Have you ever been in a situation where your car key won’t turn in the ignition and you are stuck, unable to start your car? It can be one of the most frustrating moments when it comes to owning a vehicle. Luckily, there is a solution! In this article, we’ll provide 7 simple solutions that will help fix a car key that won’t turn in the ignition. No need for expensive repairs or replacements – these tips are all do-it-yourself ways to get back on the road quickly and easily.

Are you ready? Let’s dive into our list of helpful suggestions so you don’t have to worry about being stranded with an uncooperative key again. First, let’s discuss why keys might not turn in the first place: dirt and debris build up around the ignition switch over time which can cause sticking and jamming issues. Also, if your lock cylinder isn’t well lubricated it can lead to difficulty turning your key as well. Now onto our 7 simple solutions…

In order to make sure more drivers don’t experience any unexpected difficulties due to their car keys, read on to find out some easy fixes you can use yourself. Whether you’re dealing with minor problems or major ones, these quick tips should set things right without needing professional assistance.

Turn The Steering Wheel

If your car key won’t turn in the ignition, one of the simplest solutions is to try turning the steering wheel. This method works especially if you have a newer model vehicle with power steering. You should start by turning the key to the “on” position without trying to crank the engine. Then, gently move the steering wheel back and forth while still keeping pressure on the key. If done correctly, this action will help unlock any stuck parts which may be preventing it from turning all the way. If after several attempts you find that turning the steering wheel isn’t helping, then it’s time to consider other options such as lubricating or replacing components within your car’s ignition system.

Lubricate The Ignition Lock

Once you’ve tried turning the steering wheel, it may be time to lubricate the ignition lock. Lubricating this part of your car can help reduce friction and allow the key to turn more easily when inserted into the ignition. Start by finding a good quality lubricant for cars; WD-40 or graphite powder are both popular choices. Make sure that whatever type of lubricant you choose is compatible with your specific vehicle model for best results. Then, spray or apply the lubricant directly onto the keyhole on the side of the ignition. Gently insert and remove the car key several times while rotating it in order to evenly distribute the lube inside of the lock cylinder. Test out if this has worked by inserting and turning your car key again; hopefully, it will now move freely! Remember to check regularly if any additional lubrication is needed as dirt and grime can build up quickly over time.

Rapping The Key In The Ignition

If rapping the key doesn’t work, try wiggling it gently. This may help to break any dirt or debris that’s preventing the tumbler from turning. If this still doesn’t do the trick, remove the key and check for signs of wear on both the key and ignition cylinder. These can be indicative of a worn out lock mechanism which will need to be replaced.

Simply replacing the cylinder should fix the problem – but if not, you may need to replace other components in order to get your car running again. It’s best to consult an experienced mechanic for further advice as they will be able to accurately diagnose and repair any underlying issues with your vehicle quickly and efficiently.

Fix The Ignition Key

The first step in fixing a car key that won’t turn in the ignition is to lubricate the lock cylinder with graphite powder. Graphite powder can be found at any automotive store, and it will help free up sticky locks. Simply insert the nozzle of the bottle into the keyhole and spray some inside. Then, take a cotton swab or paper towel to spread it around evenly. If you have an old-fashioned metal key, you may also want to use WD40 or similar product instead of graphite powder for better results.

If these methods don’t work, then try removing the key from the ignition and inserting it again several times until it turns freely without excessive resistance. Additionally, if your vehicle has an antitheft system, make sure its switch is turned off before trying this method so as not to activate it inadvertently. Hopefully one of these simple solutions will fix your problem easily and quickly!

Replace The Ignition Key

If the simple solutions to fix a car key that won’t turn in the ignition do not work, then it may be time to replace the ignition key. A qualified automotive locksmith can help with this process. They will cut a new key and program it so that it works with your particular vehicle’s computer system. This process is usually quick and easy, but more expensive than replacing only the tumbler or cylinder of your existing lock. If you are unsure how to proceed, ask an experienced mechanic for advice on which option is best for your specific situation. Replacing your entire ignition system might also be necessary if corrosion has caused irreparable damage to the internal components.

Replace The Ignition Cylinder

Replacing the ignition cylinder is a more involved fix for car keys that won’t turn in the ignition. First, you’ll need to remove the steering wheel column cover and then unscrew the bolts holding your ignition switch in place. Once this is done, pop out the old switch and insert a new one. Make sure it locks into place properly before moving on.

After installing the new part, attach all of the components back together again. Be sure to securely fasten everything with screws so that nothing comes apart while driving. Finally, test out your new ignition by inserting your key and turning it; if it works as expected, job’s done!

Call A Locksmith

If your car key won’t turn in the ignition, one option to consider is calling a locksmith. A professional locksmith will be able to diagnose and repair the issue quickly and effectively. They may even be able to provide you with a new or replacement set of keys for your vehicle. You should make sure that your chosen locksmith has experience working on cars specifically so they know exactly what needs to be done.

Once you have found an experienced locksmith, they can come out to take a look at your car’s ignition system and assess whether it needs any repairs or replacements. Depending on the situation, they may need to replace some parts of the ignition such as the tumblers inside the lock cylinder. If this is necessary, they can usually do this right then and there while you wait. After this work is complete, they should test all of their repairs before handing back over control of your car keys to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Locksmith Replace My Ignition Key?

