Truyendao

Rx 300 Keys Does Not Turn Ignition Lock

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My 2000 RX-300 is stuck in my driveway because both of my keys (master & spare) would not turn the ignition lock. The worst thing is that the ignition is at the 2nd position, causing the dash computer to be on and displaying the time. The key is not stuck in the lock because I can remove it. The dealer said the ignition lock needs to be replace, but I would have to tow the Lexus into the dealership.

Has anyone encounter this problem before?

Is there a way for me to un-lock the ignition lock to start the car?

Thank You,

Truyendao

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My 2000 RX-300 is stuck in my driveway because both of my keys (master & spare) would not turn the ignition lock. The worst thing is that the ignition is at the 2nd position, causing the dash computer to be on and displaying the time. The key is not stuck in the lock because I can remove it. The dealer said the ignition lock needs to be replace, but I would have to tow the Lexus into the dealership.

Has anyone encounter this problem before?

Is there a way for me to un-lock the ignition lock to start the car?

Thank You,

Truyendao

I suggest you get a locksmith to try to remove the ignition switch and unjamb it. I recently had a similar problem with my SC400 -- paid to have it towed to dealer, replaced ignition switch (very expensive), forced to buy new key, new key cut by locksmith to old pattern, new ignition switch set to old pattern so old keys would work -- $600 in total. Then I asked for old ignition switch, which they gave me, and it now worked smoothly with old keys!! It had just gotten jambed up somehow.

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I tried turning the steering wheel while turning the keys, but that didn't help. Finally, I callled a lock smith. He came and took apart the ignition lock and unjamed the lock for me.

Thanks a whole bunch for all your help.

God bless! :D

Truyendao

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Very easy to do, just hammer (softly tap) the tip inisde the cylinder lock with a screwdriver and hammer. The cause of this problem is that the ignition cylinder lock has to be replaced. It is costly. :cheers:

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I just had this same problem in my wife's '99 RX300. It happened while we were out on vacation and one of the kids needed to borrow the car. Six different people tried to start the car but none were able. I got home today and talked first to the Lexus dealer(tow is 65 miles and $800 and maybe just maybe it would be fixed) then I talked to the local Toyota dealer (maybe we can do it but no guarentee but you will have to pay anyway) then I looked on this website and saw the humor reply about taking a hammer and screwdriver to it......Well guess what three taps with a hammer loosened up the spring loaded "fingers" that fit into the side of the key and it now works perfectly. I have since talked to a locksmith and he says that would be what he would try first as they are know to get a bit gummed up in there. Hope this helps someone.

Thanks,

Bill

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Also for all Lexus owners the worst thing you can do is put your key on a ring with 5 or more keys. The pressure exerted on the lock mechanism over the years will wear the tumblers as well as the key. I have seen this over the years and highly recommend only the car key and maybe a house key. Best of luck to all. And yes I would go with a Locksmith first, much cheaper than a dealership.

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I just had this same problem in my wife's '99 RX300. It happened while we were out on vacation and one of the kids needed to borrow the car. Six different people tried to start the car but none were able. I got home today and talked first to the Lexus dealer(tow is 65 miles and $800 and maybe just maybe it would be fixed) then I talked to the local Toyota dealer (maybe we can do it but no guarentee but you will have to pay anyway) then I looked on this website and saw the humor reply about taking a hammer and screwdriver to it......Well guess what three taps with a hammer loosened up the spring loaded "fingers" that fit into the side of the key and it now works perfectly. I have since talked to a locksmith and he says that would be what he would try first as they are know to get a bit gummed up in there. Hope this helps someone.

Thanks,

Bill

Bill you advice worked, my ignition would not start so waled to my shop and got the only two tools in it " a hammer and a screwdriver". IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM, BILL IS THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I just had the same thing happen to me on the SC400 that I just got off of EBAY 6days ago.I wasn't in a hurry to meet the dealer so I tried this and it worked.I took a variety of screwdrivers out.Not sure which one did it but suddenly the key started working!

Does anyone know a good preventive maintance step here?A little machine oil? Kroil? MOJO Grease? :)

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I just had the same thing happen to me on the SC400 that I just got off of EBAY 6days ago.I wasn't in a hurry to meet the dealer so I tried this and it worked.I took a variety of screwdrivers out.Not sure which one did it but suddenly the key started working!

