Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car won't start

asked by on

My son left the key in the car overnight and of course it started draining the battery. In the night, some weird noises awakened him and lights were flashing outside his window - it was the car. He took the key out. Today we charged the battery to full, but the car refuses to start and the key won't turn. What has happened and why won't the key turn?

Try to move the steering wheel back and forth while turning the key. You may have bound up the steering lock when the vehicle was parked. If the key turns okay now, then the vehicle should start. If the steering still will not turn then you may have damaged the steering column or ignition key in some way.

If you have a second key, try it to see if it works. Then close all doors and lock the vehicle, then unlock it with the remote to disable the alarm.

If this still does not work then you may have damaged the antitheft device or module by leaving the key in overnight. The dealer will have the specialized scanner necessary to access the system and reprogram it as needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Air conditioning smells bad when car enables autostop feature

Your vehicle is new enough that I couldn't find much information on the air conditioning system. I'm guessing your vehicle probably has a dual scroll AC compressor in which one scroll is driven off the engine and the other is...

Q: Is there some trick to taking the coil pack off a spark plug?

Hey there. The coil pack is not connected directly to the spark plug. There should be a spark plug wire running from the coil pack to the spark plug with a small 'boot' on the end of the wire that...

Q: Does my 2001 Mercedes need Motor mounts? How many motor mounts are there?

Your car has two motor mounts in the front and one transmission mount at the rear. The Front motor mounts soak up most of the engine vibration and last for about 10 or 12 years before they start to get...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.