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Matt, Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21602
Experience:  Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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2007 GMC: K1500..Now my ignition key will not turn the ignition.

Customer Question

I have a 2007 GMC K1500. I accidently tried to start it with somebody elses keys. Now my ignition key will not turn the ignition.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 8 years ago.

I'm afraid that you've damaged the ignition barrel with the wrong key. The easist fix is to replace the entire ignition barrel complete with new keys.
However you might be able to get the barrel working again with your current key if you can remove it intact.
You'll have to remove the plastic trim from around the column and you'll see a metal housing which hold the igniton switch, the swtich itself will be secured to the column with a couple of screws. Once this is removed the barrel is held in place with a circlip, remove this and you then push your key and give it a wiggle to withdraw the whole barrel.

Once its out you'll see a series of brass fingers that are sprung against the profile of the key , one or more of these will be damaged and won't be sliding in and out smoothly if you can tweak it straight and get it all moving again you existing key should work again.
Matt and 8 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did think that used enough force on the wrong key in the ignition cylinder to damage it. I thought that there was some kind of theft deterent feature preventing me from turning it with the correct key. I will take the ignition cylinder out and straighten it as you suggest now.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I meant to say that I did not think that I used enough force on the wrong key to damage the ignition cylinder. Anyway, I got it started. I took the shroud off the column and put a small straight pick in the release hole on top off the ignition cylinder housing. I did not have to go as far removing the cylinder to get it started.
Expert:  Matt replied 8 years ago.
glad you got it sorted