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Discussion Starter #1
The woman who bought my Insight/CVT the other day just phoned me. She LOVES the car! ...but...

She had one problem and wanted to know if I had ever run into it, or if it was a "feature" I forgot to tell her about.

After she stopped to buy gas, she got back into the car the ignition key wouldn't turn. She took the key out and put it back in, tired several times, made sure it was in Park, etc. After several minutes of fiddling with all of these things, it worked - but she doesn't know why.

Neither do I. Is this some feature I never noticed?
 

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I have noticed, in many a car, that the key does not turn if the steering wheel is locked. This may or may not be the actual cause of the problem she is experiencing.

Have her give the wheel a tug in whichever direction its not locked into before turning the key. If she tries to force it, she can easily snap the key off in the ignition. Trust me I've been there.
 

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Yep.

Had this happen a couple of times in just about every car I have ever owned.

The best I can describe it is that when you shut the car off, you cut power to the power steering and the steering system "relaxes". You can kind of think of it as a spring...the PS system is compressing the spring a little and when you shut the car off, the steering wheel wants to spring back a bit. Every once in a while it will spring back enough that it "traps" the pin that locks the wheel when the key is out of the car.

This pin would normally retract when you turn the key, but the steering system is holding enough pressure on it that it cant retract, and you can't turn the key. You just have to turn the steering wheel slightly in the proper direction to remove the pressure from the pin and the key should turn.

Kind of a long winded description, but hopefully it will be an easily "fixable" problem for her.
 

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As the gentlemen said...

This happens to My Beloved once in a while when she drives the Insight by herself (her Saturn is reeeeally bad about this as well). Ever since I showed her how to turn the wheel against the pressure, she hasn't had any issues. :roll:

Us flatlanders don't turn off the engine with the wheels toward the curb like you mountain folk have to do :wink: . Having the wheels pointing anywhere but center when turning off the ignition on the Saturn is just asking for trouble, so she had to get out of her parking and "showing the wheels turned like a car ad" habit to remedy the problem. :D
 

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Usually a little extra elbow...errr...finger juice will get the key turning.
 
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