Car ignition issues are stressful and inconvenient, especially when they strike out of the blue. You don’t want to be helpless, so car locksmith experts suggest it’s best to be ready with a few basic solutions that can quickly get you back on the road. When your car’s ignition fails, here are a few tricks you can try.
What to Do When Your Car Ignition Won’t Work?
Turn the steering wheel right and left
A locked steering wheel is the most common cause of a car key that won’t turn. The steering wheel locks after removing the key from the ignition cylinder. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the give and hold it in place, then turn the key to the accessory position. If nothing happens, turn or jiggle the key while rocking the steering wheel. The steering wheel should unlock, and your car should start as soon as you turn the key. If not, you may be dealing with a more serious problem.
Lubricate the ignition cylinder’s keyway
A jammed keyway in the ignition cylinder is another common reason why a car key won’t turn in the ignition. Sometimes, simply lubricating it with a silicon or graphite-based lubricant will fix the issue. Most automobile locksmith professionals don’t suggest using WD40 on ignition cylinders, as such lubricants tend to collect dust, grime, and particulates over time. But if you’re going to replace the ignition cylinder after you turn the key successfully, you can go ahead with WD40. Lubrication isn’t the solution if the key won’t turn in the ignition after minutes of trying.
Rap the key to shake internal components
You can try shaking the ignition cylinder’s internal components briefly into positions just in time to turn the key properly by rapping the key. Insert your car key into the ignition, then with the same force, you would use to knock silently on a door, hit the key with a hammer or another tool to create a vibrating effect. If that doesn’t work, try tapping the tool on the ignition cylinder. Just be careful how much force you use, as your key or the ignition could break in this process.
Try using a spare car key
Sometimes, when the ignition key doesn’t turn, the issue is with the key you’re using. Examine the ridges and biting on the key’s blade for signs of wear. Check the key for kinks, bends, and breaks. Perhaps your car key is broken or worn out, and a working spare car key may be all you need. If you have no spare key, you can call an emergency auto locksmith to make a new key for you. It’s not difficult to fix the key. But if the problem isn’t with it, then probably the problem lies with the electronics within the ignition cylinder.
Replace the ignition cylinder
If you tested two keys and determined the key isn’t the issue, a faulty ignition cylinder could be the cause of your key not turning in the ignition. By this, we don’t mean you have to replace the entire ignition system. With the right ignition cylinder for the make and model of your car, replacing the ignition cylinder is simple enough to do on your own. If the key still doesn’t turn in the ignition, you may have to disassemble the steering column, and this will no longer be a straightforward fix.
When all else fails, there may be no other option but to call for an emergency locksmith service. Kardo Locksmith is a respected auto locksmith Los Angeles service provider with over a decade of experience. We offer a wide range of services, including car key duplication and ignition cylinder replacement. Call us today for whatever locksmith service you need.