How to Unlock the Ignition on a Honda Civic

by Ryan Cole
yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from

The Honda Civic is a small, inexpensive passenger car that comes in two- or four-door models. Japanese automaker Honda has been making them since 1972. The ignition on the steering column of a Honda Civic can sometimes lock if you park the car with the steering wheel turned instead of straight. When an ignition is locked, the key goes in but doesn't turn. Fortunately, you can easily unlock it in most cases without any other problems.

Step 1

Check that the car is fully in park.

Step 2

Hold down the brake with your foot.

Turn the steering wheel toward the left as you simultaneously try to turn the key in the ignition. Push the key firmly but not too hard. If it doesn't unlock by the time the wheel has gone as far left as possible, repeat while turning it to the right.


  • Sometimes the ignition isn't locked, but the key has worn too far down. Try turning the ignition with a backup key.
  • Sometimes the ignition isn't locked, but dirt or debris has jammed the mechanism. Try cleaning it with a can of pressurized air, cleaning the key, then inserting some lock lubricant into the mechanism with the key.
  • Sometimes the ignition mechanism is actually broken. You may have to replace some of the parts.

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