It will always happen at the most inopportune moment and when it does, a cold wave of panic will rush over you. But let me help you if you’re sat in your F150 right now on your phone, trying to figure out why your key won’t turn.
Why won’t my Ford f150 key turn? Some of the most common reasons for a key not turning in a Ford F150 include a worn key, damage to the ignition, or the steering wheel might be locked. The quickest fix is to turn the wheel, hear a click, and turn the key.
However, it might not be that. There are few other things that cause the key not to turn in a Ford F150. Read the causes and fixes below and hopefully you can get your F150 truck up and running in not time at all.
Causes for a Ford F150 key not turning
If your Ford F150 key won’t turn, it will usually be down to one of the following causes:
1. The steering wheel is locked (most common)
If you’ve already tried this, move to the second cause below. If not, you fix it by moving your steering wheel from side to side as you turn the key in the ignition.
These two actions at the same will usually unlock the steering wheel and let you get going.
1. Ignition switch problem
One potential reason for a Ford F150 key not turning is an issue with the ignition switch. If the ignition switch is damaged, it can prevent the key from engaging properly. This can be caused by water or other liquids getting into the ignition and causing corrosion. In such cases, the ignition switch will need to be repaired or replaced by a qualified mechanic.
2. Damaged steering column lock
Another reason why your Ford F150 key might not turn is that the vehicle’s steering column lock is damaged. The steering column lock is a safety device that is designed to prevent the vehicle from being started without the key.
If this lock is damaged, it can cause the ignition key to get stuck or not turn properly. In some cases, the steering column lock may need to be replaced by a qualified mechanic.
3. Worn-out key
If your Ford F150 key is not turning smoothly, it could be because the key is worn out. Over time, keys can become bent or damaged, making it difficult to insert them into the ignition.
If you think this might be the problem, try using a spare key or having a new one made at a local hardware store.
4. Broken key
Another possibility is that the key itself is broken. If the key breaks while you are trying to insert it into the ignition, it can become stuck and prevent the truck from starting.
In this case, you will need to have a new key made and brought to you so that you can get back on the road.
5. Dirt and debris
Dirt or debris also play an important role they build up around the ignition keyhole and prevent the key from turning smoothly and may even cause it to become stuck.
6. Frozen steering column/lock
Check the weather conditions and make sure your truck hasn’t been parked in the sun.
And, if it is frozen, you can try to free it up by spraying a lubricant like WD-40 under the column cover and turning the key back and forth.
7. Ignition switch issues
If the key turns but the engine won’t start, it could be an issue with the ignition switch. This is a common problem in older trucks and can be caused by not replacing worn or broken ignition switch components.
Inspect your ignition switch for signs of damage or wear from use. You can also try cleaning any debris from around the switch that has built up over time.
If it’s not your ignition, but attempting to enter the car, then the external lock could have similar issues… but one of the more common is a water got into it and has frozen up.
Pour some warm water over the lock and the key should turn ok.
Handy Hint: Here’s how you can unlock your F150 if you don’t have a key.
F150 ignition switch problems that can cause a key to not turn
There are several symptoms that can indicate that your ignition switch is going bad, in addition to the key not turning. If you notice any of the following, it’s important to have your ignition switch checked out by a qualified mechanic:
1. Difficulty starting your vehicle
The ignition switch is one of the key components in starting your vehicle. If you notice that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to start your F150, it could be a sign that the ignition switch is going bad.
Also, check your battery first if there are no warning lights and the battery is looking in good condition. You should change your ignition switch.
2. Key won’t turn in Ford f150
If your key won’t turn in the ignition, it could be a sign that the ignition switch is faulty. In some cases, you may be able to wiggle the key and get it to turn, but this is not always the case.
If your key won’t turn at all, it’s likely that the ignition switch needs to be replaced.
3. Starter motor problem
If you notice that your starter motor is making grinding or whirring noises while trying to engage, or if it takes several attempts to turn over, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible.
A bad starter motor can cause several problems, so it’s best to nip it in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue.
4. Fuse problem
Another symptom of a bad ignition switch is that the fuse blows frequently. You might have a problem with your truck if other electronics in the vehicle are working properly but you’re having trouble starting it.
This could be due to loose connections or a fuse that needs replacing, so check those before assuming anything.
5. Noisy when turn the key
If you have a truck key that doesn’t work and it seems like the switch is working fine, then there could be something wrong with your ignition cylinder itself.
You should get an entirely new set rather than just getting another cut for them because these cheap components can easily break down over time so if this happens – don’t waste any more money on fixing things!
6. Electrical problems
The ignition switch is the central nervous system of your truck. It’s responsible for sending power to different components and can fail in two ways: by not sending power to the starter or by sending power to the wrong component.
If you notice any electrical problems in your truck, it’s a good idea to have your ignition switch checked out.
Related questions on F150 key turning problems
What do I do if my key won’t turn in the ignition?
It’s possible that your key won’t turn in the ignition for a variety of reasons. You might remove the key and attempt another way. In some cases, you may be able to wiggle the key and get it to turn, but this is not always the case.
If your key won’t turn at all, it’s likely that the ignition switch needs to be replaced. You might try another approach instead of removing the key and trying but it still won’t turn. While this probably means that the steering column lock has been engaged.
Turn the ignition key on while the steering wheel is moved back and forth. It should unlock. If it doesn’t, then you will need to replace the ignition switch.
I’ve also written about that annoying double honk that happens with F150s.
What would cause the ignition switch to lock up?
If the ignition switch is locking up, it could be because of a problem with the wiring. Sometimes, the wires can get worn down and cause the switch to malfunction. If this is the case, you will need to have the wires replaced.
Another possibility is that the ignition switch itself is defective. In this case, you will need to replace the switch.
What are some signs that the ignition cylinder is going bad?
If the ignition cylinder is going bad, you might notice that the key is getting stuck or is not turning smoothly. You might also notice that the truck is having trouble starting.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to have the ignition cylinder checked out by a mechanic.
How do you fix a locked steering wheel on a Ford F150?
If the steering wheel is locked on a Ford F150, you can try turning the key on while the steering wheel is moved back and forth. This should unlock the steering wheel.
If it doesn’t, you might need to replace the key or have the entire system checked out by a professional.
In most cases where there your Ford F150 key won’t turn, it will most likely be a steering wheel lock.
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