Q: Does graphite lube work well for the ignition switch cylinder? Will it still need to be replaced if it does work?

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My steering wheel was locked initially but once it was unlocked my key still wouldn't turn. So I reached out to the local mechanics. One said to replace the ignition switch however the other used the graphite lube & the ignition switch unlocked & my car crank right up. He said it happens all the time at the shop. But I wonder if its a quick fix & still needs to be replaced. This is the first time I've had any trouble & I'm scared it may happen again.
My car's transmission is unknown to me.

Graphite lube is a great trick to unstick ignitions and door locks. Sometimes, when the steering wheel locks, you will have a hard time turning the key. In the heat of the moment frustrations take over and we can get a little rough turning the key and damage can occur. I too have been a victim of this, especially when you’re running late.

If something is bound up inside the key cylinder, graphite is the first thing to try when attempting to unstick whatever is keeping the key from moving. Once free, they key should work without issue. In most cases, if they key cylinder has been freed, a replacement is not necessary. If a pattern starts to arise and this happens more, then it is likely a ignition key cylinder replacement may be needed.

For some peace of mind, try carrying some graphite lube in your glove box and in the first sign of a stuck key, gently wiggle the steering wheel and key at the same time in attempt to make the key turn successfully. If you want a second opinion on this, feel free to reach out to a certified mechanic who can diagnose your ignition system first hand and fix any issues accordingly.

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