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The Chrysler PT Cruiser is a front-engine, front wheel drive, small family car/Compact MPV manufactured and marketed internationally by Chrysler in 5-door hatchback (2000–2010) and 2-door convertible (2005-2008) body styles.

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Ignition will randomly lock sometimes, and key wont turn.

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser and i recently took my car to a mechanic to change my alternator. I got it changed, but afterwards, i encountered a new problem where my ignition locks and the key wont turn, at all. It was like this for days until later i randomly decided to give it another try and it worked! However, after 3 days of my car working fine, one day i am leaving work, get into my car, and the key wont turn my ignition again! Is there a reason why it will randomly lock up like this? Could it be that my mechanic messed with something and this is a result of that?

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Hi @corteg559 ,

Have you got a spare key that you can try?

It may be as simple as a worn ignition key or a worn ignition key lock.

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@jayeff i just tried my other sparekey and ignition still wont turn. Any other possibilities?

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You can have a new key made at your Chrysler dealership. All they need is your VIN number and proof of ownership. Your old key may be worn to the point that it not engage the lock well anymore.

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I just tried the otherkey i was given and also wont work, so based off that i feel like it isnt the key, any other thoughts? Open to other suggestions , i just wanna have a car lol

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The problem is probably the cylinder lock cable that goes from Gear shift selector (P / N/ R / D / OD) to ignition switch. If you take off center console to allow access to shift selector there is a screw on the left hand side of selector main body that attaches to cable.

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Definitely annoying scenario,

Prior to turning the key when the steering wheel lock has been engaged you may need to apply turning pressure on the steering wheel itself. The steering wheel lock pin is a pencil-sized pin about 1/2 inch long or less. Overtime it begins to get grooves in the smooth sides of the cylinder pin. Turning the steering wheel to the left and right while turning the key at the same time will unlock it most of the time. Permanent fixes will be to get the pin replaced and or the worn out key or key lock cylinder

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@alldutydiag

The bad part is i already tried that. This recently happened to my sisters car, so ive tried everything that we tried on her car. I tried jiggling the key, applying turning pressure both left amd right, turning the key while pumping the brakes. The only thing i havent tried yet is the spare key and applying the lubricant on my key and putting it into the ignition.

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The problem most likely is the cylinder lock cable that goes from Gear shift selector (P / N/ R / D / OD) to ignition switch. If you take off center console to allow access to shift selector there is a screw on the left hand side of selector main body that attaches to cable. The cable is self adjusting according to service manual but I had similar problem. I loosened screw and shifted the selector from P to N and back to P then retightened screw. Not sure if this would be directly linked to servicing the alternator but who knows what the mechanic did in their process of fixing the alternator. Good mechanic will at least do some steps to ensure that is indeed the problem with the vehicle and not waste your money or time. Im assuming the vehicle wouldn’t start if the alternator was bad and left the battery discharged. So any mechanic is going to test starter, ignition switch, ASD relay, Alternator, and so on. To test ignition switch he might have unplugged the cylinder lock cable from ignition switch. i hope this helps.

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