts believe that there is a design issue that adds to the problem. Generally this kind of a situation arises when the wafers jam the ignition and the cylinder bends, leaving then latched in a position which does not allow them to move.
Check if you are having any of these issues with your car:
-Difficulty in turning the key in the ignition
-Key is dirty after removing or turning
-Unable to remove the key
-Key locked in a position
-Completely ‘frozen’ key
Help is at hand. Expert locksmiths can do this job efficiently and pay half the cost of getting the ignition assembles replaced at a dealership. Different locksmiths handle this problem in their own way but usually fix the ignition but in extreme situations need to replace the ignition and reprogramming it to Mach the rest of the car locks and the key
Fix an Ignition Key That Doesn’t Turn
The first thing that you should do is to check the parking brake light and ensure that it’s on. This is to ensure that you don’t roll away when trying to turn the key. After ensuring that the light is on you should apply some pressure on the key and turn the steering wheel back and forth in order to find a free spot to turn the key.
Many automatic cars will prevent you from turning the key if the selector is not in the park or neutral position; therefore, you should ensure that the selector is in the right position.
If the selector is in the park position and you have tried to turn the key and it can’t, you should now clean and lubricate the lock cylinder. Here you need to spray small amounts of electrical contact cleaner in order to flush away any dirt and grime that might be in the cylinder.
This should be followed by a quick spray of silicone or a drop of graphite. When applying you should be very careful and avoid dripping the lubricant on upholstery or carpet.
You should prevent accumulation of fumes in the car by keeping the car open. To prevent fire you should avoid sparks and open flames near the lock cylinder. Once you have lubricated enough, you should try turning the key again.
If the key refuses to turn, the problem might be in the tumbler; the tumbler might have been stuck in a locked position. To correct the problem you should firmly tap the face of the lock cylinder using a tack hammer. You should tap for at least one minute.
If you do this and the key refuses to turn, you should now check the key for any problems. Here you should place the key on a very flat and solid surface then check if it lays flat or is arched up. If it looks crooked, you should strike it using a block of wood or a similar hard object.
You should avoid using a hammer, steel, or a hard metal object as you can damage the grooves of the key. If the key is now flat and it still can’t turn, you should tap it using a hammer while it’s still in the ignition. If you have tried all this and key fails to turn, you should seek the services of a reputable locksmith.