Question about 1996 Geo Metro

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Key won't turn ignition in 1996 Geo Metro

Wheel is locked, but key still won't turn when turning the wheel. Was working just fine, then suddenly not. Weather has suddenly turned cold, so have tried warming ignition with a hairdryer, warming the key before inserting, applying Tri-Flow lubricant. Had a new key made about a year ago...could shavings buildup be blocking tumblers? Somehow I'm thinking the steering wheel lock might be interfering. Is there a way to override the anti-theft steering wheel lock?

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  • Siggy Simon Oct 13, 2008

    Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! Now that I can start it, do I likely need to have the pin serviced for lubrication or something? Or is this just a symptom of old age?

  • Siggy Simon Oct 15, 2008

    Thanks again!

  • mtbsalv Nov 13, 2008

    I have the same problem on a 1995 geo what did you do to fix it?



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The steering lock consists of a hardened pin and it may not be releasing any more although it shouldn't interfere with the turning of your key, just your steering unless the Geo is done differently.
If it was mine, I would get a little rough with it and turn the steering wheel hard from left to right while trying to turn the ignition key. 
Even disassembly is not easy since the lock area is supposed to be secure so it cannot be easily defeated.

Posted on Oct 12, 2008

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Oct 13, 2008

    It could be only a matter of lubrication but since I don't know the details of how that area is constructed, I'm afraid I can't tell you how to lubricate it.
    That assembly is typically made of cast metal (iron or aluminum) and is mounted around the steering column and fastened with bolts that have heads that twist off so they cannot be easily removed. Replacing that assembly involves drilling out those security bolts so it is so protected, I'm not sure it has any entry points for lube.
    To examine it normally requires removing a top and bottom shell of plastic trim that conceals that area and possibly even the steering wheel to access anything.

    If you want to have some insight into your car before turning it over to a garage or deciding if it something you can handle yourself, I always recommend that everyone buy the aftermarket service manual for their vehicle.
    It will give you an idea of how much a repair might cost in advance and can protect you from unscrupulous service shops.

    They range in price from ~$17 - $30 US and can be had at nearly any auto parts store or bought on line.
    I personally prefer Haynes publications:

    Although Haynes belongs to Chilton, they often have separate manuals:

    In your case, the Haynes is a few dollars less than the Chilton version and I have found Haynes to be the better publication and is even cheaper than its Chilton counterpart for your car.



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I have a 92 geo metro same thing happened to me i thought somthing was wrong with the key so i sprayed wd40 in the key how and it worked!!! smoothly when i turned the key

Posted on Mar 02, 2009


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