What to Do When Your Key Won’t Turn in Your Ignition

It’s been a long day — you’re tired, hungry, and just want to go home — but now, your key won’t turn in your ignition. Isn’t that the worst? We understand how frustrating it can be when you’re stranded and don’t know the steps for how to get on your way.

At Locks And Unlocks, Inc, in Sun Prairie, WI, we’re sympathetic to your situation, and we’re here to help get you out of this frustrating jam! Here’s what to do when your key won’t turn in your ignition, and if you need the assistance of a locksmith, contact us today.

Try the Steering Wheel

You may not even have an issue with your key or ignition! This is why our first step is to make sure your car is in park and to check the battery. Next, we’ll want to rule out your steering wheel. Frequently, a locked steering wheel can be the culprit in situations like this as they are designed to lock once the key is removed.
Forcefully move your steering wheel from left to right as you gently turn your key. If you still don’t have any luck, rock the wheel more rapidly while you repeatedly turn the key in the ignition. Hopefully, it turns and unlocks the wheel, which will allow you to start your car. But don’t turn your key too hard — this can cause it to snap off in the ignition!

Try Lock-Friendly Lubricant

Lubricants such as WD-40 can free up the ignition cylinder. All you have to do is spray your lubricant directly into the keyway of your ignition cylinder and wipe away any leaking fluid from the keyhole with a cloth. Then, insert the key 5 or 6 times and turn it.

Happen to have a screwdriver or a similar item with a little bit of weight to it? You’ll want to lightly tap the key as you gently turn it into the ignition. You may need to repeat the process a few times. Once your car starts, don’t remove your key — this will put you right back to square one!

Try Your Key

Examine your ignition key. Is it bent, worn out, or damaged? Hopefully, you have access to a spare key somewhere to help see if your key is the problem. If it’s visibly bent, we recommend having it fixed by a professional like us at Locks And Unlocks, Inc!

Is your key showing signs of damage? Don’t wait to get it replaced! Taking care of it early can save you a great deal of hassle down the line!

If your ignition key shows other signs of damage, you’ll need to get a replacement. Many keys require electronic programming. The dealership will tell you you have to tow the vehicle to them and pay their rates OR…contact Locks and Unlocks, Inc; we’ll come out on-site to cut and program the necessary key for your car wherever it is, typically for less than the dealership.

Have a Push-To-Start Vehicle?

In the event your buttons don’t work on your fob, it’s essential to know that most manufacturers hide a key inside the fob. Check the owner’s manual ahead of time to verify how to access it), use it to unlock the door, and try using the fob itself to push the start button instead of your finger. There may be a particular compartment (again, see your owner’s manual) to put the fob in before starting.

Try Calling Locks and Unlocks, Inc!

Are you finding yourself stranded and in need of reputable automotive locksmith services near Stoughton, Madison, or Sun Prairie, WI? For a careful, professional touch, turn to Locks and Unlocks, Inc. We’ll ensure your issue is resolved, so you can get home and put your troubles behind you!