Can't always turn key in ignition of 2002 Toyota Sienna!

ignition
toyota
sienna

#1

Three times in the last seven months, I have been stranded in this car because, no matter what I tried, I could not turn the key in the ignition. No problem inserting or removing key. Sometimes steering wheel in ?locked? position, sometimes not. Transmission always fully in Park. No obvious problems with electrical system. Sometimes parked on incline, sometimes flat. Try stepping/not-stepping on brake. Fiddle with parking brake. Try repositioning key. Try a different key. WD-40 the keyhole. Nothing works! It feels almost like some type of anti-theft device has turned on.



Once, when stranded after preschool gymnastics class, one of the fathers tried to turn the key for me, but had no luck either. Yet each time, my husband has been able to turn the key (twice immediately after I had been unable to do so). And only on the third time did he feel any resistance to the turning of the key.



Ever since we bought this car new, I?ve experienced occasional resistance to turning the key, but only about twice a year, and always was able to eventually turn the key myself within a few minutes. In June 2008, this started happening more often, sometimes more than once a day, until eventually I was stranded twice in one week. I ?fixed? the problem by trading cars with husband (he?s never had an ignition problem with my car). After his car stranded me with a defunct battery, I went back to my Sienna, only to be stranded for the third time a couple weeks later.



I?d really like to get back into my Sienna without feeling like I?m playing Russian roulette. But my husband doesn?t want to take the Sienna in for repair, as he can?t reproduce the problem to demonstrate it to mechanic (or to check that it actually did get fixed). I?m tired of waiting ? anyone have advice?


#2
Do you have a lot of keys and things on your key ring?  That can wear and damage a lock.  
   
WD-40 will cause problems in a lock.  It is a very good water displacement, but it is a very poor lubricant It has its uses and I keep some in the house all the time, but their advertising department went far overboard.  You may now need to clean that gunk out with a zero residue cleaner (Radio Shack has some) and then if it needs any lube, use a real lock lube like lockease or maybe some powdered graphite.

#3

Take it in and change the ignition lock and maybe even the lock cylinder.


#4

Have the same issue with a 2000 Camry. It would start when it was good and ready sometimes on the first try but sometimes after a lot of jiggling and cuss words. WD40 worked for a while. Went to a locksmith who repaired it but said that if you wait for it to fail completely the repair cam be as high as $400 for a road call vs the $83 for the shop. He also said a lot of locks are ruined by graphite which creates a sludge (He charges extra if he needs t clean that out)- maybe because of the high humidity in Houston. He also said Toyota locks have a flexible part that is easily damaged if you have a heavy set of keys and other things on the keyring. Said use only the key if possible.