Q: Key turns in ignition tumbler but it gets stuck in the on position and won't start.

asked by on December 20, 2016

went to start the car key turned and the ignition came on but it didn't start or do anything else. The ignition is still stuck on. What could it be?
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. It is possible that the key lock in the steering column may have broke. This lock is what returns the ignition tumbler back to the rest OFF position. The lock may have broke making the key not move in the tumbler, but also the ignition actuator may have failed causing the functions to not start the engine or turn on the power. If the key will not come out of the ignition switch, I recommend removing your negative battery cable (-) from the battery to prevent the battery from going dead. Then you can try to get the key out of the ignition switch. You may have to remove the steering column and airbag to get the ignition switch out to remove the key. If you need further assistance with your key stuck in the ignition switch, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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

What others are asking

Car is not starting - 1993 Toyota Camry

Hello. From what you describe, it would appear that your vehicle's security system may have been activated when the incorrect key was inserted. You may have to reset the ignition system using the correct key in order for the vehicle...

My tail lights stay on even after car is off. The hazard lights and turning signals all work but the brake lights do not.

If the tail lights are illuminated even after you have used the on-off switch to command them off, that means the switch supplying power is fused shut and/or the circuit is being powered when it is not supposed to be...

Car lost power and now won't start.

There are many parts of your Mercedes that could be causing it to lose power and refuse to start. Unfortunately, without more information, it is difficult to provide an exact diagnosis to your C240’s issue. Provided the engine did not...

The handle on the exterior of my car has snapped off. If I replace to handle will I need to swap over the lock barrel?

Hello, thank you for writing in. Without knowing the model and year of the vehicle, it is difficult to tell what kind of replacement parts you have as true options. With that said, you are likely going to be able...

My impala will start but it will not run.

Hey there: Anytime you remove cylinder heads, intake manifold or disconnect the fuel system, it's important to clear any OBD-II error codes that may have been triggered either prior to the removal or after you started the vehicle. The issue...

Ignition key not working - 1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

It's quite likely the battery is dead, and all electrical functions are inoperative. All of the locks have mechanical actuators. A certified technician from YourMechanic can replace your battery at your home or office and get you on your way....

Car not cranking

Hello. If your engine will not crank the most common cause is the battery. The battery should be load tested to see if it is bad. If the battery is fine, then I typically test for voltage at the small...

Gas not going through new filter

If you have recently installed a new fuel filter, ensure that the filter was installed correctly. Fuel filters are only designed for the fuel to flow in one direction. If the fuel filter was installed backwards, this will prevent the...

Car got flooded

Hi. It's very likely the electronics on board need going over, I would suggest having a certified mechanic like one from YourMechanic diagnose your electrical problem, it might just be a simple fix.

Related articles

How Long Does a Refrigerant Pressure Sensor (Switch) Last?
Your Your car’s air conditioning system helps keep you and your passengers cool and comfortable during hot weather. It also plays a role in operating the front defroster. In order to operate properly, the system needs a refrigerant – just...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Headlamp Dimmer Switch
If you can't remain on high beams or switch between low and high beams, you may need to replace the headlamp dimmer switch.
How Does a Push-Button Start Work?
For the vast majority of people, cranking your car involves getting the key out, sliding it into the ignition, and turning...