How to Unlock a Locked Steering Wheel
or Key Won't Turn in Ignition

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Troubleshooting
key won't turn in your ignition lock cylinder
you have one of four problems

Problem 1. Is your steering wheel locked? If your steering wheel is not locked, and your key won't turn then do not touch the steering wheel, your problem is 2, 3 or 4 below. If a locked steering wheel is the only thing preventing your key from turning the ignition, then follow our instructions below for How to Unlock a Locked Steering wheel and you will be back on the road fast.

Problem 2. Dirt, pocket lint or debris (like tape from opening a package) may cause your key not to turn in your ignition lock cylinder. Ignitions can be extremely fragile. Please do not poke around inside the ignition lock cylinder.

A dirty ignition can be fixed by spraying small doses of an electrical cleaner in the ignition then gently sliding the key in and out of the ignition cylinder many times. (DO NOT use this method on Honda, Acura, Toyota or any vehicle that uses a high security key). Every now and then try turning the key with normal turning pressure. NEVER force the key to turn. NEVER force the key into the ignition.

Problem 3. Worn, damaged, or bent key. 1. Try pulling the key out a very small amount before gently turning key. (About 1/16 of an inch, the thickness of a nickel). 2. Wiggle key while trying to turn key gently. If this works then more than likely you have a worn or damaged key, or your ignition may be starting to fail, you may not get a second chance to turn your key so go to a locksmith or call a Locksmith and ask them to first cut you a key by numbers, this is called a CODE key. A code key is not a duplicate, it is a key cut by a machine that will recreate the original depth and spacing of the factory key (when the vehicle had zero miles) on it. It should be within about 1000th of an inch. If this does not fix your problem then you are having a problem with the ignition lock cylinder. Vehicle Specific List Or Fix Your Problem

Problem 4. Worn, damaged or failed ignition lock cylinder. Many modern ignition lock cylinders only last about 60,000 miles. We have seen them with as little as 1,800 miles on the vehicle. Fix Your Problem

 

How to Unlock a Locked Steering Wheel

Note. The instructions below are for every year, make and model vehicle ever manufactured.

Step 1. This step is simple but very important.
NOTE: Use both hands for this step.

The steering wheel normally turns in two directions, as you know, (right and left). If your steering wheel is locked, then one of those two directions will be very solid and one direction will be a little springy (wheel wants to spring back). Determine what direction you need to turn the wheel so you can feel it wanting to spring back, then go to step 2.
Note: Steering wheels most often get locked when people use the steering wheel to assist them getting out of the vehicle. With that being said, the "springy" feel in the steering wheel tends to be to the left.

Step 2. Do not shake or rock the steering wheel. Turn and hold the steering wheel with a constant and even pressure in the direction that it feels springy . When you feel the steering wheel wanting to spring back you have turned hard enough, do not turn the wheel too hard, turn the key with normal pressure (Do not force key). If a locked steering wheel is the problem this will fix it. If you had any problems with Step 1 and/or Step 2 above feel free to call me (David) 651-323-5086 and I can walk you through the steps above and/or let you know what your options may be. Back to Troubleshooting

NOTE: If your steering wheel was not locked initially and your key would not turn your ignition lock cylinder then you are having a problem with either your key, or the ignition lock cylinder. Back to Troubleshooting

Step 3. If you followed the instructions above closely and your key still does not or will not turn in your ignition lock cylinder, then you are having a problem with either the key, or the ignition lock cylinder, call an Automotive Locksmith to come out to you and fix your problem. Do not try forcing or hitting the key in an attempt to get the ignition lock cylinder to turn as this has the potential of damaging the key and/or ignition lock cylinder more. It is not uncommon for modern car keys to cost well over $100 if they break. If the key breaks in the ignition that can be 2 to 10 times more expensive to fix.
Back to Troubleshooting Or Fix Your Problem

Why Key Won't Turn in Ignition Lock Cylinder
Vehicles Affected

If your key won't turn your ignition lock cylinder and the steps above did not get your ignition to turn, then there is an extremely good chance your vehicle is in the list below. The list below is just a partial list of vehicles we suspect of having ignition failure problems when people call and say "My key won't turn in my ignition". When we ask how many miles on the vehicle, it is usually near 60,000, 120,000, 180,000 or 240,000 miles.

