Q: Key will not turn, steering wheel isn't locked

asked by on November 17, 2016

Lately when parking key will not come out of ignition unless I wiggle shifter in park. Now key will not turn at all and my steering wheel is not locked. Tried manually shift from neutral back to park, nothing, turned steering wheel nothing. Key unlocks/locks doors and dings when door open and in ignition.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. It sounds like you are possibly having one of two different mechanical problems. The first includes the wearing out of the linkage between the transmission and the shift knob. The vehicle must read that the shifter is locked in park before the key can be removed as a safety feature. If the linkage is worn, and the vehicle is not reading it is locked in park, the key will not release. This can be corrected by having the linkage adjusted.

The second revolves around the ignition cylinder being worn and not aligning correctly. As we use the key over and over, the cylinder becomes capable of turning further than its supposed to. This may cause it to be misaligned and need to be replaced if the issues is bad enough. Due to your particular symptoms, I believe the issue is misadjusted shift linkage.

You should have the ignition issue adjusted by a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, if you do not have step by step instructions.

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