What To Do When Your Car Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition

Car Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition

Car Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition?

Car Keys stuck in ignition? Call Sasi Pro Services

Help! My Car Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition!

So, you’ve stuck your key in the ignition and gone to start the engine but you suddenly realize – your key won’t turn! It’s a frustrating situation, one that drivers find themselves in all the time. However, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll discuss why your key isn’t turning and what to do when your car key won’t turn in the ignition. So, stick with us, and hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of the mechanics inside your ignition and a strategy to combat a faulty ignition lock cylinder. 

Why Isn’t My Key Turning?

Your car ignition cylinder is made out of wafers that are prone to bending, cracking, and sometimes breaking over time. There are almost always warning signs of a faulty ignition lock, but we often brush them aside or fail to recognize them. Here’s what may be happening when your ignition sticks:

A Safety Feature Is Preventing The Key From Turning

Cars are being manufactured with increasingly modern features when it comes to style, function, and security. Some of these security features have been installed to prevent the ignition turning. 

Damaged Wafers

Ignition locks are not made like standard locks. Instead of round, cylindrical pins that are found in most locks, auto locks use a wafer-based system for the locking mechanism where the wafer is split down the middle to accommodate a key. 


These wafers can be either one or two pieces (known as a split wafer.) Split wafers are prone to jamming in the cylinder, however, over time either of the wafer styles can be damaged. We recommend lightening your keyring, as the weight of a heavy key ring will pull on the wafers in the ignition and slowly damage them. 

Worn Out Key

Another common reason ignitions won’t turn isn’t due to the ignition at all, but rather the key. Every time you turn your key, the edges are exposed to a force that thins and wears them down over time until you’re unable to use it. We recommend having a back up ready, just in case your key ever stops functioning properly.

Ok, So What Should I Do Now? 

Before calling in a locksmith, there are a few things you can try to get your car key turning again:

Wiggle The Steering Wheel

Most steering columns are designed to lock once the key is removed. This can sometimes become stuck in its position, which in turn, locks the ignition. Wiggle the steering wheel back and forth a bit while turning the key. If it works, problem solved – there’s no internal problem!

Check The Gear

Most cars with automatic transmissions don’t allow the key to turn when the ignition of the car is not in park or neutral. Try jiggling the gear shift to make sure it’s all the way in the proper position and then try starting your car again.

Check The Battery

Newer cars with advanced ignition mechanisms don’t allow the key to turn the ignition if the battery is dead. Check to see whether the battery is working with a voltmeter or by trying to turn on your car lights.

Try Your Spare Key

Try to start your car with a backup key, if you have one. If it works, you’ll know it was the key that was at fault, not your ignition. 

Spray Your Ignition With a Silicon-Based Spray

Try spraying a bit of a lubricant into the ignition lock if your key didn’t work. It will clean your wafers by getting any dirt or debris out that may be causing your ignition to stick. Do NOT use any oil-based products – they may solve the problem in the short term, but they are stickier than silicon-based products. This will collect dirt and graphite, landing you back in the same situation as before.

Jiggle The Key

Once you’ve lubricated the ignition cylinder, try gently jiggling your key in the lock. If the lock wafers are only minorly damaged or the split wafer has jammed, jiggling the key may free them up just enough to start your car. Of course, if it did work, you’re still not out of the woods. Go to a locksmith and get it repaired. This trick won’t work indefinitely.

Call In a Professional Locksmith

If all of these measures fail to solve the problem, it’s time to hire a locksmith. A professional mobile locksmith will be able to come to your location and fix the problem on the spot, eliminating the need for an expensive tow or trip to a mechanic. 

Ignition Repair in Orlando, Fl

For ignition repair and replacement services in the Orlando area, give Sasi Pro Locksmith a call! We’re available 24/7 to take your call and assist with your ignition lock emergency! Low prices, trusted by locals, you can’t go wrong! 

Call now: (407) 904-5726