The newer Acura and Honda vehicle ignitions tend to fail from a combination of worn keys and worn ignitions. Vehicles Affected

The Toyota and Geo ignitions tend to stop turning because of worn keys. A new "code" key or duplicate key may solve the problem. If a new key does not get your ignition to turn then your ignition will need to be worked on. Vehicles Affected

The Saturn ignitions tend to stop turning because of worn keys and worn ignitions. (mostly worn ignitions) Vehicles Affected

The GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, GMC, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac) ignitions tend to fail because of wear from inserting the key at a slight angle. This is the same for the Chrysler vehicles (Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Jeep, Plymouth). Vehicles Affected

Ford vehicles such as Focus, Contour, Cougar and Mystique tend to stop turning because of ignition wear, all other Ford vehicles tend to be dirty ignitions or locked steering wheels. Vehicles Affected

We understand the list below will have some errors, but we will do our best to make this list as accurate as possible. We are Automotive Locksmiths that specialize in ignition lock cylinder problems and failures. The list below covers many (but not all) of the newer vehicles that we have to replace the ignition lock cylinders for. Our website and the list below are copyrighted.

 

Key Won't Turn in Ignition Lock Cylinder
Vehicles With Ignition Failure Problems

Acura (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Acura MDX 2001-2012 (key won't turn Acura MDX ignition) (Solutions)
Acura RDX 2007-2012 (key won't turn in Acura RDX ignition) (Solutions)
Acura TSX 2004 and 2012 (key won't turn Acura TSX ignition) (Solutions)
Acura ZDX 2011-2012 (key won't turn Acura ZDX ignition) (Solutions)
Buick (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Buick Enclave 2007-2013 (key won't turn Buick Enclave ignition) (Solutions)
Buick LaCrosse 2005-2009 (key won't turn Buick LaCrosse ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Lesabre 2002 and 2003 (key won't turn Buick Lesabre ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Lucerne 2006-2011 (key won't turn Buick Lucerne ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Park Avenue 2002 (key won't turn Buick Park Avenue ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Rainier 2004-2007 (key won't turn Buick Rainier ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Rendezvous 2002-2007 (key won't turn Rendezvous ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Skylark 1995-1998 (key won't turn Buick Skylark ignition) (Solutions)
Buick Terraza 2006-2007 (key won't turn Buick Terraza ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Cadillac BRX 2009 (key won't turn Cadillac BRX ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac CTS 2010-2013 (key won't turn Cadillac CTS ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac Deville 2003 and 2003 (key won't turn Deville ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac DTS 2006-2008 (key won't turn Cadillac DTS ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac Escalade 1999-2002 (key won't turn Cadillac Escalade ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac Escalade 2003-2013 (key won't turn Cadillac Escalade ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac SRX 2007-2008 (key won't turn Cadillac SRX ignition) (Solutions)
Cadillac SUT 2002-2004 (key won't turn Cadillac SUT ignition) (Solutions)
Chevy (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Chevy Astro 1995-2006 (key won't turn Chevy Astro ignition) (Solutions)
Chevy Avalanche 2002-2013 (key won't turn Chevy Avalanche ignition) (Solutions)
Chevy Blazer 1995-2001 (key won't turn Chevy Blazer ignition) (Solutions)
Chevy Cavalier 1995-2005 (Chevy Cavalier ignintion won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Cobalt 2008-2010 (Chevy Cobalt ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Corvette 2007 (Chevy Corvette ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Equinox 2007-2009 (Chevy Equinox ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy HHR 2007-2011 (Chevy HHR ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Impala 2000-2013 (Chevy Impala ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Malibu 1997-2006 (Chevy Malibu ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Monte Carlo 2000-2008 (Chevy Monte Carlo ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Pickup 1995-2013 (Chevy Pickup ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy S-10 Blazer 1998-2005 (Chevy S-10 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy S-10 Pickup 1995-2005 (Chevy S-10 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Suburban 1995-2013 (Chevy Suburban ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Tahoe 1995-2013 (Chevy Tahoe ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Trailblazer 2002-2009 (Chevy Trailblazer ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Traverse 2009-2013 (Chevy Traverse ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Uplander 2006-2009 (Chevy Uplander ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Van 1996-2013 (Chevy Van ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chevy