Q: The car has trouble cranking unless i push the key in hard and wiggle it.

asked by on

The car used to take 20 times of turning the key to crank. I then figured out that pushing the key in towards the wheel fairly hard and/or wiggling it will get it to crank. When it does crank it turns over and starts fine. I believe it's a problem with the contacts in the ignition system or something. I already tried replacing the ignition switch (the old one's holes did not look lined up if that helps) which fixed the problem for 4 days and then it began doing the same thing. I now believe it could be the actuator pin i could replace but I have no experience with cars so I'm not sure if that's it. What would you expect the problem to be?

My car has 66009 miles.

It looks like you are in the right area. Replacing the ignition switch temporarily helping your difficulty starting the car leads me to believe your ignition lock cylinder may be worn. The lock cylinder - and key - will wear out over time simply from inserting and removing the key.

When you mentioned that it would work after "pushing the key towards the wheel and wiggling it", this seems to indicate by doing that wiggle, you’re moving the internals of the ignition lock cylinder enough to get those worn components to make proper contact within the ignition switch. New ignition lock cylinders usually come with a new key as well. This may solve the problem.

However, I’d suggest getting this looked at by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to narrow down the variables. They will be able to diagnose your hard start issue and fix it accordingly.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. The car has trouble cranking unless i push the key in hard and wiggle it.

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: What does the key out indicator mean?

The key out indicator is located on your instrument panel, and operates with your smart key. When your ignition is in the ACC or ON position, and a door is open, the car will search for a smart key. If...

Q: When turning off car, windows open, car unlocks, headlights turn on

The totally integrated power module on these cars have been known to cause various intermittent problems. Sometimes these modules are reprogrammed to fix issues with them and other times the module has to be replaced. You can try to have...

Q: I have a 2000 ford escort. It won't go past 45 and cuts off when I come to a shop. Now when I place in gear it cuts off as well.

Typically a mechanic will apply a real time automotive scanner to look at actual engine operating parameters. Your issue could be as simple as a failing fuel pump, or ignition coil, although there are a couple key sensors that can...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.