**Summary: ** I have an old Saturn. My key is jammed in the ignition and I can neither start the car nor remove the key.
Once before, I had this problem with this 1993 Saturn SL2. The key would get stuck for a while, then release and be removable. I don’t know how long I had to wait, as I would typically go away and return to the car later and find it working. This happened a number of times. I assumed it was an “anti-theft” feature and associated it in my mind with having bumped the steering wheel, causing the lockup, but I might have been making that up. It finally seized up permanently, at which point we had it towed to the mechanic, who replaced the entire ignition lock and gave me new keys for it.
That worked for a number of years. The other day, I went to Jiffy Lube and left the key in the ignition so they could move the car out of the bay when they finished, When I got home, turned off the engine and tried to extract the key, I could not remove the key or even turn it.
Apparently, when turning the car off, you are supposed to push the key in before rotating it to the final position at which it can be removed. I admit to not always thinking about that, and I may have been turning the key all the way without pushing it in before removing it for some time. Is it possible this has damaged the tumblers?
I also saw something online about an “ignition interlock” cable.
I have tried several times over the past day and a half to remove the key, turning the steering wheel, pressing in and pulling out, and twisting as much as I dare. There is some movement (at least, until I turn the steering wheel, at which point it feels like there’s less ability to twist the key) but not enough to start the car.
I can have it towed and the ignition lock replaced again, I guess. But it seems goofy to tow the entire car because I can’t take the key out. Is there any way this can be fixed by a non-mechanically-inclined person such as myself? Car forums describe drilling out the ignition and replacing it, which is probably beyond my capability, or fiddling with the ignition interlock cable and some small plastic retaining part, if I understand what I’ve read, which I suppose might be within my ability.
Anything else I should try? WD-40?
Thanks for your time and suggestions.