Venture 1997-2005 (ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Chrysler 300 2005 (Chrysler 300 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler 300C 2006-2008 (Chrysler 300C ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler 300M 1999-2004 (Chrysler 300M ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler Cirrus 1995-2008 (Chrysler Cirrus ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler Concorde 1993-2004 (Chrysler Concorde ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler LHS 2000-2003 (Chrysler LHS ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler New Yorker 1994-1999 (New Yorker ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler Pacifica 2004-2008 (Chrysler Pacifica ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler PT Cruiser 2001-2005 (Chrysler PT Cruiser ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler Sebring 1996-2006 (Chrysler Sebring ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Chrysler Town & Country 1996-2008 (ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Dodge Caravan 1996-2007 (Dodge Caravan ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Charger 2006-2008 (Dodge Charger ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Intrepid 1993-2004 (Dodge Intrepid ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Magnum 2005-2008 (Dodge Magnum ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Neon 1998-2006 (Dodge Neon ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Stratus 1995-2005 (Dodge Stratus ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Dodge Viper 2003-2010 (Dodge Viper ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Eagle (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Eagle Vision 1993-1998 (Eagle Vision ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Ford (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Ford Focus 2000-2005 (Ford Focus ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Ford Contour 1995-2001 (Ford Contour ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Geo (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Geo Prizm 1993-2002 (Geo Prizm ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
GMC Acadia 2007-2013 (GMC Acadia ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Envoy 2002-2009 (GMC Envoy ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Jimmy 1995-2005 (GMC Jimmy ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Pickup 1995-2006 (GMC Pickup ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Safari Van 1995-2005 (GMC Safari Van ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Sierra 2007-2013 (GMC Sierra ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Sonoma 1995-2005 (GMC Sonoma ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
GMC Yukon 1995-2013 (GMC Yukon ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Honda Accord 2003-2012 (Honda Accord ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Civic 2003-2012 (Honda Civic ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Crosstour 2010-2012 (Honda Crosstour ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda CRV CR-V 2002-2012 (Honda CRV CR-V ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Element 2003-2011 (Honda Element ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Fit 2007-2012 (Honda Fit ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Insight 2010-2012 (Honda Insight ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Odyssey 2003-2012 (Honda Odyssey ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Pilot 2003-2012 (Honda Pilot ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda Ridgeline 2006-2012 (Honda Ridgeline ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Honda S2000 2004-2010 (Honda S2000 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Hummer (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Hummer H2 2003-2009 (Hummer H2 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Isuzu (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Isuzu Ascender 2003-2007 (Isuzu Ascender ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Isuzu Hombre 1996-2005 (Isuzu Hombre ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Jeep (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Jeep Cherokee 1998-2001 (Jeep Cherokee ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Jeep Commander 2005-2007 (Jeep Commander ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Jeep Grand Cherokee 1999-2007 (Grand Cherokee ignition won't turn)(Solutions)
Jeep Liberty 2002-2008 (Jeep Liberty 2002 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Mercury (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Mercury Cougar 1999-2002 (Mercury Cougar ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Mercury Mystique 1995-2001 (Mercury Mystique ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Olds Achieva 1995 and 1997 (Oldsmobile Achieva ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile Alero 1999-2004 (Olds Alero ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile Bravada 1996-2005 (Olds Bravada ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile Cutlass 1997-1999 (Olds Cutlass ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile Intrigue 1998-2002 (Olds Intrigue ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Oldsmobile Sihouette 1997-2004 (Olds Sihouette ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Plymouth (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Plymouth Breeze 1995-2000 (Plymouth Breeze ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Plymouth Voyager 1996-2004 (Plymouth Voyager ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles)
