Switch engine

I drooped my Toyota 4 Runner keys on the snow. After that has bee almost impossible to start the switch. I tried a little bit of W40 on the key and still I am having a hard time. Any suggestions anyone?

You need to define “almost impossible to start”.

What exactly happens when you turn the key?
Is the engine cranking longer than it did previously?
Do you hear no sound at all?
Does the engine stall after starting?


No, I cannot turn the switch at all.

I can’t see any connection between dropping your keys in the snow and the ignition being hard to turn, unless you purposely scooped up snow with the key and shoved it in the ignition. I think it’s just cold weather or a worn out key, or a worn ignition.

Do you have a spare key you could try? Sometimes a worn out key can cause your symptoms. Other than that it sounds like the ignition cylinder may be worn.

If water got into the lock and froze you need to heat the lock to thaw it and then flood it with WD-40.

Do you have more than one key? Have you tried the other key? Does it do the same thing?


Important questions . . .

What kind of key?

Old school, metal key?

Electronic key, with lock, unlock, alarm, etc. buttons?

If you have a small medicine dropper or ear wax bulb you can afford to throw away, suck out a few drops of antifreeze from your overflow reservoir and squirt it into the lock mechanism. It only takes a few drops, don’t flood it with antifreeze and make a mess. Then throw away the dropper or bulb.

You can use a cheap antifreeze tester (floating balls type) if you have one and you don’t have to throw that away.


You asked for advice

You got it

And we had some questions for you

Please report back

My wife got a little water from a wet (dropped in snow) key in her ignition lock, and during the cold snaps we had a few weeks ago it froze up and wouldn’t budge. I heated it with a hair dryer and got it working, then sprayed WD-40 in it, literally stuck the straw into the keyhole and sprayed it. It was a bit messy, but it hasn’t seized up since! Just make sure you spray it while it is still thawed. The WD-40 will flush the water out and lubricate the lock.

I’m thinking we’re not going to hear back from the OP. The switch probably thawed, dried out, and started working again.

I hope you’re right DrRocket. The goal is, after all, to solve the problem.