My wife's van just started giving us problems when we attempt to put the key into the cylinder it acts like it is locked up and will not turn. Completely randomly I guess, it seems like the key may strike the tumbler just right and then it turns over and starts fine. Lately it has been taking 10-20 mins of pulling the key out, putting it back in, trying to turn it before it works. I shot graphite directly into the keyhole today with no noticeable result, and I am getting scared that the cylinder is about to break loose and if the set up is like the European cars-I know extraction of the housing and everything would then be necessary.
This is going to call for the help of either one of you Mastertechs that have done and seen this a million times or someone that has experienced it because I know it isn't acting like any other failing cylinder I have run across.
1- I do not have an alternate key
2- The key shows noticeable wear but nothing that would typically cause a no start issue
3- It happens every time but is not consistent in any other way-like, putting the key in at angle or pushing/pulling on the shifter/ depressing the brake pedal harder to ensure the B/L switch is engaging--none
4- No MIL's
5- The tumbler does feel real "loosy goosy" when key is inserted as if the "feelers or the little things that the key is read by" may be damaged from my dear wife ramming the dang key in and out of it when it locks up.
I know that the complete ignition assembly is a "dealer-only" item and must be programmed to new keys post installation--I am trying to see if I am even on the right track in thinking the Ignition Lock Cylinder is the root---I do not know if I should go ahead and purchase anew key to see if that works---I do know I am going to be spending a few hundred minimum on anything that has to be diagnosed/programmed if there isn't a way around it.
I read another post in which someone installed a remote start (aftermarket) system with a ignition/immobilizer bypass relay setup--but he didn't write if it was necessary that the key be used or not, every system like that I have seen still involves getting the key to the starting position at some point. So I am skeptical that he installed the system due to the same issue I'm having.
Any help would be great!!and I will happily help anyone with any ?s about European vehicles and will be browsing these forums to see if I can help anyone often, thanks again...