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Old 05-13-2022, 04:07 PM   #1
SailinAway
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Default Hard to get key in and out of ignition

This happened suddenly today. I have to wiggle the key quite a bit to get it in and out of the ignition and use a little bit more pressure than usual. This happens with my regular key and the spare. The keys work in the door lock. Hence the problem is in the ignition cylinder, correct? Car runs fine.

Dealer: "Lubricate the cylinder or use compressed air to clean it out."
My mechanic: "Don't lubricate the cylinder or use compressed air. That could make it worse by gunking up the cylinder or forcing debris farther into it."

I find that same disagreement online. In any case, it seems like I should just get the cylinder replaced. Do you agree?
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default Lock Ease

Get some Lock Ease spray. It's essentially liquid Graphite and made especially for locks. I believe you will find most locksmiths swear by it. If it doesn't work, change the lock. No harm done other than spending $5.00 on the lock ease
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie T View Post
Get some Lock Ease spray. It's essentially liquid Graphite and made especially for locks. I believe you will find most locksmiths swear by it. If it doesn't work, change the lock. No harm done other than spending $5.00 on the lock ease
I believe I have some graphite. Are you sure it won't cause any damage?
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:59 PM   #4
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I ordered the replacement cylinder from the dealer. The dealer will code it and I will have it installed by my mechanic (cheaper than the dealer). Any problem with that plan? In other words, the cylinder can be coded before installing it?
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:00 PM   #5
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Default Specific for locks

The Lock Ease is specifically for locks. A quick spray should be all you need. It should not cause any damage unless you spray far too much in the lock. Follow the directions and you should be fine. Again, what do you have to lose, It's already broken.
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie T View Post
The Lock Ease is specifically for locks. A quick spray should be all you need. It should not cause any damage unless you spray far too much in the lock. Follow the directions and you should be fine. Again, what do you have to lose, It's already broken.
Actually it's not broken. It's just difficult, and I don't want to break it.
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:49 PM   #7
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I was having the same sort of difficulty with my 2015 Subaru. Then last year I got a notice from the mfg telling me I could get the problem fixed at no cost. I did, and it's been fine since. Maybe your vehicle also has a recall going on that.
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Old 05-13-2022, 06:07 PM   #8
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This is NH. Why not just leave the key in the ignition? Apparently you can still lock the door if you like. (I bet FLL doesn't lock his car.) Uh Oh. My wife leaves the fob in the car, so the car can't be locked, but you can start it, I guess, if you're not afraid of a big protective dog. BTW windows are open.
My friend in Boston used to lock the car when it was parked on the street. Several break ins. When she stopped locking it, no more problems.
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Old 05-13-2022, 08:24 PM   #9
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Don't spray the graphite into the lock itself.

You should spray the edges of your key and then insert and turn the key multiple times to work it into the lock.

Hopefully problem solved........
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Old 05-13-2022, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
Don't spray the graphite into the lock itself.

You should spray the edges of your key and then insert and turn the key multiple times to work it into the lock.

Hopefully problem solved........
Aha, so we have some disagreement about whether it's OK to put graphite in the lock cylinder. My mechanic did spray lubricant on the key and it didn't help.
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:49 PM   #11
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Default Update

Got the cylinder changed. Now the key goes in and out fine, but it doesn't turn easily. I bought the part at the dealer and had the dealer code it. He said he greased it. Did he not grease it enough?
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:36 PM   #12
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Did they give you a new key with the change in cylinder?

I wonder if the key wore with all that jiggling?
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Old 05-21-2022, 07:28 AM   #13
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If the key lock is on the side of the steering column, it interlocks with the steering, and the steering wheel cannot be turned until it is unlocked. Sometimes, pulling the steering wheel down to the left will make it easier for the key to slide into the key cylinder.

So, what is the year, make, model, and mileage ...... and has it been detailed with a super-expensive ceramic coating ...... ha-ha-ha! ....
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:21 AM   #14
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A possible explanation...

When the car is running the power steering pump provides pressure to keep the front wheels pointed where you want them.

When you turn the car off the wheels may have been loaded to the left or right.

Without the power steering to resist that force, the wheels unload and settle back to where they they have no force on them.

This puts a twist on the steering wheel which puts pressure on the steering lock.

The key will be hard to remove in this case.

To test this theory, try turning the wheel when the key is giving you trouble.

You will feel resistance as if you are turning it against a strong spring.

If turning the wheel makes the key issue go away then you now know what the problem is.

To prevent it in the future always turn the wheels straight and let go of the steering wheel before shutting the car off.

This may not your problem but it may help others here.

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:25 AM   #15
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What is the year make and model of the car?
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Old 05-22-2022, 09:55 PM   #16
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The key now goes in and out of the lock easily. There is some, I would say, friction when I turn the key to start and stop the engine. Friction that wasn't there with the previous lock. It feels like the friction is between the lock cylinder and the housing around it (?).

The key was not replaced. The new lock was coded to the old key. 2014 Chevy Sonic.
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:18 AM   #17
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Go get the Sonic detailed with a two thousand dollar ceramic coating, and this key cylinder will automatically work totally totally perfect! ....
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