Key not turning to start the car.

The vehicle was broken into and the thief tried to hot-wire it on the steering column. Now, the ignition key release button is jammed and the key will not turn to start the car.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi. It is likely that the thief did a irreversible to the steering column and ignition switch. The only thing that could fix the potential damages is to replace the components all together. I recommend having a trained YourMechanic technician inspect the ignition system for things that may have been broken or damaged by your uninvited guest.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Reasons a Nissan Pathfinder Key Won`t Turn. The most common reasons a Nissan Pathfinder key won`t turn are a binding steering column/lock, an ignition switch issue, or a problem with the ignition key. Search our network of RepairPal Certified shops near you to speak with a technician about your issue.
Turning the wheel in the opposite direction can release the lock and enable you to take the key out of the ignition. Jiggling the key – Another easy method for removing a stuck key is to push down on the key cylinder with your left index finger while simultaneously jiggling the key with your right hand.
In most cases, the battery is likely either low or dead, but there could be an issue with your Nissan`s remote key functions. If changing the battery doesn`t help, reach out to our service department and we`ll be happy to help.
To work correctly, the ignition mechanism is powered by the battery. If the battery fails, the ignition will automatically get locked up. Then you won`t be able to pull the key out of the ignition. In this situation, the best thing to do is to wait for the battery to start itself or for a new battery to be fitted.
Run Lock allows secure, unattended engine operation whilst preventing the vehicle from being driven. Once activated, the ignition key can be removed, and the engine stays running. If the handbrake is released, or the footbrake is used, the engine stops. The key must then be used to restart the vehicle.
Remote car key battery issues

Most remote car keys use lithium ion coin batteries, which have a long, but not limitless, shelf life. A dead battery is usually the primary cause of remote car key failure, so should be the first thing you check if your remote car key stops working.

Nissan Key Fob Battery Change

Remove the hidden key used to get into your Nissan when the battery died. Remove the key housing as well as the old battery. Replace the CR2025 battery with the negative side facing up. Put the key fob back together and test it out!

Pull out the concealed emergency key you used to enter your Nissan. Remove the key housing, then take out the dead battery – just be sure to note the battery`s position before you remove it. Replace the old Nissan key fob battery with a new CR2025 battery, ensuring the negative side of the battery is facing upward.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Battery and oil light come on when trying to start car, take keys out try again car starts no problem and lights go away
ANSWER : Of course, don’t switch gears without being fully stopped, unless your Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer has alternative advice. However, the gear shift issue has no relation to the no-start problem you are describing. Inasmuch as you only have 6,000 miles on the car, the "constant on and off" that you believe has occurred is meaningless in comparison to the expected total vehicle service life. That is, assume what you perceive as "constant on and off", during merely 6,000 miles, might be equivalent to using the car "normally" for three years. A new car should be trouble free for at least 5 years, unless there is a defect, so your "constant on and off" is not a causal factor for any fault on the vehicle. What you might have is a defect in the ignition switch, or perhaps the immobilizer system, but if the problem is not in the switch itself, clearly there is an electrical problem.

If your vehicle is under warranty, by law the dealer MUST repair the issue you are describing within a prescribed time frame and number of "attempts", otherwise the dealer will run afoul of Federal and state Lemon Laws that give you very specific rights, and recourse (contact an Attorney; we are Mechanics, NOT attorneys). Consequently, if the vehicle is still under warranty, to save yourself money do be sure to seek a resolution from the dealer. If the vehicle is not under warranty, obviously a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic could identify the electrical fault and resolve this for you. If you want to go that route, please simply request a no start diagnostic -electrical system and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

Car won’t turn over. No lights come on when I turn it. Can’t even lock my doorsvor push the seat up or back.
ANSWER : Your probably correct, it sounds as though your battery is done. But it also sounds like you have charging system issues. I’m not sure that fixing your battery and charging system will solve the problem with the car shutting off, but it’s possible that it will and it’s a darned good place to start. By contacting Your Mechanic, you can have a technician come to your home or office to check out your car and help you figure out what to do next.

Car was sometimes not starting, not even cranking when i turned the key then after a few times itd start. Now it ont start at all
ANSWER : Hi there:

Without being there to inspect your vehicle, or having information about what type of car, truck or SUV you own, it’s very hard for us to give you some advice. You might want to have a professional mobile mechanic complete a car is hard to start inspection; so they can come to your location and determine why your vehicle is having these issues.

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

how to fix no keys issue if i dont have the car’s keys
ANSWER : The 2010 Maxima uses the ’Nissan Intelligent Key" system. The only way to start the car is to have the key fob in the vehicle while using the start button. There is no way to defeat this requirement as this is part of the engine immobilizer system. If the key fob is lost, one can be procured from a Nissan dealer. If somehow your vehicle was equipped with a transponder chip key (instead of the Intelligent Key system), you must have a transponder chip that is programmed specifically to your vehicle. If you need the assistance of a Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an electrical component diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will assist you in obtaining a replacement key fob or transponder key. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Engine turned off but inside of car still on, now engine won’t turn back on.
ANSWER : Hi there. The symptoms you’re describing with your boyfriend’s 2002 Grand Cherokee appear to be related to a broken or worn out ignition switch or relay. The ignition switch on the inside of the steering column is attached to multiple electronic connections that send signals to a relay box; which in turn, sends the signal to the individual components. The issue could be related to the ignition switch, the relay, or any of the components in between. If you want to have the fault pinpointed in person, I would have this starting issue inspected by a trained professional to ensure that the correct repair is made.

When I go to crank my car the key stays in the start position and the car is constantly trying to crank itself.
ANSWER : First, let’s make sure about some terminology before I proceed. I will assume the motor is actually turning over. If the car is trying to start, the motor has to be turning over or it is not trying to start. This is an important distinction when diagnosing the starting system. As a technician, I go to different parts of the system based on this description.

If the key is stuck in the start position, this is a ignition lock cylinder issue and the reason the starter continues to turn the motor over. If the starter is turning but the motor is not, then the starter is likely the problem. Either that or the teeth on the flex plate are all gone. This would require removing the transmission to repair.

If the car runs intermittently, this can be a big challenge. And it also means the starting system is working. It will need to be diagnosed when it is failing. A working car cannot be diagnosed because there is nothing wrong. Where you park your car should not have any affect. It certainly could be a wiring problem. Wiring problems hide really well and can happen anywhere in the miles of wires that are in your car. Isolating the system that is failing is really important here. At the moment I am unsure which system is failing. Starter system, ignition lock cylinder and or ignition switch electrical or something with the engine control system.

When the car is failing, you need to check for spark and fuel pressure. If neither is present, this is a clue. Usually the crank sensor will do this. Does your car have a tachometer? If so, does it move at all when cranking. This is a clue whether or not the cam and or crank sensor is working. Is there a Check Engine Light on with the key on? If there is a Check Engine Light, the code or codes can be used for specific diagnosis.

All of these concerns will send you down a diagnostic path. Be sure not to confuse yourself by misinterpreting multiple system failures. If the key does stick in the start position, this would be the first problem to solve. After that, does the motor actually turn when the starter turns? After that, the question of "Why won’t it start?" is first answered by finding what the motor is lacking. Fuel, spark etc… Good luck.

If you need assistance with these checks, contact a certified mechanic who has the tools and experience needed to properly diagnose this starting issue with your car.