Things you can do when your car ignition lock cylinder won’t turn before calling a locksmith.
- Take your car registration as well as your picture ID to the nearest dealership and ask them to make you a new mechanical key (a key with no transponder chip). Next, try turning your ignition lock cylinder using the new key. Often times the ignition lock won’t turn because of a worn out key and not because of a faulty ignition lock cylinder.
- If the ignition lock cylinder won’t turn with the new key you should try spraying WD40 inside the ignition lock cylinder and jiggling the ignition using the newly made key.
- If the ignition didn’t turn simply by jiggling the new mechanical key then try bumping the ignition lock cylinder. In order to bump the ignition lock you will need to spray WD40 inside the ignition lock cylinder then insert a new mechanical key part of the way into the ignition lock cylinder and bump the rest of the key into the ignition lock cylinder using the handle of a heavy screwdriver (rubber handle works best). In many cases a jammed ignition lock cylinder is caused by one or two misaligned wafers stuck inside the cylinder preventing the lock from turning. Bumping the ignition lock cylinder a few time will likely release those jammed wafers so ignition lock will turn once again.
If you got the ignition lock to turn on don’t turn it back off as it may get stuck again and this time you may not be able to turn it back on again. Most auto ignition lock cylinders can be easily removed and replaced once you have the ignition lock turned to ‘on’ position. At this point if you consider yourself a handy individual, we recommend you watch a few YouTube videos pertaining to your year and model vehicle on how to replace the ignition and get it done yourself. Otherwise, you should call a professional locksmith to have your ignition lock repaired or replaced if needed.
How to avoid getting locked out of your own vehicle?
There are several things you can do to avoid getting yourself locked out of your car, many of which require some thinking ahead.
- Have mechanical key (a key without transponder chip) copy made and hide it somewhere on the outside of the vehicle (for example you can remove the back license plate and use duct tape to tape a mechanical key to the back of the plate and install it back on).
- Leave a spare key with a friend or neighbor. It is usually cheaper to have the extra key delivered to you or for you to go pick it up than it is to hire a locksmith to come out to you.
- If you have On Star service they can often times unlock your car remotely so it is worth trying. Simply give them a call and they will unlock the car for you.
- Many after market alarm systems these days (like Viper and Directed) have a phone app that you can download to your phone so you can lock and unlock your car using the phone app.
If you do end up locked out of your car we recommend you contact a local locksmith to have your vehicle unlocked. Trying to unlock the car by yourself can cause extreme damage to your door rubber seal and paint.
Important things you should know about car keys that will help you understand the process of replacing them in case of a lost or stolen key.
Not all car keys can be made by a locksmith (some keys can only be made by a dealer due to dealer restrictions) but the vast majority of them can be made on site by a locksmith.