Tag Archives: jeep

My Chrysler ignition will not turn.

Over the last several months we have received calls with customers having ignition problems on Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles. Their typical issue is “my ignition is stuck” or “my key will not turn”.

This week we had two and I had finally remembered to take pictures for a blog post. So here it is.

Chrylser, Jeep and Dodge, use an eight cut side bar ignition. This ignition is very common, and regularly gets stuck. We see it on vehicles from eight years and older. It is not exactly a design defect, but from use.

Root causes

The three key reasons your ignition gets stuck are (a) a worn key, (b) dirt/lint and (c) worn wafers. The basic fix is for us to come out, get your ignition unstuck, remove, clean and rebuild it with new wafers and springs. If you key is still making the sidebar stick out, then we need to cut you a new key by code too. Well go through the hole process here.


Removing the ignition

The first step is getting your ignition unstuck by manually going in and moving the wafers back into position. Once the wafers are in position we can turn the lock to the on position in order to depress the ignition cylinder retainer. On rare cases with multiple (I have seen three) wafers are stuck, we need to drill into the ignition housing to depress the sidebar directly. Here is a picture of the ignition cylinder and housing removed.

chrysler ignition cylinger

Stuck Wafers

Once we have the cylinder out you can see the front 1-3 wafers (right side) being stuck down. Compared the the wafer 3-8 which are higher. See picture here.
front wafers stuck down

Removing wafers and cleaning the cylinder

With the ignition cylinder removed we then remove all of the wafers and springs. Looking closely you can see the grime build up inside the wafers. Also here is a picture of the ignition lock cylinder, housing, wafers, springs and key taken apart.

dirt in waferslock dissembled overview

Adding new wafers & springs

After cleaning, we put brand new springs and wafers into the lock using a Chrysler keying kit. Notice how the new shiny wafers all pop up to the same level now.  Compare to the stuck wafers picture above.

chrysler jeep dodge rekeying kitnew front wafers active

Seeing the difference in the side bar

Here you can see the side bar that is poped up on one side, compared to the rebuilt cylinder where the sidebar is flush. The side bar need to be flush in order for the ignition cylinder to turn.

side bar raised from stuck wafersside bar flush with new wafers

Checking the Key

The last step is to check the existing key in the new rebuilt cylinder. If the key rocks and the side bar can pop up, causing the cylinder to have difficulty turning, then a new key by code needs to be cut.

Now if your Chrylser, Jeep, Dodge or ignition is stuck or won’t turn, you can understand what is going on, and how we can fix it for you.

As always, we hope this is insightful for you and if you need help give us a call at 541-632-3968.