Hyundai Sonata The Sonata has grown to be the premier mid-sized sedan of the Hyundai name with the many interior options and the powerful V6 engine.

Key Won't Turn (Ignition)

Old 08-18-2011, 03:43 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8

Mine just locked. I am hoping that the graphite spray will help. Has anyone else used the spray besides Hyundaiuser? I am going after work to go buy the spray and try to unlock the ignition. If anyone has used the spray as well please reply.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8

Fixed the problem. It was $150 fix by a locksmith. The problem is in the key. They are made very cheaply with soft alloy's that the sharp edges get rounded out. The locksmith made me a key with a small file and 10 min later wahla! It turned and started. Hopefully this will help a few if the problem occurs.
Old 09-10-2011, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1

Originally Posted by hyundaiuser View Post
This is most likely a problem with stuck pins in the ignition slot. Some say the ignition is worn and needs to be replaced, but this is unlikely as the pins are made of hardened steel and the key itself tends to wear before the pins do. This problem is fairly common on Hyundai Sonatas and seems to occur somewhere between 50K and 70K miles. On my 2006 Hyundai Sonata which has 70K miles I had this problem. SOLUTION: Spray powdered graphite into the lock and work the key in and out to distribute the graphite. It may also help to spray the key itself. Also turn the steering wheel while trying the key. Be patient and repeat this process until key turns. I had to give it 5 sprays before it worked and now it works like new. You can get powdered graphite at the hardware store. Get a small bottle (a little goes a long way and it's inexpensive) that has a small tube attatched so as to get the powder into the slot and try to spray toward the top of the slot. Also it won't hurt to give it a spray every 6 months as preventive maintainance. Also you can spray the other locks on your car. I suggest NOT using WD-40 as liquid lubricants will tend to gum up with dust which is probably the reason the ignition is stuck in the first place. And graphite is the choice for lock lubrication. This simple fix will save you hundreds of dollars and ease your troubled mind. I hope this helps you with your problem. ([email protected])

So if WD40 had been used on the key several times, and you sprayed graphite in the hole, would it mess it up completely? Or could you still use graphite as a solution despite the fact that WD40 had been used a lot in the past.
Old 09-12-2011, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8

Did not use the WD40 but did use compressed air to clean out the inserts and then the graphite spray. Used it several times but no positive results. Decided to see if a locksmith could resolve the problem. The 20 mins there he started the car. The pins where stuck i guess and needed another master key with sharp edges to release them. Keep that key handy now.
Old 10-23-2016, 10:16 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1

Originally Posted by HermanPWillis View Post
My wife tried to start her 2002 Sonata this morning and the key would not turn the ignition. I tried it then, tried wiggling the wheel and nudging at the shifter, but nothing. Any thoughts? Has this happened to anyone else? Scott
I had the same problem with my Hyundai Sonata 2006. I tried shaking the wheel and jiggling the shifter and nothing worked. then I saw a small cover for the shift lock release which is just above the P for Park on the shift column. release the shifter and unlock the ignition
Old 11-01-2016, 07:06 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 21

I have the same issue with my 5 speed '09. I have sprayed quite a bit of graphite spray which is made specifically for unsticking locks. It I try to turn it while wiggling the wheel, it sometimes seems like it moves a few degree but hits something which seems to be related to the wheel lock.

Time to tap out.

Do I get it towed to my local mechanic or call a locksmith?
Old 03-22-2018, 07:33 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 2
Default Key won't turn, ignition locked up

My 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX had this issue in 2010, and now again in 2018. For me, it was the key lock cylinder. Both times it went 'bad' and had to be replaced by a mechanic. I've never owned a car in my entire life where this issue occurred, until I purchased a Hyundai. Not a cheap fix (key lock cylinder, re-keyed or new keys, locksmith). Luckily for me on both occasions, I wasn't far from home. I do know from others I have spoken with (family/friends), in most cases its not the key lock cylinder. Sometimes you just have to crank hard the steering wheel to the right or left to release the locking mechanism in order to get the key to turn. In any case, it's always best to have it checked out as you don't want to get stranded.
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