How To Fix an Ignition Key that Won't Turn

Have you ever been in a situation where you put your key in the ignition of your vehicle, but then it won’t turn? Your first thought when this happens won’t be a good one, and it may even trigger some colorful language. This can be a frustrating predicament, and not everyone knows how to fix it. This also can happen to anyone.

It’s good to know first why the ignition key won’t turn. You didn’t do anything wrong, and your vehicle isn’t in need of any repair. The reason this happened is that your vehicle has a steering wheel locking device that is actually an anti-theft mechanism. Sometimes, the steering wheel will lock in just the wrong place, and you won’t be able to disengage the lock, and your ignition key will be stuck. Here are some steps that can help you with this problem and save you a lot of trouble and aggravation.

  1. If you have an automatic transmission in your car, make sure the car is in park.
  2. Set your parking brake so that your vehicle will not roll during this process. It sounds trivial, but it’s a great safety precaution.
  3. Turn the steering wheel in both directions. When doing this, pull hard. This should free the wheel, and your ignition key should now turn. However, there is a rare occasion when this simple process won’t work and the ignition key still won’t turn. In this case, move onto the next step.
  4. Put your foot on the brake and release the parking brake on your vehicle.
  5. Put your vehicle’s transmission in neutral and ease your foot off of the brake pedal just enough so that your vehicle rocks a little.
  6. Turn the steering wheel in both directions again, pulling hard. The ignition key should now turn.

This is handy information for anyone to know. It’s also an easy procedure to follow and simple to remember. Once you read these instructions once or twice, you will most likely remember how to fix this problem if your ignition key won’t turn. You’ll still perhaps use colorful language, as it’s still a little frustrating, but at least you will know how to fix the problem so that the ignition key will turn.


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