Pontiac Aztek 2002-2006 (Pontiac Aztek ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac G5 2009 (Pontiac G5 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Grand Am 1996-2006 (Pontiac Grand Am ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Grand Prix 1998-2008 (Pontiac Grand Prix ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Montana 2000-2009 (Pontiac Montana ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Pursuit 2007-2010 (Pontiac Pursuit ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Solstice 2006-2010 (Pontiac Solstice ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Sunfire 1996-2005 (Pontiac Sunfire ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac SV6 2007-2008 (Pontiac SV6 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Torrent 2006-2010 (Pontiac Torrent ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Pontiac Transport 1997-1999 (Pontiac Transport ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Saturn Astra (all years) (Saturn Astra ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Aura (all years) (Saturn Aura ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Ion (all years) (Saturn Ion ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn L300 (all years) (Saturn L300 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn LS (all years) (Saturn LS ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn LW (all years) (Saturn LW ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Outlook (all years) (Saturn Outlook ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Relay (all years) (Saturn Relay ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn SC (all years) (Saturn SC ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn SC1 (all years) (Saturn SC1 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Sky (all years) (Saturn Sky ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Sky (all years) (Saturn Sky ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn SL (all years) (Saturn SL ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Saturn Vue (all years) (Saturn Vue ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Suzuki (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Suzuki Aerio 2002-2007 (Suzuki Aerio ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003-2005 (Grand Vitara ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Suzuki XL-7 2003-2006 (Suzuki XL-7 ignition won't turn) (Solutions)
Toyota (Key and\or ignition lock cylinder problems are common for these vehicles) (Solutions)
Toyota 4 Runner 1996-2002 (4 Runner ignition won't turn fully) (Solutions)
Toyota Avalon 1995-2004 (Avalon key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Camry 1992-2001 (Camry key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Celica 1994-2005 (Celica key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Corolla 1992-2002 (Corolla key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Echo 2000-2002 (Echo key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Land Cruiser 1998-2002 (Land Cruiser ignition won't turn fully) (Solutions)
Toyota Prius 2001-2003 (Prius key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota RAV4 1996-2000 (RAV4 key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Sequoia 2001-2007 (Sequoia ignition won't turn fully) (Solutions)
Toyota Sienna 1998-2003 (Sienna ignition won't turn fully) (Solutions)
Toyota Solara 1999-2003 (Solara key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Supra 1993-1998 (Supra key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota T100 1993-1999 (T100 key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Tacoma 1995-2004 (Tacoma key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)
Toyota Tundra 2000-2006 (Tundra key turns small amount then stops) (Solutions)

Solution to, and Solving Your Problem

If you went through the troubleshooting and that did not fix your problem and if you found your vehicle in the list here, there is a good chance you need the services of a mobile locksmith (locksmith that fixes the problem where the vehicle is--No towing) Here are a few places we can suggest you look to find a reputable mobile locksmith near you.

 

Mobile Locksmith Buffalo NY area
Click to Call 716-332-9292

Mobile Locksmith Prior Lake MN area
Click to Call 651-323-5086

Mobile Locksmith Minneapolis MN area
Click to Call 651-323-5086

Mobile Locksmith Lafayette IN area
Click to Call 765-588-0404

Mobile Locksmith Grand Forks ND area
Click to Call 701-203-1800

ALOA Nation Wide Reputable Locksmiths

Nation Wide Legal Locksmiths.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our locksmiths serve Buffalo, NY and most of Erie county.
We also have Locksmiths in Minneapolis, MN,
Locksmiths in Grand Forks, ND and Locksmiths in Lafayette, IN
Click here to visit our other locations.