Question about 2000 Chrysler Town & Country

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2000 Chrysler T&C Ignition Switch Locks up

Steering wheel does not lock and key will not turn in either direction. Jigging the steering wheel does not help. I removed the plastic steering column cover and key will turn if I gently tap on the switch with a hammer. No heavy weight on key chain other than a few keys.

Does this sound like a tumble switch problem or could the problem be caused by the steering wheel locking mechanism?

Is this something that a mechanically inclined individual should attempt or leave the repair to the dealer?

Thanks, Steve

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  • timjr Nov 04, 2008

    Ignition switch locked up. It will not turn either way.

  • casttech Nov 30, 2008

    i have the same problem. the key will not turn in either direction and the steering wheel remains locked. should i try to fix or should i let a mechanic do it.


  • dutton_randy
    dutton_randy Nov 02, 2012

    I hit the key hard with a rubber mallet while turning the key and it worked for my T&C 2000 van. Great advice. Replacing at the dealership would cost $259 (includes locksmithing core to existing keys)


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I used a combination of the above on my 2003 Town and Country but I did it the easy way. I simply placed a screwdriver in the ignition where the key goes and I tapped the screwdriver with a hammer (LIGHTLY). Apparently, this freed the stuck pins and everything works fine now. I then sprayed WD40 into the ignition so it will, hopefully, not stick again.

Posted on Jul 31, 2010

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I have not taken my steering column apart yet in my 2000 T&C. I have taken my ignition out in my prior vechicle (1991 Plymouth Voyageur). On that van, the ignition was locking up because there were tiny little "stubs" that were already broken when I took it out. What happens is the stubs would enter tiny grooves when the key was pushed into the igniton slot and turned...these tiny stubs would also move and were aligned with their corresponding grooves. If broken, it locks the steering wheel as they would prevent things of being lined up properly.
I am sorry for not knowing the techical names of everything. I just learned by doing, and not asking. Not one of my best traits. (haha) but I am on here now asking questions to avoid doing things the hard way.

Posted on Feb 06, 2009

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