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ignition key will not turn - seems to be locked

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Old 02-17-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
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ignition key will not turn - seems to be locked

Title says it all. It happened after I changed the oil for the first time. The car will still about 6 inches off the ground (wooden blocks under the passenger front tire); all other tires on the concreate. I just jacked up the passenger front high enough to slide the stack of 2x4's under the tire, then lowered the jack so the weight of the car was on the wooden blocks. The the hood was open, and the plastic protective cover removed from the engine, I also had the wheel turned all the way to the right if any of those facts matter.

I put the key in the ignition but it would not allow me to turn the key to start the car. I messed around for a little bit before replacing the plastic engine cover, closing the hood, and removing the wooden blocks thinking there was some kind of level ground sensor - yeah I was getting desperate. Still the same thing: ignition was physically locked - the key wouldn't turn.

I finally got it to work by attempting to move the steering wheel back to the left since I cracked it all the way to the right to access the filter (well, I moved it as much as I could since it wasn't powered and was locked) and it FINALLY allowed me to start the car after the wheel kinda 'clicked.' It seems to be fine now.

My question: what the fuck happened? Did jacking-up just the passenger side of the car/wooden blocks do this? Was that click I heard and felt when I physically moved the steering wheel to the left a tiny bit do it?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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It's happened to me a couple of times. There is a "catch", for lack of a better word, that locks the steering column. It has to do with the steering angle when you shut off the engine. If you force the wheel just a half inch in either direction while turning the key, it will release every time.
I don't think jacking it up had any bearing.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info, man. I'll try to leave the wheel a bit closer to center next time I do it to avoid this problem.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:50 AM   #4
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when you turn your wheel it wants to turn back a bit. so theres pressure on teh catch.

you're okay. just like PAW said. just turn the wheel a bit and the key will turn
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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I always park my car with my tires turned straight to avoid this problem.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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I always lock my wheel upon exit, don't worry nithing damaged
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lights
I always park my car with my tires turned straight to avoid this problem.
Ordinarily I do to, but turning it hard to the right allows easy access to the oil filter. Oh well, my major concern was that I had damaged something. Good to hear it's normal.

Thanks for all the replies, all.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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Your fine, jiggle the steering wheel, happens with most cars I thought.

PLEASE do not use wooden blocks under the TIRE!!!! Thats some risky business. Be safe spend the 20 bucks on some actual jack stands. PLEASE
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:41 PM   #9
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This can also happen when trying to remove the key if the shifter, on automatic, is not fully in park. Had a pack of gum wedged in between the shifter and console. FYI
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulani has a TL
Your fine, jiggle the steering wheel, happens with most cars I thought.

PLEASE do not use wooden blocks under the TIRE!!!! Thats some risky business. Be safe spend the 20 bucks on some actual jack stands. PLEASE
I gotta disagree with you. Jack stands and fall over; wood blocks are safe once the weight of the car is pressing down on them. I used some decking left over from building our deck. They're like pretty beefy (I forget the actual dimensions). I cut them to about 20 inches long and I stack 4 on top of each other. I've been doing it this way for years.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:45 PM   #11
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Steering wheel lock is normal - cars have been doing from the 70's (that's as far back as I go)...
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2008, acura, cl, ignition, ignotion, key, lock, locked, mdx, nissan, rdx, steering, turn, versa, wheel, wont

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