There are several reasons as to why your car key won’t turn in the ignition system.
Some of the reasons may be a problem associated with a specific make and model vehicle.
However, car keys not turning in the ignition system are common issues and can affect any make and model vehicle.
All you need is to get to know what the issue is and you can figure out the solution to your problem.
Below are some of the reasons why the key won’t turn in the ignition system.
1. The parking gear is not set
The parking gear must always be at neutral or at the parking gear before trying to turn the key in the ignition slot.
In automatic transmission vehicles, if the gear is not set to park the key won’t turn or come out.
To solve this issue, ensure the gear is set at ark in automatic transmission vehicles and manual transmission vehicles the gear is at neutral, which will solve the issue right away.
2. The steering wheel is locked
When you turn off your car and the steering wheel moves just a little bit, the steering wheel lock will activate instantly.
When the steering wheel locks itself, you won’t be in a position to turn the key in the ignition slot or either turn the steering wheel.
The reason behind this is that the ignition cylinder locks at the same time as the steering wheel.
To unlock both locks at the same time, you should try turning the key while at the same time moving the steering wheel from side to side.
By doing that, you should be in a position to start the engine.
3. Debris and foreign particles on the key
Most people store their car keys together with other stuff that can stick on the key.
If your key got some debris, it is highly possible that it won’t turn in the ignition system as it will be hard for the key to be in the right spot to engage the ignition cylinders pin.
To remove debris from your key or ignition slot, one can wipe the debris off or use WD40 spray which clears the debris, and you can now try again to turn your key.
4. Having a dead battery
All vehicle ignition systems depend on the power from the battery to function as there are supposed to.
If the battery dies or has low power, it will result in the ignition system locking up; thus, you can’t turn your key.
The best solution to this problem is to either jump start your battery or get a new battery that stores enough power.
Also, you can use a tack hammer to gently tap the ignition cylinder.
5. Worn out or damaged the key blade
Car keys are exposed to a lot of instances where there can wear.
Every time you put your key in the ignition slot and turn, it tends to wear the key a little bit.
This little wearing off will eventually damage your car key.
If you notice your key has tiny forms of cracks or bends, have it replaced as soon as possible before the problem worsens.
6. Faulty or damaged ignition system
If your cars ignition cylinder is on its verge of failing, it can cause the key not to turn or from coming out.
The reason being there are some rows of spring-loaded pins in the ignition system that align with the shape of your key when you insert it in the ignition slot.
If it happens that these pins are out of alignment it the slightest way possible, it can cause your key not to turn, or even you are unable to insert it in the ignition slot.
If this happens to you, contact your automotive locksmith for repairs or replace your ignition cylinder.
But how do I unlock a locked steering wheel?
When the steering wheel is locked, you can’t start your car, and also the ignition switch won’t turn.
For vehicles with start and stop buttons, they will indicate a warning light about the steering lock.
Luckily, it is easy to unlock a locked steering wheel and get the car started using the following simple steps.
• Cars with an ignition cylinder
In this type of vehicle, the steering wheel lock is connected to the ignition system directly.
To unlock the steering wheel, move your steering wheel from side to side without using much force while at the same time, you try turning your key.
This should work right away.
• Cars with a start-stop button
For cars with the start-stop button, the steering wheel lock is designed as an electronic deadbolt.
To unlock it, you should wiggle the steering wheel using significant force while at the same time tapping the start-stop button.
Also, ensure you don’t step on the brake.
These steps should unlock your steering wheel and put your ignition back in ACC mode.
If all of the above doesn’t work, you can try spraying WD40 on the ignition cylinder or try using another different key.
If the problem persists, you should visit your automotive locksmith for more checkups.