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Q: Won' start or shift

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My heater quit working and stopped blowing warm air. My check engine light came on while I was driving, and then my rpms went up. My engine feels and sounds like somebody put my car into neutral while I’m driving! I wonder if it’s going into overdrive. It feels like my engine is going to blow up when I shift to the right. I need to always pull over and turn off the car. When I drive 30 miles it takes me about an hour to get there, because I have to pull over and turn off the car many times on the way to my destination. Then when I start my car the key doesn’t want to turn and gets stuck in the ignition. I can’t shift the car while trying to start it and the key won’t turn. I need to move my car which is sitting on the street. I want to put it into neutral, so I can push it, but I can’t even to that. Do you have any idea what is wrong? How can I fix this? Thank you from a very frustrated driver.

Hello. You have a wide variety of problems there. The ignition key not turning could be due to a faulty ignition cylinder. If you are having trouble getting the car in gear and the engine will just revs up when you try to get it to move then there may be an issue such as low transmission fluid or a faulty is transmission shift solenoid.

The first thing that I would recommend checking is the code that is causing the Check Engine Light. The code present could be related to the engine just revving up or heater not blowing. If the heater is not blowing warm there may be an issue with the thermostat or a flow restriction within the coolant system.

I recommend that you have a technician diagnose the code for the Check Engine Light, inspect your ignition cylinder to see if it is causing your key to become seized, and also inspect the transmission for fluid starvation or contamination. Since you can’t start the car, you may benefit from a mobile automotive repair service such as YourMechanic. They will likely be able to get a technician out there to help get your car back moving today!

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