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Discussion Starter #1
My 2005 Element 4wd EX with MT- key will not turn in the ignition. The ignition lock seems to be broken as the key works fine in all the locks. I have tried all different kinds of lubes in the ignition and nothing helps. The only Honda dealer anywhere near me want almost $700 to replace the ignition switch and key. This after I pay over $300 to have it towed to them as I live in a very rural area. No local mechanics can do the work as Honda will not release codes for reprogramming keys so even if you buy a used ignition for $40 instead of $400, you cannot get the car to start without the Honda dealer.

I need the car and don't have the money for the repair right now. Even worse I need to move the car asap as it is stuck in a high theft area.

I have read that a few people with similar issues have been able to open the steering column and start the car with a screwdriver as long as the key is in the ignition. Can anyone describe to me how to do this please?
 

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1st - are you sure your steering wheel isn't just locked? if you've never had this happen accidentally (usually by trying to turn the wheel with the key removed), it feels like a malfunction b/c neither the wheel nor the key want to budge (hell, i nearly had a car towed when this 1st happened to me years ago until my dad smacked some sense into me :D )

Basically, did you try pulling the wheel in one direction or the other, to see if the ignition comes 'unstuck'? Turn the wheel (hard) and gently try turning the key...


2nd - if that's not the case, there are certainly non-honda dealers that can cut and program a honda key. i had mine done by a mobile auto locksmith who had the device to program a new key to the car via the OBDII port. This cost around $80. You may want to call around and see if someone services your area (i'd be very surprised if there isn't one). And if this is the case, you can replace the ignition yourself, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks but it is not the steering wheel locked. I have had that happen many times. This is completely different and I can move the steering wheel.

And as far as they key, the key is not the problem, the ignition lock is broken. The key works perfectly fine in every other lock on the car, just not the ignition. A week prior to this happening it became very difficult to even get the key in the ignition.

All I'm wondering is if anyone can give me directions on how to start the car with a screwdriver (open up the steering column, etc) so I can move the car.
Thanks.
 

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All I'm wondering is if anyone can give me directions on how to start the car with a screwdriver (open up the steering column, etc) so I can move the car.
Thanks.
If we told you that (assuming we know how) then every Element out there would be in jeopardy of being stolen. Is there a locksmith near you that you can call?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The method I am talking about requires that the key still be in the ignition so no, you could not steal an element this way. The car will not start without the key in the ignition period. Honda has made sure of that.
However, it can start without turning the key if you have a screwdriver. Two posters from old threads have done it... Since I am unable to turn the key I am just wondering if anyone who has done it can tell me how to do the screwdriver method.

And I have contacted every locksmith in my rural area (2 total) and they do not work on honda ignitions specifically because only honda can reprogram a new ignition and key to start the car.

This is a really ridiculous situation that Honda has put us all in frankly; just imagine you are on a trip and the closest Honda dealer is 500 miles from you and all of a sudden your ignition key won't turn and the only solution is to have your car towed 500 miles to the dealer. It happens a lot (judging from all the posts on the internet about it) so be prepared for it- it should probably be a recall.
 

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Try this thread.

I personally have not any need for any of the information contained in that thread so I cannot vouch for any of it, but a few posts do mention the Element's ignition lock. You might find something useful in it.

Best of luck.
 

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> only honda can reprogram a new ignition and key
You're talking about two different things, the mechanical lock and the electronic immobilizer system. If the ignition lock is malfunctioning, a competent locksmith should be able to repair or replace the lock and make it work with your existing key. Re-keying the lock is not easy or 100% certain, as Locksmith notes in the thread that Snuffleupagus linked to above. But as long as the lock can be made to work with your key, there's no need to reprogram the immobilizer or key.

The only "screwdriver method" I'm familiar with is what thieves do, and it destroys the ignition lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
> only honda can reprogram a new ignition and key
You're talking about two different things, the mechanical lock and the electronic immobilizer system. If the ignition lock is malfunctioning, a competent locksmith should be able to repair or replace the lock and make it work with your existing key. Re-keying the lock is not easy or 100% certain, as Locksmith notes in the thread that Snuffleupagus linked to above. But as long as the lock can be made to work with your key, there's no need to reprogram the immobilizer or key.

The only "screwdriver method" I'm familiar with is what thieves do, and it destroys the ignition lock.
The ignition lock is already broken so I wouldn't mind breaking it more if it meant I could get my car started. The lock is broken, maybe a more competent lock smith could repair it but my local locksmiths will not waste their time with it. They told me to try a few things (lube, hitting it with a hammer, etc) and if that didn't work it needed to be replaced.

When I called the dealer to price all this out they didn't even need to look anything up. As in the problem is so common they knew off the top of their heads what the costs were. When the mechanical lock is replaced, the new lock and key must be programmed to match the car or vice versa or the car will not start. Only Honda can do this.

