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Toyota Corolla Ignition Stuck/Locked/Key Won’t Turn: How To Fix

Being among the top car brands globally, Japanese carmaker Toyota makes some of the cheapest, most durable, and reliable cars. You can be confident your Toyota Corolla will give you a good run before you bump into repairs that will set you back by a substantial amount. However, like other power-driven machines, Toyota Corolla’s aren’t perfect.

If your Toyota Corolla ignition is stuck, locked, or the key won’t turn on, check if the steering wheel is locked, make sure you are in your parking mode, disconnect the power to the starter solenoid, and check the ignition system. Issues with different parts of the car can lead to such problems.

Car ignition key

In this article, we will go in-depth into each of the Toyota Corolla ignition issues. You’ll learn more about the following cases and their respective fixes:

  • Toyota Corolla key stuck in ignition
  • Toyota Corolla key won’t turn
  • Toyota Corolla ignition switch problem
  • Toyota Corolla ignition stuck
  • Toyota Corolla ignition locked
  • Toyota Corolla won’t turn off

Toyota Corolla Key Stuck in the Ignition

Car ignition key close up

Removing the key from the ignition is the easiest of jobs, but your Toyota Corolla key may get stuck at times. In this case, don’t try to remove the key from the ignition forcefully, as it will pave the way for more troubles. There are few reasons why the key might be stuck in the ignition.

One of them is associated with a safety feature commonplace in automatic transmission vehicles, known as parking lock or shift Interlock. Shift Interlock prevents vehicles from rolling away unintentionally. This feature prevents the removal of the key from the ignition while the car is in gear.

The key may also be stuck in the ignition if the steering lock is activated. This is because the lock also binds the ignition switch, thus, preventing the removal of the key. Alternatively, the ignition lock cylinder might be damaged, or your car battery may have little power.

How To Fix

Here are the things you can do to fix the problem:

  • Ensure your Toyota Corolla battery has enough voltage. Insufficient voltage can prevent your car from engaging all the safety mechanisms needed, like failing to run the ignition lock mechanism as required.
  • Wriggle the steering wheel to release the steering column. When the steering wheel is locked, the ignition switch will be exerted with a pressure that prevents the switch from releasing the key. Wriggling the steering wheel side to side while rotating the key in the ignition will help solve this.
  • Make sure you’re in parking mode. Automatic transmission vehicles prevent users from removing the key while in gear due to safety protocols.
  • Disconnect power to the solenoid If all of the above methods have not solved the issue, you can disconnect power to the solenoid. Toyota Corolla car owner Sam Carmel says disconnecting the starter solenoid might solve the problem. You can check the YouTube video below for more information:
  • Check if your Ignition Lock Cylinder is working properly. The car ignition lock cylinder has lots of pins built-in responsible for holding or releasing the key. If these pins fail or there is a misalignment, the key will be stuck. Replacing the ignition lock cylinder will solve this. Visit an expert in your area for this.

Toyota Corolla Key Won’t Turn

Starting car ignition with key

There are a few reasons why your Toyota Corolla key is not turning.

  • One, the key might not be the one created for the vehicle, so, check if you’re in the right car.
  • Two, the steering wheel is locked. Your vehicle could lock the steering wheel if you bumped it by mistake when exiting the car.
  • Three, if the steering wheel isn’t locked, the problem might be the key itself; it might be worn out or damaged.
  • Also, the problem might be your Toyota Corolla’s ignition switch.

A common issue with the Toyota Corolla key not turning is due to the steering wheel lock mechanism engaging. The steering wheel can lock if moved after the key is removed. To resolve this, gently wiggle the steering wheel left and right while simultaneously attempting to turn the key in the ignition.

