If you own an automobile like a car or motorbike, sometimes you may face problems inputting the key in the ignition and switching it on. But every time you face this problem, you will not want to take your car to an automobile engineering shop or call a locksmith for commercial services. So you need to address the proper reason for not being able to turn on the key in the ignition before you proceed to solve this issue.

Reasons Why Won’t My Key Turn in the Ignition?

Do not panic if the key does not turn in the ignition. Firstly you need to figure out the specific reason behind this problem. Three types of issues may cause this situation. Let’s see the reasons.

  1. Key Issues:
  2. There may be some problem with your key that it is not turning in the ignition. You can check the following cases:


    • Using a Key of Different Vehicle:Different automobiles have different keys. If you try to turn on the engine by the wrong key, you will not be able to turn your key in the key slot.

    Troubleshooting:If you use many cars and keep their keys in a ring, this problem may occur. So before inserting the key, give a double check that it is the right key.

    • Broken or Worn out Key:If your key is broken or it is worn down because of rough or too much use, the vehicle key may not work.

    Troubleshooting:If you have a spare key, then try that. If you do not have one, then apply for a spare key with the vehicle identification number to the dealer. If your car has a key code, then apply with that. A locksmith can also make a new key from the broken one.

    • The key is not in the Real Shape:Sometimes, your vehicle key may lose its real shape under pressure. The key may bend or twist. A twisted key will not work in the key slot even if it can be inserted, you will not be able to move the key.

    Troubleshooting: Use non-metal rubber or wood hammer to flatten the key. Place the key on a wood piece. Then tap the key until it is straight.

    Clean the key if there is any dirt. Dip a cotton piece into rubbing alcohol. Then clean the key with this. If there is any foreign metal on the key it will wash away. Now try again. Cleaning may help fix the issue.

  3. Ignition Cylinders Problems:
  4. It is possible that there is no problem with the key but in the ignition cylinder. So check your ignition cylinder for the following cases.

    • Jammed Ignition Lock:Pins and springs are used in the lock. If any of these is displaced or got stuck, the key will not turn and thus will not work.

    Troubleshooting:Lubricate the keyhole. Use silicon-based, graphite-based, or WD40 lubricants. Now place the key inside and vibrate the key slightly using heavy stuff. So the displaced parts will get back into their right position. Do not hit hard to break the lock.

    • Block inside the Slot: If there is any obstacle inside the key slot, the key will not go in easily and will not turn.

    Troubleshooting:Look inside the key slot for any obstacle with a flashlight. If any blockage material is found, clean it by an electric cleaner or compressed air. Before doing so, cover your eyes with safety goggles. If any debris is removed, try again.

  5. Other Components Problem:
  6. Steering wheel, gear, or battery problem may also create this situation.

    • Locked Steering Wheel: In many cars, you will not be able to turn the wheel after removing the key. Because of this lock,the steering wheel may get stuck. As the steering wheel gets stuck, the lock will also get stuck.

    Troubleshooting:Find out in which direction the steering wheel is not moving. Then pull the wheel in that direction and keep it still. Now put the key inside and try to turn it.

    • Gear State:In the case of cars with an automatic transmission, you will not be able to turn the key if the car is not in parking or neutral mode.

    Troubleshooting:Put the gear in neutral or parking mode. If it is in parking mode, then slightly shake the shifter. So the shifter is in the right position. Now give a try.

    • Dead Battery: In high-end vehicles, you may face this problem if the battery is out of power.

    Troubleshooting:Check your battery life. Take the necessary steps to change it or charge it. If distilled water is needed, then add.

The Ultimate Troubleshooting

If any of the mentioned solutions do not work, call a locksmith before things get worse. Your key may not turn in the ignition for many reasons. If you can not recognize the reason, it is better to call a locksmith or any further destruction will lead you to take the car to an automobile engineering shop.