Anyway, I've been searching for the threads where a guy said he got his started with a screwdriver but can't find it again Perhaps it was on a different Honda website.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found one of the posts I was talking about> It reads as follows:

"cylinder froze on old ignition. took ignition off and separated the electric portion at the rear of the switch assembly so I could start the car. As long as the key was inserted I could use a screw driver to rotate the switch and start the car. I ordered a new cylinder from an online source but received the entire assembly. When plugged in to all three jacks the car would turn over but not start. What is my next step"

Anyway, I though it was from here but it was from Justanswer.com

Still, if anyone here knows how to do what the guy I'm quoting did, please let me know.
 

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Sorry, but I don't understand why replacing the lock mechanism requires the immobilizer part to be replaced as well. One is mechanical; the other, electronic.

The immobilizer receiver is listed separately, Honda p/n 39730-S3V-A01, No. 12 in illustration below. (The "electric portion at the rear of the switch assembly" the person you quote is talking about is probably the "switch, steering," p/n 35130-SAA-J51, No. 7. I can see how someone could operate that part with a screwdriver once it had been separated from the lock.)



If the key were bad and had to be replaced, or if for some reason a locksmith were unable to make the new lock fit the old key, then the key/immobilizer would have to be reprogrammed. But that's not the end of the world, either.
 

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From what I can tell it's all sold as one piece. So, in order to replace the lock you must replace immobilizer/ key, etc. Check out this ebay link for an illustration.



That ones listed at $317. Honda wants $430 0r thereabouts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ramblerdan, Looking at the link you gave me. I can't figure out how you can just buy the lock (part to the left of immobilizer in illustration). Can't find the part number anyway.
If they did let you just buy the lock and it worked with your current immobilizer then it'd be easy to steal the car that way, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
(The "electric portion at the rear of the switch assembly" the person you quote is talking about is probably the "switch, steering," p/n 35130-SAA-J51, #7. I can see how someone could operate that part with a screwdriver once it had been separated from the lock.)
Yeah, that sounds right, thanks. Was hoping someone might have clear directions on how to do it. I'm heading out soon to go give it another shot.
 

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From what I can tell it's all sold as one piece. So, in order to replace the lock you must replace immobilizer/ key, etc. Check out this ebay link for an illustration.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GENUINE-HONDA-CR-V-ELEMENT-IGNITION-SWITCH-ASSY-W-KEYS-OEM-NEW-/251059927390?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3a7456795e&vxp=mtr#ht_3010wt_819

That ones listed at $317. Honda wants $430 0r thereabouts.
If you click on the illustration in post #11, it will take you to a page with all the parts: p/n 06350-SCV-A21ZA (No. 1 in illustration) is a complete set of all locks, including ignition switch and immobilizer receiver; 35100-SCV-A01 (No. 2) is the complete ignition set, omitting the door locks; 35130-SAA-J51 (No. 7) is the switch alone; and 39730-S3V-A01 (No. 12) is the immobilizer receiver. So the only way you get get a new lock cylinder from Honda is to buy the whole ignition set, but you can still retain and use your old immobilizer provided that the new lock can be adjusted to accept your old key.

> I'm heading out soon to go give it another shot.
It might not be trivial for a non-mechanic. Do you have a service manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So it was a total of 5 screws to remove and about 20 minutes of time and I was able to get it started with a screwdriver quite easily. :)

However, the steering wheel is still locked up and I'm not sure what I need to do to unlock it. I read on another post somewhere, the steps to unlock the steering wheel, but can't remember where.

Ramblerdan, any ideas? See any drawings that might illustrate what parts unlock the steering wheel? I thought it was supposed to involve a copper colored bar but I don't see any. Obviously, turning the key to do so is not an option.

Thanks again.
 

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So it was a total of 5 screws to remove and about 20 minutes of time and I was able to get it started with a screwdriver quite easily. :)

However, the steering wheel is still locked up and I'm not sure what I need to do to unlock it. I read on another post somewhere, the steps to unlock the steering wheel, but can't remember where.

Ramblerdan, any ideas? See any drawings that might illustrate what parts unlock the steering wheel? I thought it was supposed to involve a copper colored bar but I don't see any. Obviously, turning the key to do so is not an option.

Thanks again.
The copper coloured bar is inside the ignition lick. You will need to take the lock apart to get to it and you will need to turn the key to get the lock apart.
 

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It's a hack for sure, but if you can repair the lock itself, you can add an immobilizer module from one of the alarm systems and get rid of the need for the chipped key entirely. Trouble is, once you destroy the original lock with the screwdriver, I don't know how you're going to get replacement parts without buying the whole thing again. Bottom line is that you might as well have the dealer do it, find a way to finance the cost, and cut your loss.
 

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The first step in removing the steering lock, according to the service manual, is "Remove the steering column." That's a pretty involved procedure in itself, but it might be recommended so that the following steps can be performed on a bench with no danger of causing collateral damage.

Second step is to drill out the two "shear bolts" ("bolt, break head," p/n 35102-SV4-003, No. 3 in illustration—see image here) so you can remove the top bracket ("holder, column," 35108-S30-003, No. 5) and free the entire unit from the steering column.

This will leave you with, in addition to the malfunctioning ignition lock you now have, an unlockable steering column. I hope all this is really better for you than having the thing properly repaired.
 
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