What to Do When Your Car Key Won't Turn Common Reasons and Solutions

It can be frustrating and inconvenient when your car key won’t turn when you need to leave the house. At We’ve Got The Key, our clients not only call us to gain access to their cars and vans. There can be circumstances when our client’s key, whilst appearing fine, just cannot start the vehicle’s engine. Here are some common reasons why your car key won’t turn and some possible solutions for you to try.

Steering wheel lock

Occasionally, the steering wheel lock can engage and prevent the key from turning. To fix this, try turning the steering wheel left and right while turning the key. This should disengage the lock and allow the key to turn.

Dead key fob battery

If the battery in your key fob is dead, it may not communicate with the car properly, resulting in the key being unable to turn. The best solution to try first is to replace the battery in the key fob and see if that solves the problem. If changing the battery doesn’t solve the issue, your key fob/transponder chip might be broken. Our locksmiths have hundreds of key types and transponder chips available to them. This stock and our industry-leading equipment means a new key fob and transponder chip can be made and synced to your car within an hour of our locksmith’s arrival.

Ignition switch problems

Over time, the ignition switch in a vehicle can wear out, making it difficult or impossible to turn the key. If this is the case, you may need to replace the ignition switch. Our locksmiths are trained in replacing ignition switches and barrels to allow you to start and use your vehicle again.

The key is worn or damaged

If the key is worn or damaged, it may not be able to engage in the ignition cylinder, preventing it from turning. If your key is visibly worn or damaged, the best solution is to use a spare key, or if you do not own a spare key, a new key will need to be made. Our fully trained auto locksmiths can regularly produce our clients a spare key within the same day we are called. Our locksmiths can do this quickly due to our nationwide locality and state of the art key cutting machinery.

Dirt or debris in the ignition cylinder

Sometimes, dirt or debris can get inside the ignition cylinder and prevent the key from turning. Try using a specialised spray, such as the commonly used WD-40, into the cylinder to help clear out any old debris.

We strongly advise you to refrain from trying and continue fixing the issue yourself after trying these simple steps. Attempting to fix the problem yourself could lead to snap key blades, broken key fobs or injury to yourself. If none of these solutions work for your key issue, our trained locksmiths can come directly to a location best suits you and diagnose the issue. After the diagnosis, our locksmith would then be able to tell you about the issue with your vehicle and the steps we could take to fix it.

Are you having a car or van key issues? Perhaps you’re looking for a spare key. We’ve Got The Key can help! Give one of our friendly support team a call on 01603367100. Thanks to our 24 hours a day, seven-day-a-week open times and nationwide availability, we will support you at a time and location which suits you best.


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