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Old 12-02-2004, 01:43 PM #16
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If it isn't the Steering wheel bind problem, then you have a defective lock. There are small springs that press down the pins in the lock and if one of them is defective the lock will be intermittent.

The dealer needs to replace the lock.

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Old 12-02-2004, 04:57 PM #17
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It's been fine for about 3 weeks now but I'm ready with an extra key to try this time. I think the Runner knows I'm ready. She'll wait, she'll stock me until she knows that I don't have the extra key on hand .... then she'll strike.

That's how it normally happens. Murpheys law.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:29 AM #18
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Problems with your ignition turning

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Originally Posted by ToyDiehard View Post
Have you ever gotten into your 4Runner, go to turn the ignition key, and it just won't turn? (Imagine installing someone elses key into your ignition, that's what it feels like). I don't try to force it. Instead, I remove the key a couple times and try again. A few tries later it finially turns easy and starts.

I've had my 04 Runner for about 6 weeks now and have experienced this same problem only twice, but Im afraid of being stranded somewhere. Anyone else ever experience this same problem?
You need to pull your ignition cylinder out and have the tumblers replaced. I have a '99 4runner that had to have this done. Some threads will tell you to replace it with a new one or or a used one and have it keyed. I took mine out by myself in about 5 mins, ran it down to a locksmith and in about 20 mins he hooked me up with pretty much a brand new ignition cylinder. Works better than new. The problem with the cylinders is that they use a split tumbler system, one half will move and the other sticks. That's why you have to run your key in and out 20 times before it takes.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:07 PM #19
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I had this problem in my 99 tacoma, it kept getting worse till finally I could not turn the key. Had to call a lock smith and he came out took the ignition out and replaced the tumblers.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:20 AM #20
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I agree that this issue is common on foreign vehicles, especially Japanese. My Nissan Altima and Pathfinders both did it. It happens once in a while on my 4Runner and the steering wheel lock is the culprit.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:47 PM #21
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I know it's a 4th gen thread, but this happen to my 98 4runner today. After about 45 mins of trying, wiggling, turning the steering wheel, spraying some pb blaster in it, I gave up and got a ride to Toyota and got a new key made. Got home, new key worked perfectly!
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:28 PM #22
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This just happened to me. 2005, 220,000 miles, so I'm not surprised. I have a spare with no transponder. It unlocks the door flawlessly (both keys do), but the ignition cylinder won't turn even with the transponder key taped to the cylinder. It worked fine last time I drove it a week ago. I know it's not the steering wheel lock as it wasn't locked until I fidgeted around with it so much that I turned it hard enough to lock it. I can feel the steering lock disengage when I pull hard to the left, but the cylinder still won't turn.

So now what? I can't pull the cylinder without a key that will turn the igntion to ACC. Is a locksmith my only option?
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:24 PM #23
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Spray dielectric lubricant into the keyhole, and give it a few minutes to penetrate. Tiny bits of crap builds up in there over many years and gradually hardens. Try that before towing it.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:55 PM #24
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I had this problem. It sucked. For whatever reason, if I leaned over into the passenger seat and turned the key with my left hand, it worked. Something about the pressure on it that way.

To fix it: take it to a great locksmith. Spent maybe $100-$150 and itís worked ever since. That was a few years back.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:37 AM #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyDiehard View Post
Have you ever gotten into your 4Runner, go to turn the ignition key, and it just won't turn? (Imagine installing someone elses key into your ignition, that's what it feels like). I don't try to force it. Instead, I remove the key a couple times and try again. A few tries later it finially turns easy and starts.
Not an issue on my 4Runner, but my 97 Tacoma's been doing this off and on for a couple of years. Most likely the key, tumbler pins in the ignition, or both have worn due to the key jiggling in the ignition over the years. I had an old spare that was seldom used which I had another key key made from that helped for a while but time is catching up on that key now.

I've gotten to a point that when the keys goes in I can generally feel if it's not going to turn. There is a little hitch on the way in. if you don't want to change out the ignition switch and deal with 2 keys you'll get used to feeling for it.

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Old 02-27-2019, 10:12 PM #26
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Pulling the door cylinder and having them make a key off that worked. Now just to take it back and have a transponder key made. Thanks guys!
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:22 PM #27
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You can program these keys yourself. Very easy to do. I bought 2 blanks off amazon and had them cut at lowes for free and then programmed them out in the parking lot. Took me <30 mins and I only spent 25$ on the 2 keys combined. Also to the people who were talking about it being an issue with the transponder...I don't believe that is the case. For example, if you had a key cut, but not yet programmed, it will fit into the slot and you will be able to attempt starting but it will just crank and not turn over.
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