top of page
  • Abbie Jones

Why Won't My Key Turn in My Car’s Ignition?

When the key in the ignition refuses to turn, it is one of the most aggravating situations a car owner can have. This problem might leave you trapped and wondering what caused it. In this blog, we will look at some of the most common reasons why your car key won't turn in the ignition and offer a few solutions to get you back on the road.

Car key in car ignition

Why Can't I Turn My Key in the Ignition?

If you can't turn your key in the ignition, it could be that your steering wheel lock has engaged, there's damaged or wear on your ignition of your battery may be flat.

Steering Wheel Lock

One possible reason for a key not turning in the ignition is a locked steering wheel. This safety feature engages when the vehicle is turned off to prevent unauthorised use. To resolve this, try gently turning the steering wheel left and right while attempting to turn the key. If the wheel is locked, this action should release the tension and allow the key to turn freely.

Why Has My Steering Wheel Locked?

The main reason for why a steering wheel has locked is because there is a gridlock within the power steering pump. An unexpected power loss in the engine can result in the steering pump to fail, making it locked.

Car Key Issues

Car keys can become worn, bent, or damaged over time, preventing them from turning smoothly in the ignition. Inspect your car key for signs of wear or damage. If necessary, try using a spare car key to see if the problem persists. In the case of damaged or worn key, it is advisable to get a replacement car key from an Auto Locksmith.

What Has Damaged My Car Key?

The most likely reason for your car key not working properly and being damaged is that there are issues with the key fob. If the key fob becomes completely damaged, then it will stop working and this will affect the use of your car. If the key fob becomes completely damaged, then it will stop working and this will affect the use of your car. The main reason for a car key fob to stop working is that the battery has died. To learn how to change a car key battery, read our advice page!

Ignition Cylinder Problems

The ignition cylinder, which the key fits into, can become faulty or worn out. This can happen due to regular use or attempted theft. If you suspect an issue with the ignition cylinder, consult a professional mechanic who can diagnose the problem and either repair or replace the cylinder as needed.

What Causes Ignition Cylinder Failure?

Due to the fact that the car key is being repeatedly inserted and turned in the ignition cylinder lock, both the cylinder and the car key will start to become less sturdy over time, causing issues with the operation of the cylinder.

Faulty Ignition Switch

A defective ignition switch might be the source of the problem. The ignition switch overseas transferring electricity to different components, such as the starter. If the switch is not operating properly, the key may not turn in the ignition.

Why Is My Ignition Switch Faulty?

Worn ignition switch contacts, temperature issues or broken springs can all be reasons why an ignition switch has failed, stopping you from starting your car.

How To Fix an Ignition Switch?

It is possible to replace an ignition switch, but it isn't the easiest thing to do. You will have to remove the steering wheel and work closely to the airbag, which can be quite dangerous. The best thing to do if you know you have a faulty ignition switch is calling an experienced mechanic to examine it and potentially replace it.

Whether it's a steering wheel lock, key issues, ignition cylinder problems, or faulty ignition switch, seeking professional assistance will ensure a proper diagnosis and timely resolution of the issue without causing any further damage.


bottom of page