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Tips on Fixing a Jammed Ignition

If you find yourself in a situation where your key won’t turn in the ignition of your vehicle, there are a number of reasons why this is happening.  It sometimes depends on the make and year of your vehicle and some problems are specific to certain years of the make and model of the vehicle. Many problems however are fairly universal and can be addressed in your driveway. The issue may be the key, the ignition cylinder, or user error. Narrow down the cause of the issue by attempting a number of methods and then call our locksmith for further advise if these tips do not help. Our Auto Locksmith can be with you in an hour to help you if you have broken your key in the ignition or your ignition is jammed.

Pull the key out slightly before turning it. If the key is beginning to wear, you may still be able to engage the pins needed to start the vehicle by inserting the key all the way, then pulling it back out slightly. Try to pull the key back out 1/16 of an inch, or approximately the width of a nickel, then attempt to turn it again.

  • If this works, the key is likely over worn.
  • You should still replace the key as soon as you can before it stops working call us as soon as you can.
  • Wiggle the key back and forth as you turn it. If pulling the key out a bit fails to make the key turn, try wiggling it up and down slightly to engage the pins in the ignition. Be careful not to apply too much pressure. Wiggling the key can make the key contact the pins from a different angle, which may allow you start the vehicle.
    • If wiggling the key works, it means the teeth on the key are too worn to properly engage the pins.
    • Replace the key as soon as possible if this works before the key stops working entirely.
    • Flatten a bent key using a wooden or rubber mallet. If the key is bent, it may make it impossible to insert it completely or turn the ignition cylinder. This can also cause the key to break in the ignition. If this happen call the vehicle locksmith on 07963635473 and we can extract the broken key and make a new key for your vehicle.
    • Lay the key down on a flat, sturdy surface like a strong table. Take a heavy rubber or wooden mallet and strike the key from above to flatten it against the table.]
      • You may have to strike the key multiple times in order to flatten it entirely.
      • Avoid using pliers or a vice to straighten the key, as you may bend it too far in the opposite direction and reduce the strength of the key.
      • Gently slide the key in and out a number of times. If there was any debris stuck to the key when you inserted it, it may have gotten caught in the pins of the ignition cylinder. Insert the key completely, then slide it back out. Repeat the process a few times to try to move any debris that may be caught in the cylinder.]
        • If this works, the issue will likely continue to occur until the debris is cleaned out from the ignition cylinder.


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