Problems With Car Keys & Locks - Service Research at Mike Shaw Subaru

A car's engine, transmission, suspension and brakes are complex systems full of sophisticated engineering -- so, when something humanity has had mastered for centuries, like door locks, become broken on your car, it can be particularly frustrating. That's where the team at Mike Shaw Subaru comes in! On this page, we can help you fix common problems with your car's ignition cylinder and door locks. If the tips on this page don't fix your problem, the talented team in our service department can. Find out the four things that most commonly go wrong with the locks on your car below. Give us a call or stop by if you have any additional questions!

As the tumblers in the lock and the teeth on the key wear down, the key may eventually get stuck in the ignition

4. Key Stuck In Ignition

What do you do when you arrive at your destination, but they key won't come out of the ignition? Well, the first thing to do is to double-check to make sure the transmission (if yours is an automatic) is fully in Park. If it's in Neutral, Drive or stuck in the median between gears, the key may not release.

If you've confirmed that the transmission is in Park, but the key still won't come out, then the tumblers inside the ignition lock cylinder may have failed. To remove your key and get the car to start again, you'll probably need to have the ignition lock cylinder replaced by a trained technician.

As the battery begins to die in your key fob, the distance from which you can lock and unlock the vehicle will shrink

3. Key Won't Turn In Ignition Cylinder

If you can get the key in and out of the ignition cylinder, but it simply won't turn, it could be due to a variety of problems. Most likely, however, you've simply activated the steering wheel lock. This is a handy anti-theft feature that prevents a would-be thief from operating your car without the key.

To activate the steering wheel lock, just turn the steering wheel far enough when the key has been removed from the ignition. You'll feel it lock into place and it won't want to turn except in one direction ever-so-slightly.

To deactivate the steering wheel lock, turn the steering wheel slightly in the direction in which it has some "give." Then, at the same time, turn the key. Turning the wheel releases tension on the steering wheel lock and lets the key turn. If your key won't turn even when the steering wheel lock is deactivated, you may have problems with the tumblers in the ignition lock or even with the key itself.

This would-be thief is damaging the lock to attempt to gain access. Visit Mike Shaw Subaru if this has happened to your car

2. Key Fob Isn't Working

If the battery in your key fob goes dead, you won't be able to unlock your car from a distance -- and if your car features keyless entry and drive with a proximity key, the car might not be able to detect your key at all and the engine might refuse to start.

Make sure to have the battery replaced on your car's key fob before it dies. How do you know when the battery is dying? Try to pay attention to the distance from which your car responds to the key fob. If that distance begins to decrease, and you must stand only a few feet away from your car for the key fob to work, that means the battery is almost dead. Swing by our service center to have us replace the battery with a new one.

1. Frozen Car Door Lock

If your car's exterior door locks become worn or damaged, they might become frozen and the key won't work to let you into the vehicle. In very cold and wet conditions, the moisture inside the lock can freeze and cause your lock to become frozen quite literally, too!

In some cases, you'll need to have the door lock assembly replaced -- for example, if it was damaged in an attempted auto theft. It could even be that your key has simply worn down from years of use and the teeth aren't meshing properly with the tumblers inside the lock.

No matter what's gone wrong with the locks on your Subaru, the Mike Shaw Subaru service center can get them fixed! Best of all, our factory trained technicians will fix them using genuine OEM parts direct from Subaru so the finished product looks and feels as good as new.

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  1. Mike Shaw Subaru

    1650 W 104th Avenue
    Thornton, CO 80234

    • Sales: (888) 472-4482

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Mike Shaw Subaru

1650 W 104th Avenue
Directions Thornton, CO 80234

  • Sales: 720-724-9280
  • Service: 303-729-2683
  • Parts: 720-728-0862