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Key wont turn in the ignition feels like wrong key

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I've had Toyotas, Hondas, BMW's all do the same thing. It's the same key, but at the odd time, it won't turn.

#1 Cause and Fix
There is a security locking mechanism with most key ignitions. Even if the key slips into the slot, the pressure from the angle of the tires turns the steering wheel ever so slightly putting pressure on the key slot mechanism. Frequently, something as simple as you jiggling the steering wheel will relieve the pressure and allow the key to turn in the ignition.
#2 Some cars require the gear shift be in park in order to turn the key and start the car. They have safety mechanisms that prevent a dangerous situation.

#3 Some cars have a safety mechanism that won't allow you to turn the key unless both the shifter is in park and your foot is pressed firmly on the brake.

#4 Sometimes dirt, water/ice can get into the key mechanism (especially true of outside door key locks). In this situation you might need a locksmith. There are some steps you can attempt. First, remove any visible debri. Any auto parts supply shop should have other items to help. There are graphite key slot lubricants, there are aerosol cans of high pressure air for cleaning key boards/electrical components (and possibly key slots) or even WD-40 for getting sticky locking mechanisms to free up. It depends on your situation and the age of the car.

#5 This is the worst case where the key mechanism is damaged by someone forcing a foreign object or materials in the key slot. In this case, you will likley need the ignition entirely replaced. Sometimes, something as simple pulling a key out of the ignition slot quickly at an improper angle can damages the key slot cover plate. In this case you may be in luck. With the right tools, needle nose plyers, a flat head screw driver and a lot of patience, you may be able to straighten or fix a bent slot cover plate that will allow the right key to fit into the ignition and turn.

Good Luck

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

  • Tommy Thomas
    Tommy Thomas Aug 01, 2014

    try putting oil on key and insert key and wiggle works some times


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I find both answers helpful...but must add on my 91 Honda a while back I had to have a new key made....Keys wear out quick if you have a bad ignition switch....but at $2 a key for the honda I had 3 made and it worked untill I sold the car :)

Posted on Aug 13, 2016

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Steering wheel lock automatically, almost most of the cars have this feature, the main purpose of this feature is to prevent theft. When the vehicle is turned off, the steering wheel placed at an angle, it will trigger automatically locked, if this time the keys in the ignition is screw fixed. Automatic steering wheel lock solution is very simple, put the key into the keyhole, turning the steering wheel left hand around his right hand twist the key, until the key can twist, unlock the steering wheel.
Hope it helpful!
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Posted on Aug 13, 2016

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