Replacing an ignition key can be a costly endeavor, and it’s important to understand the costs associated with having a locksmith replace your car key. Depending on factors like where you live and what type of brand of vehicle you have, the cost of replacing an ignition key can vary greatly.

It is generally cheaper if the locksmith has access to the same make and model as your car; however, this isn’t always possible. If they don’t have access to that specific make and model, then they may need to cut and code your new key from scratch which will add additional time and money. Additionally, some types of vehicles require specialized tools for cutting keys so these extra expenses should also be taken into consideration when pricing out your options.

When considering replacing your ignition key, it is important to research local locksmiths in order to find one who is familiar with your specific type of vehicle and who can provide you with a reasonable price estimate. Be sure to ask any questions or concerns you might have before making a decision about which professional to use for the job.

What Type Of Lubricant Do I Need For The Ignition Lock?

When a car key won’t turn in the ignition, it can be caused by several different issues. One issue may be that the lock is dry and needs lubrication to operate properly. In this case, it’s important to know what type of lubricant should be used for the car’s specific make and model.

The manufacturer will usually recommend an appropriate type of lubricant depending on how old the car is. Generally speaking, silicone spray or graphite powder are considered two of the most effective options when lubricating an ignition lock. Silicone spray provides a thin coating of lubrication while graphite powder helps fill any gaps between metal components inside the ignition lock assembly. Both products are inexpensive and easy to find at your local auto parts store.

It’s also important to avoid using WD-40 as a lubricant since its formula contains chemicals that can corrode metal over time. If you’re unsure which product is best for your vehicle, ask a professional mechanic or locksmith for guidance before applying any kind of lube to your ignition lock cylinder. Taking these steps could help ensure that your car key turns easily in the future!

Is It Possible To Repair The Ignition Key Itself?

When a car key won’t turn in the ignition, it can be both frustrating and concerning. It’s natural to wonder if the key itself is repairable. The answer depends on what type of key you have. If your key has a transponder chip or requires programming, then it may not be possible to repair it yourself; however, if your ignition key is simply worn down from use over time, there are some steps you can take to fix it yourself.

First off, try cleaning the key with an abrasive cloth or steel wool. This might remove any dirt that has built up around the edges of the key and make it easier for the lock cylinder inside the ignition switch to recognize it. Additionally, lubricating the area where the key meets the lock cylinder can also help reduce friction and allow for smoother operation. Just remember to only use a graphite-based lubricant so as not to damage either component.

Overall, giving your car key a thorough clean and lube job could save you time and money by eliminating unnecessary repairs or replacements of components related to ignition failure due to wear and tear on keys over time. Taking these simple DIY solutions into consideration when dealing with car keys that don’t turn in their locks will hopefully get you back on track quickly and safely!

What Is The Difference Between An Ignition Key And An Ignition Cylinder?

An ignition key and an ignition cylinder are two related yet distinct parts of a car’s starter system. While their purpose is the same, they serve different roles in allowing for a vehicle to start. The key itself is inserted into the cylinder, which then allows electricity to flow through it that ultimately enables the engine to start.

The ignition key is more visible than the cylinder since it must be manipulated by the driver while starting the car. It contains grooves and ridges that allow it to fit perfectly into its corresponding cylinder so that when turned, will engage the electrical circuit inside. On the other hand, the ignition cylinder is located within the dashboard or steering column with only part of it accessible from outside. This part can have several pins that must match up with those on your specific key before turning properly.

Both components work together to provide power necessary for starting a car but if either one fails due to wear or damage, you may find yourself without being able to turn on your car’s engine. Therefore, understanding how both components interact and what role each plays in getting your car running can help diagnose any issues you might experience in this area.

Is It Safe To Rap The Key In The Ignition?

When it comes to car keys, one of the most common issues is when they won’t turn in the ignition. Many people may ask if it’s safe to rap the key in the ignition as a way to fix this problem? The answer isn’t clear cut and depends on several factors.

First off, it really depends on what type of car you have – different makes and models require specific types of keys. If your vehicle has an old-style ignition key, then rapping or tapping might help loosen any dirt or debris that’s preventing it from turning properly. However, newer vehicles use electronic ignitions with smart keys which are more delicate and can be easily damaged by too much force. In these cases, gently wiggling the key could be enough to get it moving again without needing to resort to harsher measures like rapping or tapping.

It’s also important to consider how far you need to push for the key to move – if you find yourself having difficulty inserting or removing the key even after trying some gentle taps, then taking your vehicle into a mechanic would likely be your best bet at getting back on track safely.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand the difference between an ignition key and an ignition cylinder when dealing with a car key that won’t turn in the ignition. If a locksmith is needed to replace your ignition key, be sure to ask how much they charge. You can also try lubricating the lock and see if that helps. If all else fails, you may need to repair or even replace the ignition key itself. However, it’s best not to rap the key as this could cause further damage.

When faced with problems like these, it’s always best to approach them carefully so as not to make matters worse. With some simple solutions and understanding of what needs to be done, fixing a car key that won’t turn in the ignition doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these steps, you should be able to quickly get back on the road again without any major stress or expense!

If you’re still having trouble getting your car started after trying these tips, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help – I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to assist you!


Rate our post