Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2001 Volvo s40; key won't turn

The key is starting to have trouble turning; where I wiggle it around, it eventually turns, but I can feel it catching. Sometimes after giving up and going back to it. I can always make it not work by leveraging the key, but sometimes it’s really hard to make it work.

Perhaps related, the blinker quit returning turning off on it’s own both directions (a few months ago). And signalling to the right gets caught on something, but can be pushed to the on position with a mild effort (a couple weeks after it quit returning). Now the key has started acting up. That makes me think there is something loose in the steering column causing everything.

However, I don’t know how the mounting for the ignition and steering lock work, so I don’t know if it’s even possible. Looking at the key, it looks like the problem might be the key wearing out. I’d just take it to a locksmith and rule that out on the cheap, but it’s a chip-key. So then I’m spending hundreds to program a new key, or hundreds to tear apart the center column.

Anybody know a way to rule one out, or do I just have to take my chances?