ignition and gear shifter

Asked by Apr 24, 2019 at 04:30 PM about the 1998 Dodge Caravan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I tried to start my van about an hour after driving it a few miles to a doctor's
appointment and then back home.  I put the key in the ignition.  It will not turn
at all.  The gear shift lever will not move at all.  Seems stuck in one place.  I
assume it is in Park, but can't tell because no lights on dashboard.  No
electricity without ignition.  Steering wheel turns about a third of a rotation.  I
have tried rocking the van.  Any ideas?  Thanks

2 Answers

Sometimes the 'tumblers' inside the ignition switch will get stuck and prevent the key from turning. This is very common on some GM models. You can try spraying some WD40 (or similar oil) into the ignition switch and then slide the key in and out a few times and this might loosen things up. You could also insert the key and then tap it lightly with a hammer (or the bottom of your shoe) and see if that knocks things loose and allows the key to turn. The other possibility is the connection between the gear shift lever and the ignition switch. If the lever is not fully in Park then it may prevent the key from turning. Try 'jiggling' the gear shifter while you try to turn the key.

Thank you very much, Chateau, I will give your suggestions a try. Guru

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