View Full Version : &%$@ Key Won't Turn!

06-28-2007, 08:27 AM
This is nothing new, actually. I will put my key in the ignition and it won't turn, and so I'll jiggle the "shifter" (and it gets quotes because it's an automatic) and then I'll try again and it's fine.

Not this morning.

I jiggled the shifter (with the key in and out of the ignition), I tried starting it in every gear, I took the brake off, I turned the wheel... I'm stuck!

Anyone have this problem and have suggestions? I'm just glad I have another car that I could take this morning.

~Melissa (of the many problems)

06-28-2007, 10:23 AM
Somehow I missed that your car was an automatic. The oil in an automatic does a lot more work than on a manual transmission and may be contributing to the temperature problem. Remember the link to the Austin America site I posted in the other thread? It may be a good idea to visit there again about the temperature issue. A good number of Austin Americas were automatic so any temperature problems they have relative to the gearbox/engine may apply to your car.

I don't know what interlocks there may be on an automatic that might prevent the key from turning. Obviously your car must be late enough that the ignition key/switch is on the steering column (early cars have the switch on the dash switch plate).

Instead of trying the gearshift lever, have you tried jiggling the steering wheel while you try to turn the ignition key? I'm pretty certain that the column mounted ignition switches have a steering wheel interlock. If there's pressure on that (perhaps from parking with the wheels turned and the car wanting to roll) it may be next to impossible to turn the key. Try jiggling the steering wheel while you turn the ignition key and see if that helps.

06-28-2007, 10:55 AM
Tried that. The steering wheel moved a little and then locked, so now it barely moves. I'll try again, though, since I did park it with the wheels turned.

I'll try checking out the austin america site for my heat issues. Thanks!

06-28-2007, 03:52 PM
you could try and spray some WD40 in there and see if that works i had the same problem with a few cars

06-29-2007, 09:05 AM
It was the wheel lock. I had tried turning my wheel and then trying the key, but I hadn't held the wheel turned and tried the key at the same time. That did it.

And she handles well in the rain too, but man, those windshield wipers are hilarious. (Okay, so I'm easily amused.)

06-30-2007, 03:12 PM
For all LBCs there is a "must" addition. Always use Rain-X. If you haven't used the stuff before, you will be amazed at how it helps the water bead up and blow off the glass. It's a real plus for anaemic wipers.

I'm glad you got the lock issue resolved. When I suggested jiggling the wheel while turning the key... I guess that's something better illustrated with actions than described with words. On cars where I've had this issue its a coordinated action done at the same time. Now that you know the trick I'll bet it becomes second nature.