Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The ignition is locked up and the car cannot be started

asked by on

The ignition on my car locked up. It happened suddenly for the first time. I didn't have any similar issues before. No matter how much I move the key when I put it into the ignition, it wouldn't turn. I tried to move the steering wheel but nothing happens. The ignition is locked. I tried using another factory key but it didn't help. Do you have any idea why this happened and how to fix it? Thanks.

A: Most modern vehicles now have small moving ...

Most modern vehicles now have small moving parts inside the ignition switch of the vehicle. If any of these small moving parts become misaligned, this could cause the ignition switch to lock up. When this issue occurs, the most common repair would be to replace the ignition switch. It is best to use an OEM ignition switch especially for vehicles that have a chip in the key. The new ignition switch will also come with a new ignition key.

For best results, ensure that an inspection of your key not turning is performed by an experienced technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: My speedometer does not work and my fuel guage is telling that I'm getting 2.3 mpg.

Hi there: In most cases, the issues with the speedometer and fuel gauge are related; since they receive data and input from similar sources. It could be a problem with an electrical relay from the ECU to the speedometer, a...

Q: Car/ steering wheel shakes/ rattles only when breaking.

It sounds like you have warped brake rotors which should probably be replaced. Sometimes you can have them machined, but once they get warped it makes much more sense to replace them. If the brakes are less than 50% wear,...

Q: Steering full lock problem 2007 Kia Sorrento

Hi there- from your symptoms, I believe you have a problem with the steering rack. The pinion drive gear, bearings or the rack itself has become damaged. I recommend a steering inspection by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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 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...