Q: Ignition switch not turning

asked by on March 22, 2016

The ignition switch will not turn. I tried three keys, but none work.

Hello! I suspect that the key tumbler is seized or broken. Some key tumblers seize up due to lack of lubrication and debris in the cylinder. Usually a little WD-40 will free the tumbler if it is seized. If lubrication doesn’t free the tumbler, you may have broken pins inside the ignition cylinder or an issue in the steering column.

To tell if the column or cylinder is at fault, the cylinder must be removed from the vehicle. If the key will turn the ignition cylinder when it is out of the column, you may have an issue in the steering column, such as a broken column shifter tube. If the key still will not turn the ignition cylinder then the cylinder itself is at fault.

I suggest having a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, look at the column and ignition to determine why the key does not turn.

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