I have a 2000 Suzuki Esteem and I live in Minnesota (just in case the cold affects it). This morning my ignition won’t turn at all. I have tried wiggling the wheels to help unlock the ignition, but nothing is working. I have to get to work in a few hours, so any help is very much appreciated.
It very well could be the cold that is causing the problem. You might try turning the steering wheel back and forth while trying to turn the key. Sometimes if there is pressure on the lock, the key will not turn. If that doesn’t work, try sticking a space heater in the car, pointed more or less at the lock cylinder. If it frees up, it’s the cold. You could try lubing it up with some graphite (use ONLY graphite, NOTHING ELSE!!! Anything else will mess everything up) to see if that prevents future occurrences.
Try the spare key.
It’s hard to believe the lock is frozen. There shouldn’t be any moisture in the lock cylinder.
Are you sure you moved the steering wheel enough to remove any pressure from the lock?
Are you parked on a hill? If so you may need to have someone try to push the car ahead slightly while you turn the key. You need to get the pressure off the trans. so you can move the ig. switch.
Yes in MN it gets cold enought to make the light grease inside the lock tumbler get so viscuous tat the key cannot allign the tumblers properly. The guy that mentioned a heater or hair dryer has a good point…Id try the hair dryer as it is more focused and hit the ignition up with it. I would also rec the graphite HOWEVER in your case a quick little squirt of WD40 may be better esp if the grease is getting thick in there…wd will loosen that up and keep it loose…not too much now…
Use white lithium grease, as it comes with every new ignition or door lock cylinder I have replaced. It comes in a aerosol can and using a small straw will keep it from getting messy. Graphite is for a dry lock like the deadbolt on your house door.
Try pulling the key out slightly and turning it over. Also I have had success tapping on the key handle with a small hammer at a high frequency. Hammer in the same direction you insert the key. If you get it to turn do not turn the key all the way to off. Disconnect the battery to keep it from draining.
If the key is in the lock position when you get it in for repair it can add hundreds of dollars to the repair. The ignition cylinder may need to be drilled out and pulled with a slide hammer, so I hope you get the key to turn.