So the battery in my Lexus died sometime while I was out of town. Come to find out the key wouldn't go in the lock either. I used some WD-40 and managed to get it in all the way but it won't turn.

I picked up some unfreeze lock stuff from the hardware store and tried that but it still doesn't open.

The odd thing is, if I use too much force, the whole lock ends up spinning around (perhaps this is a safety measure to prevent keys from breaking?). Does anyone have any suggestions of things to try? Or ways to pop the hood from the outside?

  • What year is it? What about the trunk lock if it has one? You can unbolt the latch by going through the bumper cover. Alternatively you can use a lock out set to open the door lock.
    – Ben
    Apr 10, 2017 at 0:37
  • Trunk lock is electronic. 2006, what's a lock out set?
    – easycheese
    Apr 10, 2017 at 0:59
  • 1
    It's basically a wedge you jam in between the door and body, then put in a little bag you blow up to create more space, jam a metal rod into the space and use it to physically unlock the door.
    – Ben
    Apr 10, 2017 at 1:06
  • The spinning is normal. It is a anti-theft feature of the lock to prevent it from being forcibly turned to the lock/unlock position. Its common on many high security key systems. In the locksmith business we generally call them "Clutched" cylinders. Sir Swears-a-lot's answer is pretty much dead on. I would only add that you use the back of a screw driver to TAP the back of key in the lock after spraying it and inserting a few times.
    – narkeleptk
    Dec 10, 2019 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


If you have used remote locking for a long time, your key will have worn down from being used in the ignition but the door lock will be almost new and probably a bit seized from lack of use.

WD40 will help. Just keep soaking it and wriggle the key gently. Gently twist it back and forth. It might free up.

Do you have another key? It may work better if it is less worn.

Or have a look at your key. Does it have a code stamped on it? If so, take it to locksmith and get a new key cut from the code (rather than copy a worn key) then try that.

Worst case get a locksmith to break in for you. If you want new keys cut, the factory code is stamped on the lock barrel in the drivers door. I had this done for under $100.

If your main battery is flat, you may be able to pop the bonnet, or put a jumper lead onto a positive wire from under the car, such as onto the starter engine lead. It might provide enough power to unlock it.

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