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Key Won't Turn in Ignition (Aygo)


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Evening all,

I've been having a problem with my ignition barrel for some time - you put the key in the ignition and you can't turn it! But only sometimes. It's basically the same as when the steering lock is engaged and you have to wiggle the wheel a bit to get the key to turn, except in this case the steering lock isn't engaged and wiggling the wheel will engage it..

One sure way to replicate this every time is to put the key in the ignition, don't turn it at all and pull it out again - there you go I've jammed it and the next time I insert the key there's no hope of turning it.

The only way of 'turning' the key once this happens is by removing and reinserting the key anywhere between 20 and what feels like an infinite amount of times until you can very stiffly SLAM it into 'ACC' and go from there.

The car is a 2015 Toyota Aygo with 52,000 miles. What's happened and is it going to bankrupt me?

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Hi Daniel,

Your description sounds like an issue with the lock barrel itself. They're greased internally when manufactured. Overtime the grease can dry out and and becomes thick, sticky and stops lubricating preventing the tumblers inside from moving as the key goes in.

Options are to take the car to an auto locksmith and get them to look at it. Or you could try using some GT85, it's a penetrant similar to WD40 BUT is much better at lubricating as it contains PTFE which WD40 doesn't, WD40 will evaporate after a short time.

Don't over do it and use the thin tube to spray the GT85 inside the steering lock barrel and work the key in the barrel which hopefully should easy things for you. You could also try applying the GT85 to the key blade to help distribute it inside the barrel.

Be gentle with the barrel and the key as you don't want the key breaking!

If you opt to do it yourself and things don't improve then time to see a locksmith or a decent independent mechanic as the barrel internals are likely worn.

Let us know how you get on.

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Yeah it's not unheard of for the lock wafers to get a bit sticky in a heavily used Aygo, esp. if something's gotten on the key which has then transferred to the lock - Lubing up the barrel as mentioned above seems to be the easiest bodge, or even applying some to the key and running that in and out of the lock a few times to get it onto the sliding surfaces.

I had to do something similar to my Mk1's driver-side door lock, as I never used it, and the one time I needed to found it had seized up because of all the microparticles of dirt that had gotten into the mechanism over the years. Sprayed a bit of WD40 into the lock and on the key, jiggled them about and was able to free it up thankfully.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies for the slow update here!

I took the car into my local Toyota Dealership and they sprayed some GT-85 in free of charge. It didn’t free it up straight away but by the next day it seems to have done the trick. 

However, because before the key had to be inserted at the perfect angle and then you needed to apply upwards pressure to turn it, they have advised the lock barrel will eventually need changing as the internals are worn (Covered under warranty though so all good!)

Cheers for the help guys

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Glad you've got it sorted for now Daniel, that GT85 is very good for locks, and impressed the dealership opted to try that as a first choice, think most would just insist on a new lock barrel! Not as that matters if it's under warranty still, seems like you have one of the better dealerships up your way.

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