Question about 1999 Toyota Camry

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Ignition switch jams up; tumblers don't aline

I massage the tumblers with the end of the key and somtimes this works. Frequently I have to get a new key cut.

is there such a thing as a replacement tumbler?

what does it cost for a new ignition switch?

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Dont think its cheap. id try a local parts store for prices they should be able to give u a proce check around or try something like a salvage yard for used one. try www.speedwayap.com for used parts they have always been helpful for me.

Posted on Oct 03, 2009

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1 Answer

How do I switch my broken ignition in my car to a flip switch ignition


Why don't you just buy a new ignition switch and put it back together the way it was originally designed instead of "rigging" something that will probably end up burning your car to the ground?

The entire switch, tumbler and mounting bracket assembly is available from AutoZone. 1997 Mercury Tracer Ignition Switch

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Took my ford focus to a dealer because key would not turn either way. They said it was the tumbler and would have to be replaced. They jusy called and said they installed new tumbler and reprogramed the...


The reason that the key wouldn't turn must have come from a malfunction of the ignition switch or the connecting rod, rather than the just the tumbler. Since the dash lights & gauges work now, at least part of the ignition switch is working, but apparently not the part that's engaged when the switch is turned to the "start" position.
By replacing just the tumbler, the dealership tech would have jiggled the connecting rod just enough to reseat it (and fix the jam that was causing the key to fail to turn in the tumbler), but didn't fix the real problem, which seems to be a worn out ignition switch or worn connecting/actuating rod.

Here's your steering column anatomy - illustration courtesy Ford Motor Company.


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Oct 19, 2011 | Cars & Trucks

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1997 cavalier ignition switch--the key enters the switch and is easily removed. but the key when entered in the ignition will not turn to start the car. The whole ignition switch turns slightly when you...


look at your key if its worn down try another key if both keys are same way than u will need to replace the ignition cylinder not the switch these are 2 units which are attached, the tumblers are in the cylinder--- u can have the cylinder re done[new tumbler ] diy u can take out housing and bring to dealer saves on labor or if have local bone yard buy housing [ignition ] with key take out cylinder and replace with new junk yard part about 15-75 bucks a lot of the u-pull-it are the cheapest 15 for whole system---dealer to redo cylinder[tumbler replacement] with u bringing in housing 100-200---if cylinder also damaged add additional 100-- call up parts person and get prices tumblers/cylinder/whole unit good luck

Jul 07, 2011 | 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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The ignition key refuse to turn the steering wheel is not locked what is the cause not predicable when this problem will occur


Your ignition seems to be jammed , tublers and teeth worn, if your wheel is not locked then it is not your wheel locking device. Try your spare key if you have one, if not most likely ignition lock needs replacing, keep me informed of progress and if this helped, thanks your fixya man mike

Jun 18, 2011 | Nissan Sentra Cars & Trucks

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The key wont come out of ignition


It sounds like one or more pins in the lock tumbler portion of your ignition switch has slipped out of position and jammed the cylinder so that you can't remove your key. These pins, which are actually shaped more like thin washers, are made of soft brass and gradually wear over time. Especially if you or another driver of the car had your ignition key on a keychain with a bunch of other keys, the weight of that key ring will also push and pull on these pins over time, increasing the odds that one of them will go out of alignment and cause this kind of a problem. That's why you'll see car enthusiasts have a single ignition key on a keychain or have it be detachable from the rest of their keys--it saves a lot of wear and tear on the ignition switch.


To fix this problem, you'll need to remove the lock tumbler portion of the ignition switch and take it to a locksmith to have it rebuilt. A locksmith will take out the old washers and springs and replace them with exact new replacements. Assuming the lock tumbler isn't cracked (they almost never are), you'll end up with a switch that works like new. This process is also usually much cheaper than ordering a new ignition switch, and it also re-uses your existing keys. Of course, a locksmith can also replace the washers in a brand new ignition switch to match your existing keys.


Removing the lock cylinder could be a bit of a problem if you can't wiggle the ignition switch at all. However, don't try to force the cylinder back into the "off and take the key out" position if the switch is otherwise rotating freely. If you take the key out at this point, there's a good chance you'll never get it back in again. On GM cars of this vintage, there's usually a little hole somewhere on the bottom of the ignition switch. Normally, you push up into this hole with a very stiff wire while turning the key to the "on" position. This will release the lock tumbler, and you'll be able to pull it out of the steering column. Note that this only pulls out the lock tumbler; the actual ignition switch will still be left in place, permitting you to start the car with, say, a screwdriver instead of a key.


