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Major Toyota Fan
1996 Camry LE
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74 Posts
Yeah, you're right

In order to remove the cylinder the key must be turned to the ACC position. If its seized in another position (mine was in off), the only way to remove the cylinder is to forcefully rotate it or drill it out.

But, yes, under normal circumstances swapping out the cylinder is a breeze.
Sorry, misread that part of your post. For some reason, it read like you couldn't reach the little access key underneath. Based on what my locksmith said, it was probably those dratted split-wafers that caused your problem. Glad you got it out.
 

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1997 Toyota Camry Key Wont turn, Ignition Lock problem -1997 toyota camry FIXED!!! I see a lot of Douches with a capital D trying to charge people to fix this extremely common issue with this Camry ignition cylinder. OK pull the plastic guard off encasing the steering column. Get a phillips head screwdriver and remove the 2 screws holding the little off-white connector at the rear of the module(it has the wires to the ignition running to it). Get a pair of pliers or a small crescent wrench and while trying to turn the key use the wrench to turn the little rod sticking out of the back of the module. Make sure your turning it WITH the direction the key is trying to turn it. It should immediate be freed. Wala IT WORKS! AND THATS WHY PEOPLE DONT TRUST MECHANICS! HOW CAN YOU CHARGE SOMEONE FOR THAT INFO?
This hint was enough to break loose a locked steering wheel and permit normal use of the gear shift, this on a 2000 Toyota Sienna. The lock cylinder remains stuck, and I start the car with a small screw driver turning the plastic switch taken off the back of the full ignition lock assembly. Earlier, I had successfully removed the lock cylinder, removed the split tumblers, replaced and ran with it for three days, at which time, it resisted, and I somehow managed to turn the steering wheel into a fully locked position making the car inoperable even after I could start the engine.

Thank you very much for this post; you've have saved us a ton of trouble. By the way, the next drive we take is to the Toyota dealership in Coos Bay, where a new Sienna is ours in about two weeks.
 

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I had the same problem with my 97 Camry. Managed to get it to ACC and take the cylinder out and get it repaired at a locksmith.

I have been starting the car with needle nose plyers while I waited for the fix. Now, I can't get it to go back in. I turn the switch and the key to the ACC position, and it slides almost all the way down, but it is a few mm away from clicking in the notch. Without the spring being depressed, I can't turn the key out of ACC.

Any tricks? I must be missing something. What is the purpose of the gold rod running along the top?
I had the same problem with my 97, It felt like like I was driving around in a stolen car with the long needle nose pliers sticking out of the ignition. The locksmith said it was a common problem, the tumblers where worn out. It might've cost $25.00 or so
 

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My ignition cylinder seized out of of the blue one day in a parking lot. 100% seized and couldn't turn at all with no warning signs at all.

Luckily found a cheap locksmith to come out and rip it out without damaging the steering column and start the car.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen, but I guess one of the wafers suddenly sheared and completely jammed the locking mechanism. Pro locksmith spent almost an hour trying to extract it.
Do you remember the name of the locksmith that came to you?
 

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Hey, I know this is an older thread...
But just replaced the ignition switch in my '98 everything works as should...
But now my power locks and remote for previous do not work!?!
If the door is closed, the power locks work.
However if the door is open, after you push to lock.
The locks spring back open.
To fix for the moment I took out the fuse and just deal with "manual" locks.
Any ideas?
 

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Toyota Collector
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The "pin" switch that senses if the key is in the lock is either stuck or broken. Or maybe not fastened down properly either way check that out.
 

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Will look into it thanks for the heads up, but normally as I said it works in car (key in or out).
If I have door open atop exit and hit lock, that is when it triggers and reopens.
Just using manual as I said, but a pain with the kids and groceries at times.
Miss my remote, lol.
 

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Currently troubleshooting 1999 Toyota Camry V6 automatic transmission ignition switch / ignition cylinder issue.

Specific Problems:

a. Opened driver door with the key out of the ignition (assuming the key was in LOCK position)opening my door a chiming went off. I later realized i had the key in the ACC position and when i tried to depress the key to the OFF position, i was met with resistance and ultimately could not. I am able to turn on the car but i realized that my key is can easily come out of the ignition when it is on ACC and ON/START while the car is on as well -- YIKES

b. while noticing problem a, I attempted to automatically lock the doors (with driver door open) and locks automatically unlocked immediately.

c. assuming lock and chime would work correctly if i closed door and manually locked door from outside, I did just that and realized that the chime DID STOP and the 4 doors did lock after manually locking the driver door from the outside. HOWEVER, I noticed that my CLOCK was ON. Did not think this would be an issue but it ended up draining my battery (older battery that needed replacing anyway but still) and I'm assuming it was the Clock that expedited the battery drainage.

What I tried so far:

1. Blew compressed air in key hole, cleaned main key with FOB (evidently bent but still works), after poured nail polish remover and quickly inserted into key hole while moving it left and right, and inserting and removing too.

2. removed the ignition lock cylinder/tumbler assembly(not cylinder switch that is behind it/separate module with a black blade like male component potruding out of it, it was dirty or damaged and it looked fine, I noticed the black blade and with some pliers i tested turning the car on (Worked) and turning the car OFF/LOCK (did not move pass ACC)

3. i tried replacing the tumbler assembly with this part (https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/locksmart-4173/ignition---tune-up-16776/ignition-lock-cylinder-assembly-13092/7f728fbed9c8/locksmart-ignition-lock-cylinder/lc63040/4418812/1999/toyota/camry?pos=2) by following this youtube vid (
), and still the same issue except this time, the keys that came with this new Locksmart ignition lock cylinder, could not be removed from the ACC and START/ON position.

Additional Info -- I did realize that when i removed the tumbler assembly, I was able to lock the doors fine even when the driver door was opened (1/2 issue solved, YAY !!)

Anyways, my questions to you are:

1. What in the world is that male black blade like component protruding out of the ignition switch module (im assuming it attaches to the female slit of the tumbler assembly)

2. why is that blade thingy NOT turning with my pliers firmly grasped even when i removed the tumbler assembly?

3. What suggestions or solutions should I try next ?

can you please be as detailed as possible (I am just a layman) because on top of fixing the issue i want to know the science behind why something like this would occur.
 
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