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  • [Corsa D 2006-2014] Key getting stuck in ignition

    I’m looking for some advice for my corsa cat D 2012. My key got stuck in the ignition, I took it to the mechanics and they think I may need the bit that the barrel sits in replacing. I have spoken to Vauxhall who say they can’t just replace that it would have to be the whole unit (costing over £1000), they have no appointments until the end of the month. I attempted to start the car again and this time there is car light with a spanner that comes on and the car doesn’t start at all but the key comes out easier than before. I have googled and it says it may be as simple as a problem with the key (that doesn’t unlock the car at all). Does anyone know if it seems to be just a key problem and if so is it worth calling a car key lock smith?

  • #2
    Hi Welcome to the forum

    I need to start with a massive disclaimer. I can only offer opinions that might be stating the obvious,or may be wrong. I am not an expert and the wrong choice could cost you a lot of money.

    Try to avoid using a main dealer. They are have high overheads, and are expensive anyway. Their expertise is not always top notch either. And they must follow GM's workshop guidelines, using brand new GM parts that may not be available as smaller sub units. An independent garage might be able to fix the problem using a used part costing £25. when a main dealer would change the whole column.

    I think you have two problems. The first was mechanical. Something caused the key to jamb. I dont think the key was to blame. Either the barrel, with its numerous small pins and springs got mangled up, but may now have freed up somewhat. Or thinking in terms of an ordinary door lock, turning the key moves a bolt or other mechanism that locks the steering column. This mechanism, or the slot or hole it locks into into might be damaged, or out of adjustment. Sounds like the mechanics who have looked believe the barrell is ok.

    The second problem is the spanner light. This is probably due to the cars security system. The key contains a tiny microchip that gives a coded signal when the key is inserted. This chip has to get into very close proximity to the sensor on the steering lock before it will give the all clear to the security system to allow the car to start. Its possible if mechanics have been dismantling or 'playing with 'the locking mechanism that the sensor has got misplaced or unplugged. This will probably need fixing, possibly resetting , but I think its false economy to do just this without also making sure the lock mechanism is now ok mechanically Even if its moving better than it was there is no guarantee it wont jamb again quite soon.

    If you can find a good auto lock smith who also works on the lock mechanisms ,this may be the best option. General garages may be able to do the work, but a specialist, who may do a mobile service that will save the cost of being towed to a workshop, may have more expertise in the work. And even if a general garage does some of the work, they might need to call in a locksmith anyway to re code keys etc. You may be able to cut out the cost of a 'middle man'. But some auto locksmiths may be little more than keycutters, only able to cut and programme a new replacement key, not fix broken locks etc.

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    • #3
      Good advice by Bugman. Google a local mobile auto lock Smith, I suggest this because I think the key has lost it signal to the car and the immobiliser. A locksmith will be able to check if the key is sending a signal to the car. Possibly you have damaged the inner of the key when you have been trying to force the key round. And as Buggman has said I think there is still going to be a problem with the barrel of the ignition. Which the locksmith may be able to check.

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      • #4
        Thank you both for your advice, it’s really helpful. I will call the locksmith before taking it to Vauxhall.

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