How To Fix

To fix the problem, you can do the following:

  • Wriggle the steering wheel side to side while turning the key. To unlock the locked steering wheel, turn it from side to side while turning the key in the ignition at the same time. Turning the locked steering wheel, in this case, might require some substantial force. However, don’t exert too much energy because it can damage the steering wheel.
  • Replace your Toyota Corolla key. If your Toyota Corolla key is worn out or damaged, it is not easy to notice. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you’ll have to visit any Toyota dealership around your area for help.
  • Check if your Ignition Lock Cylinder is working properly. The car ignition lock cylinder has lots of pins built-in responsible for holding or releasing the key. If these pins fail or there is a misalignment, the key will be stuck. Replacing the ignition lock cylinder will solve this. You should pay a visit to a local Toyota dealership store to get help with this.

Toyota Corolla Ignition Switch Problem

Car key into ignition lock

The ignition switch plays an essential role in any car, and it sits directly behind the lock cylinder, which is where your key is placed. Problems with the switch mean your Toyota Corolla won’t start.

Common signs that your ignition switch has problems include stalling on the road while running and troubles with ignition, like failure to start the engine. Lack of power to accessories that depend on ignition systems, like sunroof is also a sign of a drained battery.

How To Fix

A problem with the ignition switch can be hard to fix by yourself unless you have technical know-how. Otherwise, unfortunately, the only solution might be to visit a Toyota dealership where the experts will replace the ignition switch.

Toyota Corolla Ignition Stuck

Hand on steering wheel driving a car

The ignition system includes a switch, appropriately called the ignition switch, and the cylinder. Both must be working correctly for the car to power on. If your vehicle is stuck in the ignition, the problem’s genesis might be with either of these two essential parts. Besides, your car battery might be low.

How To Fix

Here are the things you can do to fix the problem:

  • Check if the ignition switch is working properly. Common ignition switch problems can be indicated by the car stalling while driving, lack of power in certain accessories that depend on the ignition system, and ignition issues when starting the vehicle. Visiting a car dealership will help you with fixing this.
  • Diagnose the car ignition lock cylinder. Ignition lock cylinder issues are typically shown when your key gets stuck in your car.
  • Ensure your car battery has enough voltage. Car batteries play an important role in the ignition process. Check if the car battery has enough voltage, if not, jump start your car using another car’s battery. Jump starting requires you to connect the booster cables to your car’s battery from the other car’s battery or an external power source. It will help supply the necessary power to start the engine.

Check this YouTube video on how to jump-start your car with a dead battery properly:

Toyota Corolla Ignition Locked

Key in car ignition lock

The car can also lock the ignition system if the steering wheel is locked. The steering wheel lock can activate if you bump it while exiting the vehicle or turning off the car while steering. In either case, the locked steering wheel can also jam the ignition. This is often the case because the steering wheel lock often locks the steering and the ignition cylinder.

How To Fix

Wriggle the steering wheel to the left or right (whichever works) to disable the lock. Turning the steering wheel will help deactivate the steering lock. This will help release the ignition system cylinder, which is usually locked by the steering wheel when the steering wheel lock is activated.

Toyota Corolla Won’t Turn Off

Closeup portrait, angry young sitting woman pissed off by drivers in front of her, hand on head

When your Corolla doesn’t turn off, all the problem lies in the ignition system. Specifically the electrical ignition switch. This vital part of the vehicle can sometimes fail, which may cause the car to fail to start or turn off.

How To Fix

To fix the problem, you can do the following:

  • Diagnose the starter relay. The starter relay is critical in the ignition system. It helps redirect power from the car battery to the starter solenoid, which helps activate the engine starter to crank the engine. If the starter relay is faulty, the whole ignition switch won’t work, which may cause the engine to fail to turn off. Replace the starter relay if that’s the issue. If the problem persists, replacing the whole ignition switch is inevitable.
  • Check if the ignition switch is working correctly. Start by unplugging the ignition switch. If the switch starter stops, then the ignition switch is the problem and should be replaced. Visit a reliable dealership to do the job because the incorrect installation will lead to more ignition problems.

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Feb 14, 2021 and last updated on .