What to Do When Your Car Key Won’t Turn In Ignition

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Keyed ignitions are becoming increasingly rare as cars move towards keyless ignitions such as push-to-start. Although ignition lock failure is not as common as in the past, it can still happen. It usually occurs when you insert the key and find that the ignition will not turn. Various things can cause this. But in older vehicles, it is usually due to a mechanical issue with the lock cylinder or the ignition switch. At Universal Best Locksmith, we understand that for those who still have a keyed system, it is important to know what to do in case of a failure. Here is what you need to know.

What to Do When Your Car Key Does Not Turn In Ignition

Wiggle the steering wheel back and forth

One of the most typical reasons why a car key will not turn is a locked steering wheel. It happens when you move your steering wheel after removing your key from its ignition cylinder. One approach to get around this problem is to try turning the key while gripping the steering wheel in one hand, then jiggle it back and forth. This should quickly unlock the steering wheel and allow your car to start.

Remember that when freeing up your steering wheel, do not yank or pull on the steering wheel when you feel resistance, as this can snap the key off in the ignition. Instead, try gently rocking it back and forth until it loosens up.

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Check that your car is in park or neutral gear

You may only be able to turn the key if your car is in park or neutral gear. For this reason, checking whether your car is in park or neutral before attempting to turn the key is important. Sometimes even when the car is in park, the shifter needs to be manipulated a bit to ensure it is fully engaged in that gear. Once you have confirmed that your car is indeed in park or neutral, try turning the key again.

Flatten the key if it is bent or worn out

Bent or worn-out keys may need to line up properly in the ignition, which makes it hard to start the car. Use a rubber or wood hammer to straighten out a bent key gently. Then, try starting the car again. If it does not do the trick, use a spare key if you have one. You can have a trusted locksmith make a new copy if no spare key is available. Make sure to provide them with your vehicle identification number (VIN).

Inspect the key cylinder for any obstructions

Often, the keys can become gummed up or stuck due to internal tumblers becoming clogged. To ensure your key cylinder is unobstructed, use a flashlight to inspect it. You may see metal debris inside the key cylinder. To fix this, use WD-40 or a similar penetrating lubricant. Then, attach the small straw with the can to the nozzle and shoot a small amount of lubricant directly into the keyhole. Next, insert and remove the key for about 30 seconds to work the lubricant into the tumblers. Finally, try again to see if the key will turn.

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You can take a few actions to fix a key that does not spin in your ignition. Some of these fixes may be simple, while others may be a bit more complicated. So pay attention to anything that would make the ignition repair more difficult.


At Universal Best Locksmith, we know that car locksmith services are vital for keeping your vehicles safe. We offer top-quality automotive locksmith services, including car key replacement, key fob programming, and ignition repair. In addition, we offer 24-hour locksmith services, so you can always rely on us to get the job done right. So why wait? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Things to Remember When Buying Car Key Replacement Online

Do you need a car key replacement? Car keys are an essential part of people’s lives. Without them, we would not be able to get around. But how do you get a key fob replacement if yours break or get lost? One of many car owners’ most preferred and convenient methods is buying their car keys online. Like many products, buying keys, fobs, and proxy keys online can seem like a good way to save money.

Car owners know and would agree that replacing their car keys is certainly not easy. It requires much technical knowledge and honing of expertise that only locksmiths and car dealers have. Ordering replacement auto keys online, however, presents an entirely different challenge. This article will help you understand what going online means when buying replacement car keys.

Things to Remember When Buying Car Key Replacement Online

Of course, you would rather buy a key or remote for your vehicle in person. After all, you would want to see the product and receive assistance from trained specialists. Must you buy a car key replacement for your vehicle online? Then there are things we recommend keeping in mind while searching.

Look for a Car Key Replacement Vendor That Is a Member of an Association or Group

Google or Bing are not the best places to look for an online vendor of car keys. Instead, locate one from three of the most trustworthy membership groups for locksmiths in North America. They are FindALocksmith.com, Keypro.com, and PopALock.com. The Associated Locksmiths of America vet these websites to ensure their professional-grade content and compatibility with your needs.

The Bulk of the Cost Comes Not From the Car Key Replacement Itself

The cost of a new key largely comes from the decoding, cutting, and programming the key to match your vehicle. It is not the key itself that is expensive. However, these services are necessary due to modern vehicles having these features.

Online Keys Might Not Be Warrantied

It is important to know that a warranty may not cover online keys. Therefore, it is best to find a qualified professional to match the key to your vehicle.

Internet Keys Are Often From Aftermarket Sources

You can find aftermarket keys easily online. However, it is important to know that they often use lower-quality materials and construction methods. No wonder such poor quality can lead to electronic components failing sooner.

What Does Buying Car Key Replacement Online Entail

A quick online search would yield a range of products from companies. That includes transponder copies, encoded key fobs, smartphone apps, and actual car key replacements. Unfortunately, it is difficult for shoppers to find the right replacement for their keys without speaking to a car locksmith.

So before you begin your purchase online, determine first the type of key that needs replacing. Are you looking for a transponder key replacement, fob replacement, proximity key, or maybe something else altogether? Auto keys are designed to work only with a specific car. So it can be challenging to replace a car key if its duplicate or FCC ID is not present. In addition, many online platforms sell key blanks because it is more difficult to replace a cut key.

Ordering your car keys online also means that you cannot avoid having to wait for the key to be delivered. It will only work for you if you have the luxury of waiting. The time it takes to deliver the key varies depending on your location. If you give the wrong address, you may need to wait a day or two for your order to arrive.

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If you have already purchased an online key and are seeking a locksmith to cut and program the key or remote for you, turn to us at Universal Best Locksmith. We offer expert and reliable auto locksmith services, so you can rest assured that your car key replacement needs are in good hands. With our 24-hour locksmith services available, you can always count on us in a pinch. Plus, our prices are unbeatable. So why wait? Contact us today at (323) 844-0381 and see what we can do for you!