Things To Know About Fixing Frozen or Stuck Car Locks - Service Article from Shingle Springs Subaru

The door locks and the ignition lock in your Subaru are pretty important. If they're not working, you may find it difficult to get where you need to go--or even to get into the car at all. There are many reasons that a door lock or ignition lock may not work. For each one, there are specific ways you can deal with the issue. Below, we've listed five common problems, as well as the best way to overcome them.

A person attempts to insert a key into the door lock of a vehicle

5. Frozen Car Door Locks

When the temperatures drop, it's possible that ice can cause the exterior locks on your car to freeze. The best way to deal with this is to avoid it by parking inside a garage where the locks won't be exposed to the elements. But if this isn't an option, there's a possible fix. Isopropyl alcohol has a low freezing temperature, and it can help melt ice on the car door locks. Pour a small amount of the alcohol on the door's lock, and then gently try to use the key again. If this doesn't work, it may be time to call an authorized Subaru service center for help.

 
A person presses a button on the key fob to unlock their vehicle

4. The Key Fob Doesn't Work

Remote keyless entry is a great convenience that comes on many Subaru vehicles. Over time, you may notice that you have to walk closer and closer to your car in order for the key fob to unlock the vehicle. Eventually, it may decide only to work at certain times. This is a sign of a key fob battery that's running out of juice. Your Subaru owner's manual should have information on how to replace the battery, and we're also glad to perform that service at Shingle Springs Subaru.

3. The Key Won't Turn in the Lock

If you try to turn the key in the exterior lock, but it doesn't work, there are several possibilities. The latch or the lock cylinder may be broken, or the mechanism may need to be adjusted. The key itself could also be worn down. All of these should be inspected by an expert. Instead of turning to a locksmith, call the experts at an authorized Subaru service center. They know the inner workings of your Subaru better than just about anyone.

Close-up view of keys in an ignition

2. The Key Won't Turn in the Ignition

We've covered problems with door locks, but your Subaru may also have an ignition lock that could act up. If you try to turn the key to start your car and are met with resistance, it could be due to a number of things. The precisely-cut key that turns the ignition may have worn down, as could the tumblers in the ignition. This will need to be addressed by a professional; however, there is another possibility.

If your Subaru has an anti-theft immobilizer or push-button start, it may be that the chip in your key isn't working. If the chip doesn't function, your Subaru won't pick up its signal--and therefore it won't start.

There is one other possibility if the key won't turn in the ignition, and we go into it below.

1. Locked Steering Wheel

If the key won't turn when you put it into the ignition, try turning the steering wheel. If the wheel is also locked, you likely have a different problem entirely--and one that should be easy to fix! If the steering wheel is turned or bumped when there is no key in the ignition, it will lock. This is an anti-theft feature. To fix this problem, try gently wiggling the wheel while you attempt to turn the key. These motions performed at the same time may help get you up and running again.

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

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