Question about 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

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My key at times doesn't want to turn at all in the ignition, its almost like it locks and is usually even worse if my steering wheel locks when i park. i can never get it to start when this happens, only a few friends of mine who know cars better can get the key in the ignition just at the right angle for it to line up and start. would this be a problem with my key, because its worn? or is it more likely that it's the ignition switch, the ignition cylinder or do i need to get an entirely new ignition

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The most likely source of your problem is a worn or damaged key. If you have a spare key try using it to see if the ignition turns any easier. Replacing the key cylinder would be the next likely fix, and it would typicall come with a new key as well. Sounds like the ignition switch is working properly, just that your key isn't turning like it should. Have had similar problems with my daughter's 98 Bettle, but her's was related to the steering wheel locking up when she parked against a curb stop or when her wheel was turned too much in one direction or the other when she turned the car off. If she pulled hard on the steering wheel she was able to overcome the periodic problem.

She also had problems with the "brake light switch" which when it fails will not allow the car to start. Ealier VW Beetles had a recall on this switch, free replacement by the dealers. Not sure what year your Beetle was, or if you had this problem fixed.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010

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There's a cable from your gear selector to your igntion barrel which can jam! Also common on these vehicles is that the spring seat in the actual ignition switch breaks and physically jams the switch which in turn locks the key barrel!

Posted on Oct 07, 2010

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