This morning the ignition key wouldn't turn. I fiddled around with gear
shift, steering wheel, removed and reinserted key and it worked! Restarted
several times later as I drove around with no problems.
2012 Versa Hatchback. Has one of those chipped ignition key - yes, I'm sure
I used the right key - I only have one on my key ring. Any ideas? I'm
concerned it may happen again and strand me. I suspect I did something
wrong. I've only had the car a few months. I'll read the manual again later
for clues when I have a little time.
I'm a worry wart.
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
Being "chipped" won't have anything to do with it. I suspect you
turned off the key with the wheels slightly turned, and the steering
linkage put pressure on the steering lock. With the lock "unloaded" by
fiddling with the steering wheel, it released and turned easily. This
COMMONLY happens if you pull into a parking spot in a hurry, and turn
off the key as you are rolling to a stop, with the wheels still being
turned. If you always roll to a stop, center the wheel (or at least
release all pressure on the wheel) and idle for a second or two before
shutting down it is unlikely to happen again. Just my experience from
decades as a mechanic.
Steering column and ignition switch are interlocked, to prevent steering from moving unless
key is inserted and turned on. Under some circumstances, depending on how the wheel
was turned when the car was parked, it's possible for the steering to put enough pressure
against that interlock to prevent turning the key. The fix is to move the steering wheel a bit to
relieve that pressure -- there's enough play, even with the wheel locked, to permit that.
This is a common enough situation that the owner's manuals in some vehicles mention that.
And I think that's probably what happened to you.
On Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:50:12 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Ditto on the steering wheel. I had that problem with my Honda a few
times until I figured out the pawl in the steering wheel lock was the
hang up. Just wiggle the wheel a little while turning the key and it
will free right up.
Doeskeyappear worn? I have had troubles with keys over the years since I am constantly on the road.
Some chipped keys can be bought at wallmarts tire center much cheaper than the dealer:)
For my venture, 90 bucks at chevy dealer 35 bucks at wallmart. PLus wallmart programs the chipped key rather than making the driver program the vehicle
People sometimes forget that steering columns (and hence ignition
switches) can lock because tires are pneumatic. That is, they're filled
with air and can deform considerably.
I once got pulled over by a cop who decided to do a "field vehicle
inspection" on my car because it looked like a jalopy to him. He
claimed there was something wrong with my steering because I had to turn
the steering wheel a full half turn before the front wheels on the car
would start to turn. I explained to him that was entirely because those
wheels were pneumatic and that it wouldn't happen if the tires were
solid steel, or if I was driving when I turned the steering wheel. The
cop realized I was right and told me to have the steering on my car
If you turn the front wheels on a car that isn't moving, you can have
quite a lot of force in the pneumatic steering tires trying to twist the
tire back to it's original position, and it's that force that can lock
up steering columns and hence ignition switches.
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