Just started doing this a few days ago. Sometimes it will turn, however. I tried squirting a little graphite powder in slot, but didn't seem to help. I have tried a seldom used key, same problem. Passenger side okay. Thanks.
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What year/make/model car is it? Where is the shifter located, basically? It may not be the tumbler. The lock itself may be due to the steering wheel. It happens sometimes. Is the steering wheel locked into position, or can you still turn it? If it is too locked, try to unlock the wheel, by taking shifter out of park and back in, then try turning the steering wheel until it unlocks. When it does, the key should turn. I can give a better answer if I knew what car we're working with.
try getting some graphite powder and as far as possible try to squirt some of the graphite powder in besides the key.
(graphite powder is a excellent tumbler lubricant that doesn't attract dirt and dust to make things worse than they already are. carefully try turn gentally and wiggle at the same time taking note if it helps free up the key movement at all if so add more graphite and keep gentally working not forcing as it will break . hopfully that will help you get it out then check key for a bend or damage
it could be a jammed barrel and key within the lgn lock. have you tried "rocking" the steering wheel gently, and at the same time try and turn the ign key?
Visit a lock smith or somewhere like an Ace Hardware store and get a small plastic squeezie bottle of powdered graphite. With a thin flatblade screwdrive or piece of wire, or something similar. Ease the ign key slot cover to one side and direct a few squirts of the powdered graphite into the ignition key switch. Next insert the ign key and GENTLY rotate the key back and forth, as if trying to operate and switch off the ignition. This will give the graphite a chance to penetrate the lock mechanism.
After approx 5mins, try and turn the key as if to start the car. If the barrel refuses to turn as before, then you will need to open up the ign lock and check the base of the barrel .
Do NOT use oil of any form in the lock. Oil attracts dirt like a magnet and will foul the ign lock.
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!
Put light-weight oil on the key to lubricate the lock cylinder tumblers. ... Use cooking oil if nothing else available. Put the oil on the key and work the lock.
Wipe the keys when the locks start working.
The locks use "graphite" for lubrication. You can grind up pencil lead and use as a lock lubricant .... messy.
Try a squirt of silicon lubricant spray into the keyhole of barrel to free it up. (WD40 is also ok if applied carefully)
If you can also push/wash a bit of graphite powder into the barrel it will continue to work freely for some time.
Did you recently buy the car and are you sure its the right key.., Too often you can pick up a 2nd hand stolen car that has issues with wrong keys.
If its been your car for a while it sounds like your key could be wearing out or worse still the ingnition lock is wearing out.
1/. Cheapest - You can first try to squirt WD40 into the lock and see if it helps to lubicate the lock barrel - Graphite spray would be better but harder to find.
2/. Cheapish - You can try getting a new key cut for that car at the dealer and see if it cures to problem - they wont have to cut a key from the worn key you have but should be able to generate a new key from the serial on your key.
3/, More pricey - if that doesn't solve it you may wish to have the lock replaced which is going to need a new key and lock for the ingition. This can be a pain as you then have a different key to get in the vehicle v's start it. But replacing just the ingition lock is cheaper than replacing the whole Ignition and door lock set. (very pricey)
Be ware that you should not hang lots of keys on your key ring as this will wear the ignition lock much faster than normal wear and tear of starting the car. Try and make sure you only have the bear minimum weight on the car key ring - i.e. Car key and house key.