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When you are planning to visit some places during a weekend with family and find that your minivan’s key does not turn in the ignition, it can be quite frustrating. You might have planned many things, but this problem will likely have spoiled all of your plans.
But, you don’t need to get too upset yet as there are some simple solutions to this problem that you can try out.
However, before I get into the solutions, it would be a good idea for you to understand the four main reasons that lead to this issue in the Honda Odyssey and even in other cars as well.
Four problems that can lead to the key not turning
There are scour main issues that cause this problem to happen in your Honda Odyssey minivan. Those four main problems are:
Locked steering wheel
In some instances, a locked steering wheel might be causing the issue with your Honda minivan key not turning. But, if you find that the steering wheel is not locked, it is better not to touch it. The problem with your minivan’s key can also happen due to one of the other three reasons stated below.
Often the easiest way to fix this issue is simply by manually pulling the steer wheel to the right or left. It will normally only move an inch or so each way but that should allow the key to go into the ignition and then that will allow the steer wheel to unlock.
Debris, pocket lint or dirt
Issues like dirt, pocket lint or other tiny debris in your ignition might cause your key not to turn in your Honda minivan. The thing to remember here is that ignitions can be highly fragile and so it is always a good idea to make sure the key is clean before putting it anywhere near the ignition.
If you find that the ignition has dirt and dust in it, you can try spraying small doses of an electrical cleaner in the ignition.
Then, you will have to gently slide the key in and out of the ignition cylinder. You should do this several times however, if your Honda minivan uses a high-security key, it is better not to try this method. Do not force the key to turn, but turn the key with the regular turning pressure you apply. Also, do not force the key into the ignition.
If you can’t use an electrical cleaner or don’t want to then you can use a can of compressed air such as those used to clean a computer keyboard. You can also just use an air compressor and try and blow any debris out of the ignition.
Damaged, bent, or worn key
Sometimes the key to your Honda minivan will not turn in the ignition if the key is damaged, bent or worn. This can happen over time or by repeatedly sitting on your key or using it for prying or something else that it isn’t intended for.
If your key has been damaged, you can follow the steps given below:
- Try to pull the key gently to either side to straighten it out but you need to be sure to just pull a little bit as you don’t want to risk damaging the key.
- When you are trying to turn the key, gently wiggle it. If this works, it is more likely that you have a damaged or worn key.
- Next, call a locksmith or your car dealer and ask them to cut you a new key for the ignition. This is referred to as CODE Keys. This is not a duplicate key. But, it will recreate the real spacing and depth of your factory key.
If this solution does not work, it is an indication that your vehicle is facing the fourth problem given below.
Failed, damaged or non-working ignition lock cylinder
The modern ignition lock cylinders are made to last for the life of the car but the lubrication eventually will need done and if you don’t lubricate it then it will wear out before the minivan will. So, if your vehicle is older, this might be the problem with your Honda Odyssey.
You will have to get help from an authorized Honda minivan repair service if the problem is with your ignition lock cylinder or call your favorite mechanic shop.
High-security laser cut keys
Honda vehicles generally come with high-security laser-cut keys. Honda started doing this following the mass theft of Honda vehicles in the 90s. One of the biggest advantages of these keys is that they help greatly in reducing the chances of theft of Honda vehicles. Also, it has brought down the chances of duplicating the key at any cutting shop or center.
However, there are some disadvantages as well associated with this high-security locking system in Honda vehicles. For instance, it has led to the splitting of the key to half its original size. You might have been using full-sized keys for a long time but now, Honda’s key is half of its size. So, you will face hardships for some time initially until you get used to it.
Even, in many cases, the small size of these keys has led to ignition to slip off its position. In turn, the ignition key locks.
But, this problem can be prevented by regularly maintaining the ignition with proper cleaning using an electric cleaner. Also, the owners of Honda vehicles with high-security keys should keep their vehicle keys away from other keys to prevent damage to these keys.
Some additional solutions to the Honda minivan key not turning
Here are some additional situations when the Honda Minivan Key does not function properly and the appropriate solutions:
- Key does not go into the ignition: If you cannot insert the key into the ignition, it is an indication that your Honda minivan key is damaged.
When you face this issue do not force the key into the ignition. When you do this, you can ruin the ignition itself. It is much easier and cheaper to simply get a new key made.
- Not able to take the key out of Ignition: If you have inserted the key into the ignition but it is not coming out, it might have happened due to the gear shift of your automatic transmission vehicle.
When you face this problem, you will have to check if the gear has been shifted accidentally. Otherwise, some objects in the middle can be obstructing the key. The solution to this problem is that you can turn the ignition on and then, you will have to gently push the gear to the park position. When you do this, you should be able to pull out the key from the ignition easily.
- Key is in the ignition but is not turning: this issue arises based on the area where you have parked your minivan. If you have parked the minivan on an incline this might have happened due to the pressure build-up in the wheel. When this pressure gets transferred to the steering wheel, you will have to turn the wheel in the same direction slightly. As your key is already in the ignition, you can now turn it.
If you cannot turn the key even after unlocking the wheel, you will have to use a multi-purpose spray in the key slot. After you do this, try turning the key gently and it should turn now.
You will certainly be in a hurry to turn the key in your Honda minivan if it does not turn, but, when this happens your force and quick action can further damage either the key or the ignition.
It is always better to be patient and take your time rather than forcing the issue and causing much more expensive damage!