Help! Why Won’t My Key Turn In The Ignition?

Last Updated: 21st Oct 2016
Help! Why Won’t My Key Turn In The Ignition?

14th March 2016

For anyone who has gotten into their car, only to find they can’t turn their key in the ignition, this is the solution for you!

One of the main reasons your key won’t turn, is because the wheel is in the locked position. You can usually remedy this by turning and holding the steering wheel until you feel it wanting to ‘spring back’. Once you have the wheel in this position, you can turn the key. Follow our simple steps below to get your steering wheel unlocked.

  1. Place both of your hands on the steering wheel.
  2. If your wheel is locked, then you’ll find that you can only really turn your wheel in one direction, left or right. One direction may feel very firm, while the other will feel springy. Turn your wheel towards the springy side (where the wheel feels like it wants to spring back).
  3. Be gentle with the wheel, and don’t try to force it. When you can feel the wheel wanting to spring back, then you’ve turned it far enough. Hold the wheel in this position.
  4. You can now, gently, turn the key in the ignition. Don’t try and force or hit the key though. If your wheel is locked, then turning the key should do the trick.

If you followed these steps, and your key will not turn in the ignition, then it is likely that your wheel is not locked. You may have a problem instead with the key or ignition itself, and you’ll need to call roadside assistance to help you.

Whatever you do, don’t try to force or hit the key when turning it in the ignition. Key repairs can often be very expensive nowadays, especially if the key breaks off inside the ignition cylinder.

Why has my steering wheel locked?

Most steering wheels become locked when people lean on it when entering/exiting a vehicle. So try not to grab the wheel when getting in and out of your car!

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