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Key Stuck In Ignition


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97 LS400 - key will not turn past accessory, when attempting to turn off ignition, therefore it will not come out. I am able to crank car up again, back up, or move forward, turn the steering wheel several times, then it usually turns all the way off and key will come out. It has been doing this every couple of months for about 3 years. When I checked on having it repaired, it was going to be upwards of $1,500, new steering column, ignition switch, etc. Any suggestions on what could be causing this problem. 133,000 miles, no other problems.

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Since the key will come out with some manipulation as you described, have you tried the telescoping/tilting features of the steering wheel to see if there's a position that will allow you to remove the key? If you find one, then to reset the wheel to your driving position, you simply press your preset memory 1 button.

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Yes the park/neutral switch may be intermittent. Next time you can't remove your key, try jiggling the shifter to see if it releases. To check the tumblers, next time you can remove the key, try inserting/removing it several times. Check whether there's any difference in the resistance when sliding the key.

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  • 3 weeks later...
97 LS400 - key will not turn past accessory, when attempting to turn off ignition, therefore it will not come out. I am able to crank car up again, back up, or move forward, turn the steering wheel several times, then it usually turns all the way off and key will come out. It has been doing this every couple of months for about 3 years. When I checked on having it repaired, it was going to be upwards of $1,500, new steering column, ignition switch, etc. Any suggestions on what could be causing this problem. 133,000 miles, no other problems.
My key got stuck yesterday afternoon. I had to disconnect the battery to get my key out. Then, I sprayed some silicone lubricant in to the ignition, cylced the key a few times, and she's good as new now!
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