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ignition switch stuck

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Old 12-12-10, 02:01 PM   #1
foremandes
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Angry ignition switch stuck

'04 RX330: Starting about a year ago, occasionally when inserting the ignition key it wouldn't turn to start. Take key out try again and it would start. Progressively, it seems to be requiring more and more in/out cycles to get the key to turn. It's like the transponder is not recognizing the key FOB. I have two keys, one is a master and other is a sub key, both have the problem. Has anyone else had this problem, any recommendations? What has to be done to correct it? I'm afraid the dealer will just change some expensive ignition part when there's an easier fix.

Any help out there on this?
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Old 12-12-10, 03:22 PM   #2
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Your RX problem is like what you have stated.The ignition part is worn out. The only quick and correct solution is to let the dealer put in a new ignition assembly.If you want to fix it for half of the cost that of a Lexus dealer would normally charge you, my recommendation is to bring it to a Toyota dealer. Their price is fair.

Last edited by Nick318; 12-12-10 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 12-14-10, 12:46 PM   #3
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Just to report back in case anyone else has this problem: I took it to the Toyota dealer and they had a mechanic that has dealt with this a number of times on the RX as well as the Toyota Highlander (similar vehicles). He removed the ingnition cylinder and repaired tumblers and everything seems to be working fine. I guess with 116,000 miles, so things just start to wear out. About $200 worth of labor. If it'll take care of the problem, it was worth every penny. They were real confident it took care of the problem and said they would guarantee the repair. If anything else comes up, I'll report back. Thanks for the quick response Nick318.
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Old 12-14-10, 01:56 PM   #4
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no problem! glad it worked out for you.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:16 PM   #5
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And yet, we have someone in another post who had a BRAND NEW ignition cylinder put in and a few weeks later suffered the same problem (key wouldn't turn in ignition)

Here's what happend to me today (and what I did to fix it) *copied from my post in another forum*

Well I'm now starting to experience the dreaded 'key won't turn in ignition' problem that others have suffered. This IS NOT pressure on the steering wheel causing the problem (I've experienced that in other vehicles and just turning the steering wheel slightly solves that problem). No, this is bizarre..for no reason at all the key won't turn. It worked fine when I started the RX, 5 mins later (drove the kids to school) it just wouldn't turn. Now this happened a few weeks ago to me, and maybe once or twice in the past year. The other times, I just removed the key, put it back in, jiggled it around and all was fine. This time, I spent 10 minutes unsuccessfully, cursing and freezing, wondering why I ever traded in my Subaru Outback.

Then I remembered reading something about a fix involving a hammer (yes a hammer on a $60 000 vehicle because Lexus doesn't know how to fix the problem). Not having a hammer handy, I inserted the key and gave it a sharp blow with the palm of my hand (straight in toward the front of the car (or in the direction the key is inserted), not in the direction the key is supposed to turn). Voila!!! Problem fixed. Key turned readily after the whack. Just a heads up for those that might suffer this problem down the road.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:00 PM   #6
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Problem is certainly lock and key wear and tear over time. If is not lock-related then it must be key-related. I had a spare Lexus key and it would not turn to start because the key tooth was bad/worn out so i used a metal sharpener to reshape the tooth and it worked! This problem can be a quick fix when u can compare your valet key to a master to a wallet key.

Last edited by Nick318; 12-15-10 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 12-15-10, 08:45 AM   #7
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In this post

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...07-350-rx.html

the owner had a brand new ignition cylinder put in and several weeks later suffered the same problem. I highly doubt the ignition cylinder wore out in a few weeks.

Also, if it is due to wear, how does whacking the key with a hammer (or in my case hitting it with the palm of my hand) solve the problem.

I'm not doubting wear can affect the ignition (and regular door locks for that matter), as I've seen it in other cars, but I think there's more to it in these particular cases.

Without searching the forum, I seem to remember posts of seized ignitions occurring very early into the life of the vehicle, long before wear should be a factor.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcy View Post
In this post

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...07-350-rx.html

the owner had a brand new ignition cylinder put in and several weeks later suffered the same problem. I highly doubt the ignition cylinder wore out in a few weeks.

Also, if it is due to wear, how does whacking the key with a hammer (or in my case hitting it with the palm of my hand) solve the problem.

I'm not doubting wear can affect the ignition (and regular door locks for that matter), as I've seen it in other cars, but I think there's more to it in these particular cases.

