Question about 1997 Toyota Camry

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Key won't turn in Ignition

I am the primary driver of my 1997 Camry. Recently, the key will not turn in the ignition without doing a whole lot of tricks. I have to pump the brake, until it won't pump anymore, and wiggle the wheel around. The parking brake MUST be off. If the parking brake is on, it won't turn. If I don't pump the brake until it locks, it will not turn. If I only try to wiggle the wheel, it will not turn. Is this possibly a problem with the key? It is a new one. The old one never made me jump through hoops to start it up. I could usually just turn the wheel and it would start. But this new one does it every time I try and start my car. I remember having this problem with the original key I had, but it was solved when I switched keys with another driver of this vehicle. What can I do to solve this problem?

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  • Anonymous Aug 21, 2008

    I have the same problem; does this mean I will have a separate key for the door and a separate key for the ignition?

  • hpayne Aug 25, 2008

    I have the same make & model & same problem. The key won't turn unless I tap on it w/something (shoe,cell phone, whatever is handy). Wiggling the wheel or moving the shift does not work.

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  • 18 Answers

Have you tried moving the gear shift back and forth? The shifter is connected by a cable to your ignition switch. It keeps folks from putting the car in neutral when the steering and ignition is locked, so they don't take the car when you're not around. If moving the shifter helps, then maybe that cable has stretched some and needs replaced. If not, then perhaps an ignition lock cylinder and key are in order.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008

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