How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder When Key doesn’t Turn?


Imagine that you are going to start your car and you can’t turn the key, would you know why it happens? And what is more important, how to remove the ignition lock cylinder when the key doesn’t turn?

Although it has never happened to you, you should know that this problem is much more frequent than you may think. In this article, we are going to talk about the different reasons why it can happen and the solutions that may be.

Why Won’t the key Turn When Trying to Start Your Car?

Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder

We cannot talk about a possible cause, since several factors may be causing the problem; It could be the poor condition of the key, the steering wheel lock, the lock is worn from use or issues with the steering column. Let’s stop and analyze each one:

  • The ignition key is damaged: If it is badly bent or its profile has been modified, there is a good chance that it will end up giving you problems when starting. In this case, you have to remove it, either by yourself or with the help of a locksmith. Of course, never use it again. For this, it is highly advisable to have a spare key; If what has happened is that it has been bent, the solution can be as simple as straightening it again.
  • The ignition device has been blocked: It can happen because it is worn or damaged. It will not start even if the key is in perfect condition. If the damage is not very significant, they can try to fix it. But if it is a bigger problem, the only solution will be to change the entire starting cylinder, before it can leave you lying in the wrong place. This is a widespread problem among older cars.
  • Address blocked: Almost all cars have a steering wheel lock mechanism in case the wheels are turned sharply left or right when the engine is off. This response to an anti-theft device. This would be the most manageable problem to solve; turning the steering wheel to both sides should be enough to unlock it. For this to be effective, first observe where it allows you to set the steering wheel more. Then gently move it to the side that allowed it and keep it in that position; later try turning the key, if you can’t, move the wheel while trying, again, to turn it; if it is not possible, you will have to consider that perhaps a more severe incidence is occurring.
  • Problems with the steering column: This part of the vehicle is located at the top of the steering system. It is attached to the intermediate shaft and universal joints, although these problems do not result in the key, not turning.

How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder When Key doesn’t Turn?

Removing the cylinder from the ignition key is a simple task. This repair is essential if you have broken a key in the switch.

  • Open the hood and disconnect the power source by removing the ground wire on your vehicle’s battery. This will prevent electric shock.
  • Remove the steering column cover with a screwdriver. Most covers are mounted with this type of screwdriver.
  • Locate the ignition key cylinder on the right side of the steering column. A critical command interface assembly will surround the automobile.
  • Remove the command interface by disconnecting the cables leading to it. The wires should come loose from the interface. The command interface will slide.
  • Remove the cylinder from the ignition key by pressing the tab on top with an Allen key. Turn the switch until it slides out. Make sure the key is in the lock and turn the key while pressing down on the tab.

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Final Tips

The exact procedure for replacing the ignition cylinder differs from the manufacturer of each vehicle and the year.


Always isolate the electrical system before troubleshooting ignition system problems. This will reduce the risk of electric shock.