Question about 2001 Toyota Corolla

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I have a 99 toyota corolla, a couple weeks ago during start-up for some reason even after the ignition was turned off (key in off position and removed)the engine kept running. I had to disengage the battery cabels to stop the car from running. As soon as the battery cables are connected the engine starts running even if there is no key in the ignition. I thought maybe the stater had gone bad, so I replaced that and still the same problem. Not sure what else to do. Request urgent assistance as this is the only vehicle I have and I can't afford a heavy car repair bill. Thanks.

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Sounds like you have a bad ignition switch. Not the key, but the electrical switch.

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

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I had the same problem it is the ignition

Posted on Aug 08, 2011

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Key will insert but it is in lock position and will not turn over into any other position so I cant start the car. Toyota Corolla 2005, is there a way to lock it somehow?


I know it sounds a bit silly, but have you tried jiggling the key? ... that MIGHT help (it worked in my 95 Corolla when the same issue happened). If you have another key available (one that is not used as much) that could work too ... sometimes the key itself wears down, so the key does not fully depress all of the locking cylinders in the ignition. In other words, if the key is used a lot, it might be too worn out to work right, in which case you can get a new key and it should work just fine (this is what had happened in my 95 corolla)
If this is not working, and even with a less worn out key, the key is still locked in the "Lock" position, try turning the steering wheel back and forth a bit as you are turning the key. There is a safety mechanism in Toyotas that prevents the car from being used without the key (prevent hot-wiring) ... If the key is out of the ignition, and you turn the wheel, it locks up the ignition switch and the steering wheel of the car. Sometimes this mechanism gets stuck as well, and keeps you from being able to start your car. Moving the steering wheel back and forth as much as it will allow (usually only a couple of inches) should help to unlock your ignition and get you on your way.
Finally ... the locking mechanism of the ignition switch (what I was talking about in the last paragraph) sometimes breaks, and causes your car to remain locked, no matter what you do. In this case, you will need to go to a mechanic and replace the key / lock unit. It is not terribly expensive to have this done, but it means replacing all of your keys and spares ... DON'T FORGET TO REPLACE THE SPARES, TOO if you are going to go this route.

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the steering wheel SHOULD be locked if the key is not in the ignition and turned to the 1st position.  If you can turn the steering wheel more than an inch or so without the key n the first position,  the ignition switch (read: thingy you put the key in) is bad.   
Sometimes you may have to move the steering wheel slightly to one side or the other to get the key to turn,  this in itself is not a cause for alarm. Try it and let us know.  If this doesn't work, you are probably looking at a couple hundred dollars parts and labor to get the switch/steering wheel lock mechanism fixed.
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