It doesn't sound like you have this problem, but you may have trouble pulling the lock cylinder if you can't rotate it enough to use the proper tumbler removal procedure. If that's the case, the best thing to do might be to call in a locksmith to do this for you. It will cost you a bit more for them to work on your car instead of just on your tumbler, but they have additional experience that helps them know how much force they can apply to a stubborn lock without, say, bending or breaking off the key (and even more expensive scenario for you). Plus, if they screw up, they get to buy you a new ignition switch, so that expense isn't coming out of your pocket. If you can still start your car, you can save locksmith house call charges by driving to their place of business and parking in front of their store. I have had to do that, and I saved $75 in locksmith charges off the bat by driving my car to the guy's shop instead of having him come out to me.


Good luck!

May 16, 2011 | Oldsmobile Bravada Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a 1988 oldsmobile cutlass ciera and one day i started it up but the ignition would not switch back, so i cannot turn the car off and the key i stuck inside the ignition. what is wrong with it and...


It sounds like one or more pins in the lock tumbler portion of your ignition switch has slipped out of position and jammed the cylinder so that it will not turn. These pins, which are actually shaped more like thin washers, are made of soft brass and gradually wear over time. Especially if you or another driver of the car had your ignition key on a keychain with a bunch of other keys, the weight of that key ring will also push and pull on these pins over time, increasing the odds that one of them will go out of alignment and cause this kind of a problem. That's why you'll see car enthusiasts have a single ignition key on a keychain or have it be detachable from the rest of their keys--it saves a lot of wear and tear on the ignition switch.

To fix this problem, you'll need to remove the lock tumbler portion of the ignition switch and take it to a locksmith to have it rebuilt. A locksmith will take out the old washers and springs and replace them with exact new replacements. Assuming the lock tumbler isn't cracked (they almost never are), you'll end up with a switch that works like new. This process is also usually much cheaper than ordering a new ignition switch, and it also re-uses your existing keys. Of course, a locksmith can also replace the washers in a brand new ignition switch to match your existing keys.

Removing the lock cylinder could be a bit of a problem if you can't wiggle the ignition switch at all. However, don't try to force the cylinder back into the "off and can take the key out" position. If you take the key out at this point, there's a good chance you'll never get it back in again. On GM cars of this vintage, there's usually a little hole somewhere on the bottom of the ignition switch. Normally, you push up into this hole with a very stiff wire while turning the key to the "on" position. This will release the lock tumbler, and you'll be able to pull it out of the steering column. Note that this only pulls out the lock tumbler; the actual ignition switch will still be left in place, permitting you to start the car with, say, a screwdriver instead of a key.

You may have trouble pulling the lock cylinder if you can't rotate it enough to use the proper tumbler removal procedure. If that's the case, the best thing to do might be to call in a locksmith. It will cost you a bit more for them to work on your car instead of just on your tumbler, but they have additional experience that helps them know how much force they can apply to a stubborn lock without, say, bending or breaking off the key (and even more expensive scenario for you). Plus, if they screw up, they get to buy you a new ignition switch, so that expense isn't coming out of your pocket. If you can still start your car, you can save locksmith house call charges by driving to their place of business and parking in front of their store.

May 16, 2011 | 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

2 Answers

My ignition switch is stuck the key will not turn


Try cranking the stearing wheel left and right real hard, while turning the key. Sometimes the wheel can lock hard and prevent the key from turning.

Jan 13, 2011 | 1997 Chevrolet Malibu

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My key wont turn in the ignition the ignition was jammed by a forein key now the real key wont work


need more info does the key work in the door i am in the process of elimination thanks This is asked to give you the best possible repair

Dec 24, 2009 | 1997 Nissan Sentra

1 Answer

Ignition tumbler locked up. Key still works well in doors. Steering wheel is not locking, but key wont turn


try a spare key, or push key into lock while turning
it is the tip [pointy end] of the key that releases the switch tumbler lock allowing it to turn. keys & switches wear out, a 'heavy' key ring especially wears the switch.

Oct 17, 2009 | 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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I want to remove the ignition switch out of my 199 mercedes SL300


if its jammed you may be out of luck. the process is to turn the key to position 2 and put a set of pins in the 2 holes in the tumbler and remove. The only other way i know is to have it drilled out. A stealership may have better options. Either way yoou need a new tumbler with new key.

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