Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Ignition won't turn, steering wheel lock not engaged.

asked by on

My key will not turn in my ignition, I have checked dozens of times to be sure it is fully in park, battery is charged, key is not obstructed, etc. The strange part is that the steering wheel lock that usually stops you from turning your wheels when the key is off, is not engaged. It normally is, but I can turn my wheel freely with the key out now. Is it possible that the steering wheel lock has broken and is permanently stopping the key from turning?

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to provide my insight. It is possible the ignition mechanism is broken inside the steering column. I suggest trying to turn over your car with a spare key, to see if the ignition turns with the different key. If you do not have an extra key, then look at the key you have to see if it shows signs of wear. If it is, then have a copy made to see if that works.

If you would like help looking at your ignition system, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs 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

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: Weird sound from air filter

Hello. You are going to want to inspect the vehicle for a vacuum leak. These can occur in several places. Secondly check all of the hoses involved with the PCV. These may be cracked or damaged. Gasses can build up...

Q: AC question - 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe

You may have a bad temperature blend door actuator for the left side vents. You should also have the complete system checked to make sure you are not low on refrigerant since the left side will be warmer than the...

Q: Instrument cluster, not starting, unknown driver

If you have a second key, try using that one and see if the same situation occurs. Also try moving the drivers seat to a different position. If the problem does not happen with the second key, then you have...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...