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Every now and then, the ignition key locks tight in my Dad's Renault Megane Scenic (1998) and cannot be turned left or right or removed. My Dad says that he tries everything he can think of to release it but it seems to have a mind of it's own and only allows itself to be turned or released when it feels like it. Is it because of some kind of safety system that my Dad doesn't know about or is something broken? Please help!

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There is no specific safety mechanism on the Megane causing this problem. The possible causes of this are;

1) The steering lock jamming against the ignition and making the ignition barrel hard to turn. This will also cause the key to jam in the ignition and the barrel will not turn.

This is easily resolved by rotating the steering wheel back and forth whilst turning the key in the ignition at the same time. The important thing here is to lift the weight of the steering off the locking mechanism by turning the steering wheel away from the point where it has engaged the locking mechanism.

This will release the key and allow it to turn freely in the ignition barrel.

2) The second possibility is a worn ignition barrel which has become sticky. The pins in the tumbler of the ignition switch sometimes jam or seize up. Often this can be resolved simply by spraying some WD 40 directly into the keyhole.

Turn and work the key in and out of the ignition a few times to help work the lubricant in aroung the pins inside the tumbler. Finally wipe off any access lubricant and you are done.

3) If the key gets stuck in the ignition or will not turn or come out - one handy emergency solution that often works is to tap the end of the key whilst it is still in the ignition with the handle of a plastic screwdriver or similar tool. This often has the effect of loosening the pins inside the mechanism enough to release the key or allow it to turn and get you started.

4) A badly worn ignition will need to be replaced if it fails to loosen up with the WD 40.

Please do leave a vote for the solution. Thanks.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010

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