Question about 1990 Toyota Celica

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Celica ignition removal

The key would not turn in my 1990 celica, and someone told me to hammer a screwdriver into the tumblers to turn it like that. I tried this and it turned a couple times and froze up. I need to know how to remove the ignition cylinder so that I can replace it. I do not notice any visible bolts to remove and it will not come out with plyers. There is only a hole on the top of the column with a weird screw inside that will not push down. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  • leifschelin Nov 07, 2008

    Thank you so much. I got the bottom of the steering column off so that the column holding ignition is completely exposed. Dont have a dremel too handy, but I can figure something out if you tell me what to do next. Thanks again.

  • leifschelin Nov 07, 2008

    Ok. Thank you so much for your help so far. I located the "broken off bolts" and unscrewed them untul they fell back inside, but the ignition still would not come out. I want to get the part out that physically turns so that I can just turn it to start the car by turning it until I can afford a new ignition or a decent car. It is kinda messed up in there from the dumb screwdriver idea, so it is not going to turn without getting it out an messing with it. The ignition still seems to be attached to something inside the column. The only thing I have noticed is some sort of screw similar to the broken off bolts located on the top of the column half way down, and some kind of loose clip on the top of the front of the column which will not come out. Any further thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  • leifschelin Nov 07, 2008

    I almost got it now. I guess I have not figured out how to disengage the locking pin. I removed anything that had been attached to the front part and pried out some of the inside. The part that held the tumbler and the broken off bolt will not budge, however, prevemnting me from pulling it out and getting to said wires and swich. The only thing left which seems like it could be holding it on is the pin in the hole half way down the top of the column that I cannot figure out how to remove. Tried turning the wheel as I pulled on the ignition and it did not help. FYI, the steering is locked. Thanks again.

  • leifschelin Nov 08, 2008

    Im fairly certain that the pin in the top of the ignition column is what is holding it in. Just to clarify, the ignition is not attached to the steering wheel, it is locked inside a metal cylinder to the right of the steering wheel, if there was confusion. The pin is like a headless bolt set down in the hole on the top. It has grooves on the side so that I can turn it by pushing against the sides and the inside with a screwdriver, but it will not release after turning all the way either direction. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • Anonymous Dec 03, 2008

    i cant turn my key to my toyota celica gt 1990..even on the left and right door. can u give me some advice how to fix it. or is there any way i can buy a new key . i was thinking maybe my key is the problem.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    I can help you out. First, go to the car, and remove the lower panel under the steering column. Take it off completely, and have a Dremel Moto-tool handy. Post me back for the rest of the fix.



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OK. Look directly under the steering column. You will see the silver ignition lock assembly, with a band that covers the round column housing. Holding the band onto the lock assembly, do you see something that resembles two "broken off" bolts? This is where the Dremel comes in handy. What you need to do is to score, scratch, chisel, anything, a slot that you can put a screwdriver into. The bolts are not tight, the heads break off to prevent people from removing them to rip off the ignition/steal the car. After getting the slot cut, use a screwdrive to rotate the bolts out. I would guess that a drill and an "easy-out" would work, but, I have never tried it. The Moto-Tool works great.
After you get the bolts out, the lock falls off of the column. Hope this helps, and thanks for choosing FixYA. The graciousness of a FIxYa rating on my solution would be greatly appreciated.

Posted on Nov 07, 2008

  • Toyota Ed Nov 07, 2008

    Thanks for the FixYa! Greatly appreciated!

  • Toyota Ed Nov 07, 2008

    What is happening is the locking pin is stuck in the steering column. Take the band completely off, and pull the ignition assembly away from the column. There is nothing on the lock that holds it, other thna the 2 broken-off bolts. Turn the steering wheel whilst you are pulling on the lock assembly. Then, once you have the lock completely off, remove the 2 phillips screws at the wired end of the lock, and remove the plastic switch. You can start the car with a screwdriver inside the slot on this switch.


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My key would not turn to my celica gt 1990.. i cant even unlock on the right and left door of my car. can u give some advice how to fix it, or is there any way that i can buy a new key . i was thinking maybe my key is the problem. thank u

Posted on Dec 03, 2008


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