Without searching the forum, I seem to remember posts of seized ignitions occurring very early into the life of the vehicle, long before wear should be a factor.
There are similar posts on the ClubLexus.com. It would seem some of the pins have difficulty 'moving' - they get stuck. A little whack with the hand or a hammer often dislodges them and the lock functions again - at which time, if it were mine, I would apply some graphite lubricant. So, it has only marginally to do with wear, and seems, in many cases, to be easily resolved....
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Old 12-15-10, 11:35 AM   #9
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ahh yes, exact problem on my 04 RX with 112K miles. Its been happening for about 2 years and I just traded her in last month so its somebody else's problem. lol. the cold climate makes it worse
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Old 12-15-10, 01:48 PM   #10
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Worn out ignition part? I've owned vehicles with 206K, 148K and 155K and never had ignition problems? Although they weren't Toyota/Lexus vehicles...
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Old 12-16-10, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauljcl View Post
There are similar posts on the ClubLexus.com. It would seem some of the pins have difficulty 'moving' - they get stuck. A little whack with the hand or a hammer often dislodges them and the lock functions again - at which time, if it were mine, I would apply some graphite lubricant. So, it has only marginally to do with wear, and seems, in many cases, to be easily resolved....
Excellent idea. Graphite lubricant on the way..
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Old 12-16-10, 07:06 PM   #12
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I think we were better off with the repair of the existing ignition/tumblers than we would have been with a complete new cylinder. The mechanic had obviously completed this repair a number of times. I'm just wondering if trying to match a new cylinder/tumblers to an existing key could create an opportunity for a problem or mistakes.?

Hopefully, ours is repaired for good, so far so good.

We are going to try to be more careful in how we insert the key. Make sure to line the key up so it goes straight in and insert is slowly and make sure it's all the way in before trying to turn the key. Try to slow down key wear and potential damage to tumblers.

By the way, I would be careful hitting the key while it's in the ignition, you'd really be stuck if it broke off in there.
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Old 12-19-10, 11:52 AM   #13
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Sorry, guys, I just can't imagine that the steel key worn out this fast.
Especially if we take a look on the same problem in the parallel thread, where the topic-starter experienced the same problem even after he(she) replaced the ignition core.
My bet, most of the described incidents are caused by the steering wheel immobilizer. This was the reason for two such incidents (my wife can't turn the key in our rx330 and my friend can't turn the key in his rx330). Even after a brief explanation of how this thing work, my wife still experienced the problem time after time, but after she understood it clearly, the problem had gone. Now no key stucking at all.
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Old 12-21-10, 03:14 PM   #14
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Default Rocking car forward and back releases key

I too have been experiencing the same problem with my 2006 RX330 with only 45,000 miles on it. It started happening last April, only weeks after my 48 month warrantee ran out (mileage was around 40K at that time). With my low mileage, I have a hard time believing that the ignition cylinder is worn out already and don't want to spend the money to replace it.

The problem is very intermittent. Sometimes it won't happen for weeks, other times it happens every day. It may happen first thing in the morning when the car is cold, or it could happen after running 4 or 5 errands and the car is warm. It might be getting worse in the cold weather, as lately it has been happening about once every day or two, but I'm pretty sure there've been other times when it happened frequently in warm weather.

I does not appear to be related at all to the steering wheel lock. If found that the steering wheel is never locked in place, as I can turn it both left and right. When I put the key in, before turning the key, the steering wheel immediately adjusts height. I've had other cars where twisting the wheel would release the key, but this problem doesn't feel at all like those.

Sometimes just waiting a minute and then trying again solves the problem. If I take the key out and put it right back in, it normally still won't turn. But if I remove the key, let the steering wheel rise all the way, and then try again, sometimes it will work. Might take several attempts, although many times even this doesn't work. Twisting harder doesn't help, in fact it seems like a the lighter and gentler I am with the key, the more likely it is to turn.

I have found a reliable solution to the problem, but it is a pain in the butt. When the key won't turn, if I rock the car forward and backward while lightly turning the key, the key will release every time and allow me to turn it. Sometimes I can violently rock my body forward/back while seated in the car to do it. But it works best if I open the door, step out of the car, put my shoulder against the door frame, shove the car forward, let it roll back, and lightly twist the key the whole time. Make sure the parking brake is released before doing this.

I haven't tried lubricating or hitting my ignition with a hammer yet. But I'm tempted to try something. Rocking the car is getting old. My ex-wife was busting up laughing the other day at my expense while I was busy flailing forward/back in my car trying to get it started after dropping my daughter off with her. Her comment was "nice $60K car you have there!"

I'm curious if anyone else with this problem finds that rocking the car back and forth helps get it started. Let me know! Thanks.

Tauren
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Old 12-22-10, 04:02 PM   #15
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very bizarre experience there lol. I know this problem can be vary from car to car, but if I purchased a $50K car, i would not mind taking it to a toyota dealer for a quick repair of 200-300$. It is def. frustrated if you have to do some silly twisting and turning to your ignition from time to time to make it run.

Last edited by Nick318; 12-22-10 at 11:03 PM..
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Old 12-22-10, 04:02 PM
 
 
 
 
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