Question about 1996 Toyota 4Runner

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Key stuck in ignition of 1996 Toyota 4Runner

I have been experiencing the key getting stuck in the ignition of my 1996 Toyota 4Runner from time to time. This is the original ignition. Its random, and doesn't happen every time and there's really no rhyme or reason as to why or when it's going to get stuck, it just does. I had NO prior "symptoms", no warning signs, nothing out of the ordinary started happening that lead up to this, just one day the key was stuck. When it is stuck, sometimes I can turn the key (real fast) like i'm going to start the engine (turn it so slightly that the engine just starts to turn over, then quickly turn it back off) and then for some reason the key will release...sometimes but not always I can get the key out that way. Other times, I can play with it forever and it just won't budge.
I've read that different things could be wrong. I've read to replace the "ignition switch" and also read it has something to do with the "park/neutral safety switch". Does anyone know for certain what needs replaced/repaired (before I needlessly drop several hundred dollars that I cannot afford on the wrong thing, i'm laid off on unemployment). Thank you! I appreciate any help you can provide.

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  • stacyb86 Jun 23, 2009

    Thank you very much for your suggested solutions to my problem. I really appreciate your help.
    I think I will try spraying the penetrating oil first, then if that doesn't work, i'll resort to the more costly replacement of the ignition key lock set.

  • stacyb86 Jun 26, 2009

    Thank you!!!!!!! You guys are so much help on here. I really appreciate all the help. Have a nice friday & upcoming weekend!

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This truck has a switch in the shifter assembly that tells the ignition the truck is in Park or not. If the shifter doesn't hit that switch right this can happen. Also, there is a component in the ignition (a solenoid) that allows the key to be released if the Park switch is pushed. To be sure it's one of these two things, try this.... Get the key stuck, then disconnect the battery. If the key comes right out, it's either the switch or the solenoid. Good luck!

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

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JUST FIXED MINE WITH SAME PROBLEM, ON THE BOTTOM OF THE IGNITION SWITCH IS A SMALL SQUARE SOLENOID HELD IN PLACE WITH TWO PHILLIPS SCREWS, TAKE THE SCREWS OUT AND LET THE SOLENOID HANG LOOSE AND YOUR PROBLEM IS FIXED, IF THE SOLENOID DOESN'T WORK IT WON'T PULL THE PIN DOWN AND KEEPS THE KEY FROM TURNING.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013

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My husband went to our mechanic and they used WD-40. It worked!!!

Posted on Aug 11, 2010

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When the key is out - put several drops (or spray) penatrating oil into the key hole.. Then push the key in & out many times without trying to turn the ignition.. Sometimes the tumblers in the key chamber get dirty stick.. Repeat this several times before turning.. If it does not solve the problem - at leaste you can rule out dirty sticking tumblers..

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

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Change the locks please! ignition key lock set.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

stormbrewin
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SOURCE: 97 Toyota 4Runner starting problem

If the immobiliser is not an issue the next time it happens remove the starter relay and swap with any other relay except fuel pump and ignition.Some times just pulling out and replacing works as the contacts on the relay do not have a good clean contact and provide too much resistance.Sure sounds like a relay begining to fail.good luck

Posted on Oct 19, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 1996 toyota 4 runner 4x4 6cl key gets stuck in ignition, how do I replace ignition starter switch?

Just a thought , if the gear stick is not in park the key cannot be removed from the ignition I found out when I left the car in nuetral .

Posted on Feb 22, 2009

allteeth25
  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: 1999 Toyota Corolla CE.

I had the same problem with my 99 corolla. It was the solenoid contacts in the starter...they were worn down and didn't either get enough contact or sometimes kind of melt togther (that's why starter spins even after you turn off car and key). Got new contacts and car starts like new!

Posted on Aug 03, 2012

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