Does anyone know a good preventive maintance step here?A little machine oil? Kroil? MOJO Grease? :)

A little powdered graphite is always good for sticky locks, just use sparingly. :)

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Very easy to do, just hammer (softly tap) the tip inisde the cylinder lock with a screwdriver and hammer. The cause of this problem is that the ignition cylinder lock has to be replaced. It is costly.:cheers:

This is my first time here. I also had a problem with my ES300 with my spare key stuck in the ignition. I followed your advise but also added oil lubrication and the key eventually got loose and came off. I did a soft tap, oiled the cylinder, wiggled the keys and repeated this process until it got loose.

I'd like to help this forum also by adding some tricks I've learned. If you used the spare key and it got stuck, and the car won't start, take the primary key (the one with the remote), put it close against the ignition key and start the car. Apparently, Lexus keys have security device that will only allow the primary keys to start the car. Hope this could help someone.

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Very easy to do, just hammer (softly tap) the tip inisde the cylinder lock with a screwdriver and hammer. The cause of this problem is that the ignition cylinder lock has to be replaced. It is costly.:cheers:

Ok, I am having a difficult time visualizing where the screwdriver goes. I assumed you lightly tapped the area around the lock cylinder but reading your post tells me I have to tap the screwdriver INTO the lock key way?

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My key would also not turn past ACC to Lock position or Start on my 2001 RX300. I probably caused the fault when I turned off the car with the transmission in Drive vice Park - I immediately moved it to Park and removed the key. I did not realize the ignition was not full turned to Lock (the turn - push - remove sequence for key removal has become a "second nature" vice a deliberate act!)

I googled the problem after being towed to the dealership and removing the battery terminal lead (since in the ACC position everything is powered up). This forum was the first place I found an answer.

I tried the Hammer and Screwdriver technique: A flat blade screwdriver - similar size to the key inserted in the key slot and given a few gentle hammer taps worked the first try. The screwdriver tip was snug after the tapping and required just a little pull to remove. My key went in next and everything worked great! (Note I also reconnected the battery to prior to trying this to ensure the interlocks of the brake and gear shift would not interfere).

The next step was simply to join this forum and pass along my thanks -

THANKS for the great tip, and SPECIAL THANKS to Bill for his advice.

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My 4 year old jammed my key in backwards to the ignition of my 1999 RX300. The key stuck and eventually I was able to wrench it out. (That probably wasn't a good move...I'd lube it up a little first next time.) Unfortunately, the ignition locked in the ACC position and I was unable to get the key to turn. I got towed me to the nearest AAA approved repair station. When they told me I was looking at $800-$1000 for parts, rekeying and labor I decided to do some research online. (Come on, $1000...my boys do stuff like this too often for that! After reading a few positive reviews of the tap and lube method here, I decided to give it a try. I shot a little WD-40 in the key hole and then put in the key and tapped the back of the key with the back of a screwdriver about 5 times and wallah! I did have to jump my car because after 2 days at the shop in the ACC position, the battery had died. But all and all it was the quickest, cheapest repair ever. My husband is still saying, "I just can't believe that worked." Thank you so much Bill and all who confirmed this fix!

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We had the stuck ignition problem after my son pulled the RX300 (1999) half way out of the garage. In a rush, he pulled the key while the ignition was in the ACC position and the car was stuck there until we found the solution posted here.

I was a bit reluctant to tap on a screwdriver while it was in the ignition. So we got out a very thin screwdriver (from ACE hardware) with a small flat blade on it, inserted it first into the bottom part of ignition and rotated it 360 a couple of times in the ignition to loosen the tumblers, did the same to the top half of the ignition, and that did it. Thanks to Bill and all the rest for posting.

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I just had this same problem in my wife's '99 RX300. It happened while we were out on vacation and one of the kids needed to borrow the car. Six different people tried to start the car but none were able. I got home today and talked first to the Lexus dealer(tow is 65 miles and $800 and maybe just maybe it would be fixed) then I talked to the local Toyota dealer (maybe we can do it but no guarentee but you will have to pay anyway) then I looked on this website and saw the humor reply about taking a hammer and screwdriver to it......Well guess what three taps with a hammer loosened up the spring loaded "fingers" that fit into the side of the key and it now works perfectly. I have since talked to a locksmith and he says that would be what he would try first as they are know to get a bit gummed up in there. Hope this helps someone.

Thanks,

Bill

Bill Is A God!

