Pages: | 1 | 2 |
piggly iwiggly
Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 6:51PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The key won't turn in my 1999 Chrysler Town and Country minivan.

It goes in, but won't physically turn at all. It started a few days ago but I was able to use the "jiggle" method to get it fired up, it got worse through the day and tonight it won't move at all.

1: What's the problem? I assume I need a new ignition.

2: What part do I need to replace (I need to know what to order from the parts store)?

3: Is this something I can do myself, or do I need to go to my guy at the shop? I don't have much experience with cars, but I usually can figure out these problems and replace the part myself.
Detective
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 6:53PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Problem identified:

You own a 1999 Chrysler Town and Country minivan.
piggly iwiggly
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 6:56PM - in reply to Detective Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yeah I know... but I have a one year old son with another on the way in February, and a family friend basically donated it to us for $1000.
Shopping Around
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 6:57PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Try turning the steering wheel while turning the key to try and unlock the steering wheel lock. A lot of times that is the case.
piggly iwiggly
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 7:03PM - in reply to Shopping Around Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention--the "jiggle" solution won't work, at all.
This will probably work...
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 7:03PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Spray WD40 in the keyhole and work the key in/out and try turning it. I know for 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sports, which may have the same ignition, this is what works. Credentials... I have none, but my Dad was an engineer for Jeep/Chrysler for almost 30 years.
This will probably work...
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 7:04PM - in reply to This will probably work... Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Write back and let me know if that worked.
papa roach
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 7:19PM - in reply to Detective Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
First thing I would try is putting a small amount (quick squirt)of WD40 in the cylinder, then quickly insert and remove the key about 20 times. Hopefully if it is a sticking tumbler it will free up. Here is a good link also: "http://www.2carpros.com/forum/2001-chrysler-town-and-country--key-won't-turn-vt241462.html"
Mideasterner
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 8:19PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had a crappy Saturn that developed the same problem after about 7 years. The first few months, I got it to work okay with WD-40, but then that stopped working, too. Here are the two things I did to start it:

1.) Jiggled the gear shift. When it was newer, it slid into park and stayed there. When it got older, it would look like it was in park, but it somehow would slide just the tiniest bit past park (I assume the notches started to get worn down?). If I moved the gear shift back down about 2 centimeters into park, it would often work.

2.) If #1 didn't work, I stuck a screwdriver into the ignition and turned the ignition a tiny bit which would subsequently unlock it. After it was unlocked, I could put the key in and start it fine. I kept one of those mini Swiss army knives on my key chain.

It might sound illogical, but I used these two methods for the last two years of the car's life with no problem and never had to put out the money to fix a lemon of a car. It was also great entertainment for anyone who rode with me.
piggly iwggly
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 8:35PM - in reply to Mideasterner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
WD-40 Method didn't work. The key jiggles ever so slightly but won't budge beyond.

I'll have to try the gear shifting method.

Problem is, the van is across town at my in-laws' house, so it is a bit of a trip to go try the new trick out.

So if I do need to replace it, it's the ignition right? Or is it the cylinder?
hsrunner04
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 8:56PM - in reply to piggly iwggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Dude turn the steering wheel then turn the key.
Tyrmeltr
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 8:56PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Place the key in the ignition. Then, using a hammer, lightly tap the key as if you want to knock it in just a bit further. This tapping will free up the tumbler which is likely stuck and unwilling to fall in to place. It may take several attempts. Just do not smack it too hard.
bob lob
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 9:11PM - in reply to Tyrmeltr Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This may sound crazy, but often with older cars and this same issue you can start the car by moving the wheel slightly and simultaneously reaching over and turning the key with your left hand, instead of your right. Give that a try, easy enough to rule out.
hold the phone
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/28/2009 9:56PM - in reply to Mideasterner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Mideasterner wrote:
1.) Jiggled the gear shift. When it was newer, it slid into park and stayed there. When it got older, it would look like it was in park, but it somehow would slide just the tiniest bit past park (I assume the notches started to get worn down?). If I moved the gear shift back down about 2 centimeters into park, it would often work.



This was the issue (and solution) for me with a 1995 Tercel several years ago.
old school steve
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 9:50AM - in reply to hold the phone Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Sounds like the problem I had w/ my '98 Rodeo. Kept getting worse and worse. Finally I had to get a new ignition for about $250.00. Now works great except I need separate door and ignition keys.
alan green spandex
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 9:59AM - in reply to old school steve Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
too bad you didn't get cash for your clunker.
Flagpole
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 9:59AM - in reply to hold the phone Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

hold the phone wrote:


Mideasterner wrote:
1.) Jiggled the gear shift. When it was newer, it slid into park and stayed there. When it got older, it would look like it was in park, but it somehow would slide just the tiniest bit past park (I assume the notches started to get worn down?). If I moved the gear shift back down about 2 centimeters into park, it would often work.



This was the issue (and solution) for me with a 1995 Tercel several years ago.


Yep. This was going to be my suggestion. Make sure it is really in Park.
light load
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 10:02AM - in reply to old school steve Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm willing to guess that most of you with problems had a boat load of keys (or even a Swiss Army knife) on the keyring causing the ignition key to place a load on the cylinder.

After you replace the cylinder, lighten your keyring.
old school steve
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 11:14AM - in reply to light load Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

light load wrote:

I'm willing to guess that most of you with problems had a boat load of keys (or even a Swiss Army knife) on the keyring causing the ignition key to place a load on the cylinder.

After you replace the cylinder, lighten your keyring.

Possible....I do have a lot of keys!!
ARunnertoo
RE: Car guys: Key won't turn in ignition of 1999 Town and Country, what's the issue? 10/29/2009 1:00PM - in reply to piggly iwiggly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Don't just turn the steering wheel when you try to turn the key, but REALLY PUT SOME TORQUE INTO IT. Try it to the right and/or left. This has happened to me, and it this has worked. Chances are your wheels are slightly turned or torqued, like you're partially on a curb or something. The automatic steering wheel lock is doing its job a little too well.

My credentials: None, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Let us all know what the outcome is of this situation.
Pages: | 1 | 2 |