Re: 1998 Chrysler Cirrus Steering Wheel has locked up
My 1999 Cirrus had the same problem. The key went in and wouldn't turn.
I had a mobile vehicle locksmith come by, take the ignition cylinder
out in under 5 minutes, replace the wafers (tumblers) and then replace
the cylinder in a few minutes. If you use a key cut to original
specifications (which a locksmith could easily figure out from the old
key and recut), rather than a copy of a copy with rounded instead of
jagged edges on the key, it may just work for you. That is what the
locksmith told me. He quickly cut me 2 keys. However, the ignition
cylinder was so worn that he then replaced the
wafers (tumblers). He only charged me $40.
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Try moving the steering wheel left and right as you turn the key - sometimes the steering lock will stick if there is pressure from the wheel. If this doesn't do it, try spraying or pouring some dry graphite into the lock cylinder ( the hole for the key) slide the key in and out of the lock quickly a few times to spread the graphite, then move the steering wheel left and right as you turn the key. Hope this does it for you!
If the steering wheel lock is engaged with the wheel turned sharply in either direction - weight of the vehicle at rest on the wheels can cause the steering column and ignition key lock to bind. To get the ignition to turn and unlock, you may have to grasp and turn the wheel or wiggle it a little back and forth to get it to come off the steering lock. This will relieve the pressure and allow you to turn the ignition lock if done right.
Are the wheels turned all the way left or right? If so: insert the key in the ignition. and pull down hard on the steering going in-the-same-direction that they are already turned. Turn the ignition ket at the same time. If not: then you will need to take the steering column covers off and check on this mechanism which locks the wheel and the cylinder when the wheels are turned this way. it is located up adjacent the ignition key cylinder. There is a spring and a plastic mold piece inside this mechanism which may have failed. Another possibilty is: Does your vehicle have a Security System? Is the key you are using a Security Key?
In hope that you have the right key, put him in, try to turn the steering wheel a little bit at the same time you try to unlock the ignition.Sometimes it's possible that you've used your steering wheel as help wile getting out of the car. At this case, maybe the wheel lock snaps in, but the wheels are under pressure from the ground. Now you want to unlock your car at it seams that the key wont turn. The wheels get pressure from the ground, so the whole steering is under pressure and your steering wheel pressed against the locker block. If you try to turn the locked steering wheel, you'll see that it turns appr. 1" to one side. This is the needed space to unlock with the key. I hope that works in your case.
I bet you your stearing wheel is locked, so try this.....When you put the keys in the ignition rock the steering wheel left and right while trying to turn the key....This is a common thing with most vehicles