[Disclaimer]: I know that most cars have four wheels and you put gas in it. So, a mechanic, I am not. (still waiting for transporters to become a reality)

I have a 2006 Kia Rio with a manual transmission. The other day, I discovered that I can no longer turn the ignition. It won't budge. I tried to wiggle the steering wheel while turning, jiggling this and jiggling that. Nothing. Of course, all of my efforts now caused the steering wheel to become locked. However, like I said, the ignition wouldn't budge even before I locked the steering wheel.

I tried spraying a little DeoxIT into the key hole and worked the key in/out but that didn't help. I also tried my spare key too. Nothing. The key still unlocks the door so I assume the key itself is OK.

Any idea what it could be? Any suggestions for me to try?

I'm not a mechanic but I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.

Thanks for any suggestions.


It seems that being in the USA also affects the type of ignition system I have. So, for the sake of information, I am located in the USA.

  • 2
    You're in luck @cbmeeks, Volkswagen makes one: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Transporter
    – GdD
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:32
  • 1
    How is your Acura? About the same year no?
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:55
  • @SolarMike Acura seems to be running OK. However, I am worried about the transmission (automatic). Seems when we take off it makes a hard shift into 2/3 gear. Very noticeable and not "smooth" like 4th to 5th, etc.
    – cbmeeks
    Jan 6, 2020 at 15:24
  • 2
    @jwh20 this is poor advice. for one this model in the US has no immobilizer. Second, the immobilizer would not prevent this key from turning. It prevents at most fire, fuel and starter. The equinox is the same. The tech could not explain how it happened because it did not happen how he thinks it did. Very very few immobilizers prevent key ignitions from turning. Only models with electronic wheel locks like some of the nissan's and mazda's with half prox/half key systems.
    – narkeleptk
    Jan 6, 2020 at 16:17
  • 1
    @jwh20 Not to argue or offend you but I can say from 20+ years of automotive locksmithing. While the 2006 Kia Rio's around the world do have chipped keys, the US models do not. Also I am 100% CORRECT about the equinox. I have generated and programmed 100's of equinox keys with OEM GM tools and countless aftermarket. The chip in the key has nothing to do with the wheel lock or the function of the lock cylinder. Consider this, to even begin communicating with the engine ecu and the immobilizer ecu for programming, you must turn the ignition to the ON position first.
    – narkeleptk
    Jan 6, 2020 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


The number one cause for kia ignitions not turning are the keys being worn down. I suggest you first have a locksmith or dealer cut you a code cut key (not a copy of what you have). I see your in the US so there is no immobilizer on your car, the key should not be that expensive. Door locks are very sloppy compared to ignition locks so you should not judge your ignition based on the key working in the door.

If a new key does not work then the wafers in the ignition are worn or binding. You can try cleaning it or have it repaired/replaced.

I recommend wd40 for these type of problems. Its excellent at penetrating and cleaning out the grime while also providing temporary lubrication. Put your key in the switch and tap on it with the back of a screwdriver some. This will help free up the wafers most of the time if its just stuck from dirt. If that works then keep inserting your key and wipe it off with a rag til you do not see any more dirt. Finish by lubricating with a Teflon based spray.

Keep in mind, now that you have activated the wheel lock you will want to always hold the wheel to take the pressure off when trying to turn your new key or after trying to clean the switch out.

  • Thanks for the suggestions! Something to note is that my spare key hasn't been used very much. And both keys still open the doors. Do you still think having new keys made is recommended? Also, you say hold the wheel to take the pressure off. How do you mean? Should I turn it as far as I can in one direction?
    – cbmeeks
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:09
  • If you have a barley used spare, then no don't bother getting another. The damage will be in the ignition. Try the wd40 and tapping on the back of the key. Assume every time you want to test your key to turn after spraying/tapping do this For wheel lock: wikihow.com/Fix-a-Locked-Steering-Wheel
    – narkeleptk
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:29
  • Have you tried your spare key @cbmeeks?
    – GdD
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:34
  • @GdD yes, I've tried my spare key.
    – cbmeeks
    Jan 6, 2020 at 15:25
  • 1
    @GdD Highly unlikely. We live in a super safe neighborhood with a very low crime rate. The door is always locked (habit) and there is no sign of forced entry. Plus, they aren't going to tangle with our dog for that piece of crap car. :-)
    – cbmeeks
    Jan 6, 2020 at 15:43

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