I recently had to try this method when the same thing happened to me...haha.....with some WD-40 it would've been better but this method works great....

thx again....

-The Wah Family

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Thanks to all here, I also barely avoided an expensive fix.

Bill's technique works.

Same situation, my 14yr old son ripped the key out in ACC position and the tumbler was messed up, wouldn't turn normally. Nothing would budge it.

Dealer quote was in $500 range, locksmith was just as high with no guarantee, yikes!

Read further here and...

Added some graphite powder, Tried rotating several small "jeweler" sized screwdrivers in the upper and lower slots of the actual key-ways of the cylinder. I just fished around in the 2 slots with them.

Then I noticed that my 3/8inch "inner" tumbler was indented, but now it was now able to be moved outward.

[bTW I now believe the indented tumbler is my actual problem, the 3/8 inch tumbler is not "popping back" out to its correct position) it is left in the indented position with the key out. This also explains why a hammer tap makes sense. I might also suggest, trying to grab the tumbler with needle nose pliers and coaxing it back out.]

....and then when the key was reinserted it was good as new.

THANKS everyone, I owe you!

graphite powder and careful use should avoid this

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The ignition switch was stuck just to the right of the off position on my 2000 RX300. The radio/etc monitor screen stayed on and the warning beep kept sounding like the key was still in the ignition. I cold not turn the key to start, or turn to off, shift lever was stuck in park and the doors would not lock with the remote key. Before researching on this site, I had the plastic removed down to the bare heavy metal key/ignition assembly, even tried to remove the innards but could not get it to free up. Was pondering the lock smith route and wondering how much this was going to cost. Then I researched the issue on the internet and was amazed that this is a common problem. Blessed be the hammer trick. I sort of did not do it right the first time, and pounded more than was needed because shallow penetration did not work, I could not get the key in to the full depth so shallow penetration with a screw driver was useless. What I had to do, and it was risky with a $400 key, was put the key in as far as it would go, then tap with the hammer gently until it inserted deep, all the way, then it all freed up like a ice jam in the spring. Just to help loosen things up I squirted some graphite in and worked it a little. I am going to carry a hammer as a precaution, because if this would have happened some where else besides in the garage, and I didn't know what I know now, it would have been a tow and big bucks for a stupid design flaw.

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My 4 year old jammed my key in backwards to the ignition of my 1999 RX300. The key stuck and eventually I was able to wrench it out. (That probably wasn't a good move...I'd lube it up a little first next time.) Unfortunately, the ignition locked in the ACC position and I was unable to get the key to turn. I got towed me to the nearest AAA approved repair station. When they told me I was looking at $800-$1000 for parts, rekeying and labor I decided to do some research online. (Come on, $1000...my boys do stuff like this too often for that! After reading a few positive reviews of the tap and lube method here, I decided to give it a try. I shot a little WD-40 in the key hole and then put in the key and tapped the back of the key with the back of a screwdriver about 5 times and wallah! I did have to jump my car because after 2 days at the shop in the ACC position, the battery had died. But all and all it was the quickest, cheapest repair ever. My husband is still saying, "I just can't believe that worked." Thank you so much Bill and all who confirmed this fix!

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:cheers: Big thanks to Bill and others for the great tip to fix the stuck ignition on my 2000 RX300.

It is a piece of cake to fix this stupid Lexus design flaw by follow Bill's instruction. I did that this morning and it works great.

Again, big thank to Bill and others that contributed to this thread.

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Thanks everyone ! - 2001 IS300, turning the wheel hard didn't help - inserting/removing the key dozens of times with varying force didn't help. - I used a well oiled jewelers/eyeglass screwdriver that was long enough to go in all the way that it made the 'key inserted' chime ring. - Raking the pins of the tumbler with machine oil for 10-15 seconds and the key turned on the first try. - I owe everyone here the $150 towing bill that I was sure I was going to be paying.

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Wanted to share that yes, the small screwdriver in the ignition (with a little wd40), did in fact allow me to reset the ignition lock problem as many else have described. My ignition was also stuck in the mid way point between fully being off and turning over(radio was on, dash lights etc).

Thanks everyone for the help and advice.

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Also had the same problem with my RX300 2003 model unfortunately did not know about the forum so I paid dealy for the locksmith to remove the lock pending purchasing and installation of new one. Later when I was fidling with the lock and key to my surprise the key smoothly turned. I quickly put it back and the car is working properly 8 months down the line

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