Some car owners may not know in which circumstances they can try to intervene without an expert when their car keys fail to open or start their cars. Such people may spend money on service calls for situations that they would have handled on their own. This article discusses some of the reasons why a car key may fail to start a car. Use this information to make an informed decision about when you should call an auto locksmith for help.

Locked Steering Wheel

A car key may fail to start the car if the steering wheel of the car is locked. You can tell that this is the problem if you try to turn the steering wheel and it fails to turn more than an inch in each direction. This is a technical problem that you may be unable to fix if you lack the skills to do so. You should therefore call an auto locksmith to unlock the steering wheel so that you can use your car again.


Car keys gradually pick up tiny amounts of dirt each time you keep them in your pocket. The keys also pick up dirt each time you use them to perform another task, such as opening a package. This dirt can end up in the ignition lock cylinder. The lock cylinder will fail to turn once the cylinder is clogged by this dirt.

You can confirm that this is the problem by examining the key to make sure it doesn't have any visible defect, such as a dent or a crack. You can spray an electrical cleaning fluid into the key lock cylinder in order to break up the dirt. Gently slide the key in and out of the lock until it can get in effortlessly. Your car will now be able to start. Avoid using this technique if you installed a high-security lock in your car. This is because the locking system may sustain serious damage when you try to force the key into its sensitive components.

Key Problems

Cars may fail to start if the keys are bent, damaged or worn. Such physical damage prevents the grooves on the keys from aligning with the corresponding grooves inside the locking components. The only remedy for such a problem is to replace the key.

Call an auto locksmith if you lack the necessary materials or skills to fix those problems that have been categorised as issues that a layperson can fix. This will save you from making a mistake that will worsen the damage to the locking or ignition system of your car.