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Car Ignition Repair Houston Texas

- car ignition repair Are you experiencing a problem with your car ignition switch? Did you broke the key in the ignition key-hole or find it can't turn the key? Are you looking for a fast and affordable mobile ignition repair service?

Well... we have great news for you

Okey DoKey Locksmith offer ignition repair and replacement service 24/7. Call (832)408-0006 for a FREE ESTIMATE and our car locksmith will come to you to solve your problem on-site.

By reading this article, you will learn the basic symptoms of a problematic ignition and find the right solution.

Ignition problems

ignition switch The goal of the car ignition system is to provide electric power from the battery to ignite the engine. It get's high voltage from the car's battery and send it to each spark plug. This ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chambers which start the engine.

Used thousands of times during it's life-cycle, the ignition is a main bottlenecks. Issues with the ignition are very common and can also mask as other malfunctions. Problems with the engine, transponder keys or electronic components are often a symptom of a bad ignition.

The main symptom of ignition lock problem is when the car will not crank or the engine will not start. The first thing to check is whether you have an electric or a mechanical problem:

  1. If there is no cranking at all and no lights on the dashboard, you most likely have an electric problem.
  2. If you have lights on the dash, you are experiencing a problem with a mechanical component.

If you made sure that your electricity is operating, you most likely need an ignition locksmith. A locksmith with the proper diagnostic tools will be able to recommend on replacement over repair.

Push to start ignition problems

If you drive a vehicle with a push to start ignition, you most likely have an electronic problem. Push start ignition repair or replacement is a job for an car electronic technician.

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Hard to turn the key

When key is hard to turn, it might be a result of a worn out key or the ignition system itself. Still there are a few other problems who share the same symptom. Before you consider calling a locksmith, check and eliminate the following 3 problems:

  1. Steering lock - Sometimes when removing the key from the ignition, the steering wheel might get stuck. You can try to gently jiggle the steering wheel and the key to release it, but don't apply to much force and break the key.
  2. Shift lock - Some automatic transmission vehicles lock the ignition when the gear is either in neutral or park. Push the break pedal and try to slightly shake the shifter to slide into the right position.
  3. Battery lock - For some higher end vehicles with complex electronic ignition, if the battery is empty, the key won’t turn. Check your battery life and try a jumpstart if needed.

After eliminating the three problems above, check for problem with the key:

  1. Bent key - If your key is visibly bent, you can use a hammer to gently flatten the key back to it original shape. Then try to start the vehicle again.
  2. Worn out key - Very common particularly on older vehicles before sidewinder keys. If your key grooves worn out, it might not allow the pins inside of the cylinder to align correctly and turn. The solution is making a new key by the VIN to avoid copying the flaw grooves from the old key into the new one. Contact your dealership or a locksmith to get a new key made.
  3. Wrong key - Sometimes it's just a simple mistake of putting the wrong key into the cylinder. Many keys look similar, especially if they are from the same car maker.

The last option is a problem with the ignition cylinder itself. Below are the 2 most frequent problems related to the ignition lock:

  1. Obstruction - An object stuck inside the ignition keyhole might reject the key or cause a stiff turning. Before calling a locksmith, you can try compressed air spray to clean dust or dirt particles. If a larger object is visible inside the keyhole, you will need the help of an experience locksmith. Extracting a key is a risky job and requires the right key extraction and lock picking tools.
  2. Stuck spring - The springs and pins inside the cylinder tailored to the unique grooves of your key. A worn-out or a broken pin or a spring might interfere with the turning of the key. Call a car locksmith or tow your vehicle to the dealer.

Broken key removal

broken key in ignitionOne of the common services ignition expert face is a broken key in the ignition. When this happens, the lock is unusable until extracting the broken piece.

We recommend using an locksmith to remove a broken key. This is again a risky job that easily ends up with greater damage. A locksmith can also duplicate another key on-site in case it is your last set.

If you have extraction tools in hand you can still try to remove the key yourself using the following steps:

  1. Turn off engine and set the gear on park/neutral.
  2. Lubricate the keyhole with WD40 spray or some other lock lubricant.
  3. Find a key extractor tool like paper clip/jigsaw blade/thin wire/needle head pliers.
  4. Slide the extractor tool beside the broken piece of the key.
  5. Gently try to turn the extractor tool toward the teeth of the broken key to pull it out.
  6. Keep pulling the broken key until a small part comes out of the cylinder and use the needle head pliers to pull it out.

Burglary Repair

Did your car door or ignition lock got damaged by a burglar?

Often door and ignition cylinder locks tampered and forcibly turned by an intruder. This done with a screwdriver, a knife or some other sharp object damaging the keyhole and the switch.

Replacing a lock on the door, combustion switch, glovebox or trunk is a very complex job. Rekey the lock to sync in with the old key requires skills specific tools carried by a locksmith. You will need the help of a mobile locksmith or to tow the vehicle to the dealer to replace the damaged locks.

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Bad key light on the dashboard

bad key light Todays, most vehicles have a built-in immobilizer systems which control the electric current. Only when the correct transponder key used the engine will start. This mechanism implemented as an anti-theft technology.

The bad key warning light turns on if the immobilizer does not recognize the key or if the key is low on battery.

Generally, the bad key indicator behave similarly between different car makers. For specific information on your system, always refer to your owner’s manual.

When you first turn the key, the key light will illuminate for a few seconds showing that the LED is active. If the computer doesn’t recognize the key code, the bad key light will flash multiple times.

Bad key on Push start ignition

With a push start car, make sure that the keyless entry device is close enough to the automotive's computer.

Low battery power on the key

On some vehicles the key/remote uses a battery. With low or no battery power on the key, the bad key light might go's on. Vehicles that use this system have a backup procedure in the owner’s manual to manually start the car.

Try a spare key

Some vehicles have unique code registered for each key. If you have an extra key, try to use it to start the vehicle and get a duplicate key.

Automotive's computer reprogramming

Most vehicles today contain a flash programmable vehicle computer which contain the key-data.

After years of deterioration the car computer might experience malfunctions. The symptoms are "check engine" light on, igniting problems, stalling or performance issues.

The solution is often re-flash, reprogramming or replacement of the car computer system. This job done by a locksmith or by the dealer, since it requires specific programming tools.

After repairing the key-data the key requires reprogramming to recognized by the immobilizer.

Check further details by automaker

Chrysler, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Volkswagen, Jeep, Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, Mazda, Cadillac, Audi, GMC, BMW, Toyota, Chevrolet, Kia, Honda and Dodge

Ignition repair/replacement cost

The estimate cost for ignition job will depend on the type of car and the condition. Expect to pay between $180 to $295 for ignition switch repair or replacement. This price includes the technician coming out to you, the parts and the labor. Final price provided by for you to approve after diagnosing the vehicle.

Bottom line

Okey DoKey Locksmith ignition experts will be able to arrive to your site ASAP. We carry latest key programming machines for German, Japanese, Asian and American vehicles.

We can restore your ignition, replace your keys or reflash your vehicle computer system on the spot.

Call (832)408-0006 for a FREE ESTIMATE and schedule an appointment.


  1. Common ignition problems - AutoZone
  2. The car ignition - Wikipedia.

Related articles/services

  1. ECU reflash.
  2. Car lockout.
  3. Car key replacement.

Car Ignition Repair Houston Texas - Okey DoKey Locksmith

Car Ignition Repair Houston Texas - Okey DoKey Locksmith

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