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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,
After two months of waiting to get the Elise out of winter storage I cannot turn the key in the ignition. At first the steering was not locked but in the attempt to get the key to turn the wheel was moved to locked. There is play in the steering wheel within the lock limits and steering does not seem to be leaning on the lock mechanism. The key insertion seem normal enough and there is a bit of play in the tumbler but from that point it doesn't work. It is as if it were the wrong key.

The dealer is 250 miles away. Their advice so far is to twist the key harder and if that doesn't work haul it in.

Does anyone have advice in this matter?
 

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Mulholland>SCC
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I had this problem. Yeah, I had to jiggle it and work the key to get it to turn. First time it happened to me, I called AAA but no locksmith would come out because it was a Lotus, lol. I took the car to the dealer the next day and they ordered a new set of locks and replaced them under warranty. No questions asked. It took a couple weeks for the lock set to come in though. I was nervous driving the car during this period but I always managed to get the key turned and didn't get stranded.
 

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naturally, you've turned the key over, and also shot wd-40 into the keyslot,
there may be a tumbler that has stuck up during key insertion.
also, with the key already in, shock the wheel area with a soft hammer to try to get the offending tumbler to drop into the appropriate cut of the key.
look at the key, there highs and lows along the keyed area.
the tumblers are pushed out during key insertion; after the key is fully inserted, the tumblers rest against the coded cuts on the key.
one of those tumblers is probably not dropping properly.
all just a guess.....:wallbang:
otherwise get a local car thief or locksmith to open it for you.
good luck, sam
 

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that's why you nget the biig bux, charlie...:wallbang:
sam
 

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I have had this problem, though not necessarily after a long period of non-use.

I just had to jiggle and jiggle it like crazy, sort of trying to circumduct it (jiggle it in a circular fashion), and sometimes it took several minutes to get it to go.

The problem seemed to fix itself after a while; haven't had it happen in over a year.

Good 'lock'!! :rolleyes:
 

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Please insert your off-color reply to my previous post below... :eek:
 

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I had a bad ignition when I first purchased the car. With the key out try pushing the entire mechanism into the steering column. If you are having the same problem I was it should push in slightly and then work normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Resolution!
With a little help from a locksmith my elise is back on the road again...
It seems that a tiny pin that rides in a groove effecting a plunging motion of the cylinder as the key is turned failed preventing rotation. The lock function was good as was everything else. A little drilling was required after pulling the air bag and steering wheel because the key cylinder could not be until turned to position I for normal removal. I had to buy a complete set of locks and keys but we were able to reassemble the new cylinder to accept the original issue key and all of this for half the price of a tow to the dealer. The tow bill was going to be around $1K and was complicated in that the steering was locked off center.

In the future I intend to be mindful of the in/out action that occurs while the key is turning and my locksmith recommends continuing with the the thick lube that the factory issue parts come with.
bmcnew
 
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