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Discussion Starter #1
since Friday, I have not been able to turn my ignition key or unlock the steering wheel.

i have already-
used graphite lubes and sprays
canned air to try and clean out dirt
tried every push and pull on the steering wheel to unlock it
put it in neutral and rocked it back and forth while trying to unlock wheel and turn key
pushed forward and backward trying to unlock and turn key
and pretty much every single other variation you can imagine. I have also had all my friends give it a try when they came over.

apart from spending $500 on new ignition switch, keys, and labor, what else can I do?

I basically do not mind "breaking" the already broken mechanism.
As long as my key can still fit in, then the transponder should still allow me to start the vehicle. and as long as i disengage the alarm/security, then the fact that it is "rigged" should not matter.

essentially, no one will still be able to steal my car if I rig the ignition to turn. I know that there must be some way to start the car without replacing the parts.

Later in the summer, I can have it fixed proper, but right now, I just need to be able to start it up.

what do you guys think? screwdriver and hammer method? should i take off the cover and try and unlock the steering wheel via moving the metal lock bars?

thank you guys for any assistance.

if you know a cheap place to get the ignition switch and keys please send me link too!

you guys are the best. thanks again!

ryan
2003 honda element dx
107K miles
 

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Discussion Starter #2
also, since I am in Houston, this has nothing to do with cold weather.

also, the i have tried everything pushing the brake pedal at same time... brake pedal has felt a little stiff and doesn't give much.
 

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The old way to do it was, to undo the steering wheel lock you can just use huge amounts of force by turning the wheel until you hear a snap. The snapping sound are the pins in the locked steering wheel breaking.

Then a dent puller will pop the lock out and let you turn the ignition with a screw driver. I think the Honda Key needs to be near the ignition to start.
 

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I've had this happen on a couple occasions.

The remedy in these situations was me forcibly pushing the vehicle from behind (making it sway forward and backwards) until the gears aligned properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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Did you try jacking the front end up off the ground?

Raising one wheel will often change the steering geometry enough to unload the back tension off the steering column.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
im going to try jacking it off the ground later today and will report back.



anybody ever had to chane out one of their auxiliary fans?
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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im going to try jacking it off the ground later today and will report back.
Another thought - You said that you put it in neutral and rolled it back and forth. How did you get the AT into Neutral?

In normal operation, you can't remove the key from the ignition unless the AT is in Park, and once the ignition switch is locked, you can't shift into Neutral without stepping on the brake and turning the key. Some of this relies on electrical interlocks.

Have you had any other problems that didn't seem to be directly related to the ignition switch, such as brake lights or other electrical components not working?
 

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i dont know if this is the case but it happened to my car the wheel wouldnt turn and the key wouldnt turn either the wheel was completely locked going one way and the other way there was a little movement.turn it the way where there is little movement and put the key in and turn at the same time. worked for me.
 

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happened to my friends old van, i got in the drivers seat like a gorilla and cranked the steering wheel each way while he turned the key, eventually after enough back and forth fast aggressive jerks the wheel gave and unlocked without breaking anything, but it seems you've tried my brute force method :D
 

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It's been a couple weeks since the OP posted. I think we're beating a dead horse.
 

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It's been a couple weeks since the OP posted. I think we're beating a dead horse.


Well the OP never said they fixed the problem so how would we know if their E hasn't been sitting around waiting for another idea to try? :lol:

Let us have our fun.
 

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The same thing just happened to me. I spent 15 min trying everything I could think of. Finally gave up and took the other car. I came back home to look here for an answer - I jacked up one front wheel, it didn't seem to be loaded though. The key still wouldn't turn. Another 5 min of wiggling and pressure (and maybe a curse here and there) and it suddenly turned and all is good again. I would sure like to know the cause. It would have really sucked if I wasn't at home.
 

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same issue here :)

Good morning! Found this thread while doing a Google search on this exact issue I am having with my E.

Yesterday, my husband tried to start the car but the key would hardly go into the ignition, and wouldn't turn at all. The wheel did turn left and right.....but now the steering wheel is locked up and the key will go into the ignition but still won't turn. We did try some graphite lubricate the guy at AutoZone suggested yesterday, and it didn't help much other than the key will now slide into the ignition but that's it.

We did put the car in neutral by using the key in the slot next to the shifter and then trying to turn the key, but no use!! My husband uses a valet key, and I have the black original key, neither one works. So frustrated!!

The E is sitting on a slight incline in our driveway, so I don't dare keep letting it roll back because I can't steer it and it will wind up in the middle of our neighbor's yard.

I just spent $200 bucks 2 weeks ago on a rear transmission mount that went bad, and now this-I am not sure if I should have a locksmith look at it or just have it towed to the shop and let them figure it out. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.
 

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Same problem here last night with it stuck and steering wheel not moving. Started it and rerolled into parking space. Still key wouldn't come out. 5 min. later pulled phone out to look up answer and it came out. Guess you need to threaten the "ghost". Locked again today with a full display of the lights on the dash. Took to dealer and $116 later--they don't know and can't make it duplicate and, of course, the code shows nothing. Bookmarking these pages and the immobilizer page. If it continues, will either have immobilizer reprogrammed or change the cluster panel as listed in another page on Element Owner's page. Friday the 13th ran true to it's history.
 
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