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. If you are having the problem here are tips on how to fix it:
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.