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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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I parked the car. I forgot to roll up the window. I tried to

Customer Question

I parked the car. I forgot to roll up the window. I tried to turn the key. It wouldn't turn. I turned the steering wheel back and forth, while trying to turn the key. The steering wheel locked but key still wouldn't turn.. The key comes out but will not turn.
JA: Many things can cause steering issues. Some simple, some complicated. Fortunately, the mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: No
JA: OK! The Mitsubishi Mechanic will help you with the diagnostics so you are sure to get this fixed right. Is there anything else important you think the Mitsubishi Mechanic should know about your Mitsubishi?
Customer: I was wondering if the car dealership could of turned the car off, because we had a bad dispute.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Mitsubishi Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.


What sort of vehicle is this (year/model)?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
2006 endeavor
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.


On this particular model there isn't anything really special about the lock operation or anything like that. Just in case something happened to the key (worn down over time), can we check the key operation in the door and make sure it still turns OK there?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Doug the key in the door still working
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.


Please give the shifter a few pushes forward to make sure the shifter is fully engaged in Park. If it is not fully locked in the key interlock will jam preventing turning the key (the reverse of what happens when the key is turned already and not fully in Park).

Since the steering is locked this is going to add a bit of complication... pull the wheel either way, one direction will have a solid stop to it, you need to pull the wheel the other direction while working the key.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
OK that worked. Is the ignition about to breakdown
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

Fantastic.... It depends. Did you feel any substantial movement from the shifter, or does it seem more like it was the extra tug on the wheel that did it?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't know someone else unlock it for me
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

I understand. If the shift lever moved at all, then I would say no it is not a sign of any future issues with the ignition.
If however it was firmly in Park, then there is likely some tumbler wear in the ignition cylinder causing the difficulty.
What I would do first would be to get some graphite lube for your key and work it back and forth to help lubricate the cylinder and see if you don't have any more issues. That will often clear up minor issues.
If however the cylinder tumblers are severely worn, then replacement or rebuilding would be in order. Any lock smith can handle this or your dealer, lock smith would be cheapest though. Just be sure to get it done before it gets to the point that you can't turn the key any more. It will make it much more expensive if the key can't be turned.

Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

If you need further help with this just let me know; I will be leaving for the night shortly, but will be back in the morning if we miss each other.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, Doug. When I turned off the car it did it again, this time the key was stuck but it would turn the ignition and start the car
Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

Definitely a sign that the ignition lock cylinder is having issues. At this point I would schedule at your soonest convenience to get the cylinder either rebuilt or replaced. A dealer will do this for usually an hour in labor plus parts, a lock smith will usually be much cheaper per hour though.
The majority of the time the tumblers can be replaced and the cylinder reused if you are only having difficulty turning it (no wobbling key, no key turning but not engaging starter etc). Dealers will usually want to sell a whole cylinder though.

Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

What you don't want to happen is have the cylinder lock up entirely before you get it in for service. The cylinder has to be removed of course to replace tumblers or replace entirely, and to remove it the key must turn. If the cylinder jams to the point you can no longer get it to turn with any level of effort, the cylinder will not be able to be removed.

Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

I am heading out now for the night; again if you need more help with this I will be back in tomorrow and can catch up with you then. No need to reply to this tonight, I am literally heading out right now.

Expert:  Doug replied 4 months ago.

Did you need any more help with this?

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