key cylinder will not turn


Asked by Jun 16, 2013 at 05:24 PM about the 1993 Jeep Cherokee 4 Dr Country 4WD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My son says he can't turn key cylinder in any position. I told him the usual things to try to get it to turn- make sure it is firmly in park, reverse key. I found out key cylinder is part of ignition switch, but if key won't turn I can't get the cylinder out of the switch. My question is can I replace the ignition switch & cylinder as a unit without any complications. Thanks

10 Answers

...okay, there is a reason that the key cannot be withdrawn, either it is still in gear instead of park, the foot is not on the brake~....but it is an intentional feature...some issue has not been addressed...we've got to figure out what. Will check for blog's about this now.~

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

fixya has not fixed me, per se in the past, but there are some pretty good illustrations there~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.


2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi everybody, the key can be taken in & out of the cylinder, it just won't turn to run, start, acc, etc. But if I can't turn the key, that means I can't get the cylinder out of the ignition switch. I hope this makes sense.

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

if you try your other unworn key, same result?...Lock-ease...a couple sprays get that graphite up in there~


put key into ign. then bang on key towards the colom. I have found this to free alot of them up. Then you can remove lock cyl. Once out you turn the cyl. to the acc. position, push the gold pin in and continue to turn the cyl.past the acc. position. then cyl. will come apart. carefully remove the tumblers and springs. BE SURE TO KEEP THEM IN ORDER. wash out cyl and tumblers w/some brake clean...blow out and reassm. in reverse. Thin film of lube where the pin rides to lock the two main parts of cyl together and other end where they make contact together. DO NOT PUT GREASE ONTHE TUMBLERS...this will cause debris to stick to them causing them to stick again......hope this helps......

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

94 Cherokee SE drove fine the night before we had 17 degree cold. Next morning key spun past crank and appeared broken. Replacing starter switch didn't help. While replacing key tumbler I noticed actuator gearing the tumbler turns was loose and worn. Should be a wire in there that keeps it pressed against the actuator rod (must be broken). NOBODY carries replacements and Jeep changed the design as a result. Lube any moving parts as much as possible and good luck!!!


It's your transmission is not fully engaged in Park . If an Automatic Trans . Hit your drive shifter forward into park then try key again . This is because the center console is to far towards rear of vehicle and does not allow shifter to fully engage in Park" setting . You may have to disassemble console then try to get it reset in proper place . This is easy to do but may take a few tries to get position correct ..

Victoria D'Amato

Hello Doctor! I just followed your advice..My 2000 jeep GC..key wouldn't turn..sprayed graphite but I pounded key towards dash board..not column..and it worked..Now question...I am going to have to leave key in the ignition until I purchase a new cylinder or is this simply a dirt issue? Where is the most trust worthy website to purchase and will it come with a key?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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