Kia Soul Key Won’t Turn – What Are The Reasons?

Are you facing a frustrating situation where your Kia Soul key won’t turn? This common issue can leave you stranded and unsure of how to proceed.

Knowing the potential causes behind a non-turning Kia Soul key will provide you with practical solutions to resolve the problem. Keep scrolling!

Kia Soul Key Won’t Turn – What Are The Reasons?

kia soul key won't turn

Common reasons for the Kia Soul key not turning to include a locked steering wheel, ignition key or ignition switch issues, and limited gear level.

In addition, the malfunctioning ignition lock cylinder or cylinder housing can also cause the key not to turn.

Steering Wheel Lock

The Kia steering wheel lock mechanism is designed to prevent unauthorized car use.

However, the Kia Soul ignition locked in one direction while the car is off can cause the steering wheel lock to engage, making it difficult to turn the key in the ignition.

This safety feature is intended to protect the vehicle but can also create an inconvenience when trying to start your Kia Soul.

Faulty Ignition Key

The key can wear down or become damaged from time to time, leading to difficulties in engaging the ignition cylinder. The key could be bent, worn out, or has a damaged chip.

Thus, it may not properly align with the tumblers inside the ignition cylinder, making the car key not moving in ignition.

Besides, if the key has excessive dirt or debris buildup, it can hinder its smooth insertion and operation.

Broken Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is responsible for transmitting the electrical signal from the key to the vehicle’s ignition system, allowing it to start.

If the ignition switch is damaged or worn out, it may fail to properly recognize the key’s presence or signal, making it stuck in ignition Kia Soul or not turning.

The internal components of the ignition switch can become faulty due to wear and tear over time or mechanical damage.

Restricted Gear Level

The “Park” gear level is a safety mechanism designed to prevent the vehicle from being started while in gear, reducing the risk of accidental movement.

However, if the gear lever is not fully engaged in the “Park” position, it can create resistance and prevent the key from turning.

Other Reasons

A malfunctioning ignition cylinder can prevent the key from turning. Over time, the cylinder’s internal components can wear out or become damaged, leading to difficulty in turning the Kia Soul’s key.

The key cylinder housing that holds the ignition cylinder may be damaged or malfunctioning. It can prevent the key from properly engaging with the cylinder.

How To Fix If The Kia Key Won’t Turn?

kia soul key not turning

Unlock The Steering Wheel

  • Step 1: Insert the key in the ignition and try to turn the steering wheel gently in both directions.
  • Step 2: Apply steady pressure to move the wheel back and forth. Sometimes the steering wheel locks due to tension in the system, and by applying pressure, you can release the lock.
  • Step 3: While maintaining pressure on the steering wheel, turn the ignition key to start the car. Turning the key and maneuvering the steering wheel can release the lock mechanism.

Avoid shaking the steering wheel from side to side, as this can damage the locking pin, reducing the likelihood of unlocking the wheel.

You can ask an auto repair mechanic to help if you cannot handle it.

Apply Silicone Grease In The Cylinder

  • Step 1: Locate the key cylinder

The key of the Kia Soul is usually located in the steering column, near the ignition switch.

  • Step 2: Clean the key cylinder

Use a clean cloth or a cotton swab to remove dirt, debris, or old lubricant from the key cylinder. Make sure the area is clean before applying the silicone grease.

  • Step 3: Apply silicone grease

Take a small amount of silicone grease or a clean cloth on your fingertip. Apply a thin, even layer of grease to the key blade and insert it into the cylinder.

Turn the key back and forth gently to distribute the grease within the cylinder. You’ll hear some clicking noises when turning it. Avoid applying excessive grease because dirt clogs over time.

Fix Or Replace Broken Parts

If your Kia Soul key won’t turn in ignition, fixing or replacing a broken car key, bad ignition switch, ignition cylinder, or cylinder housing can be a potential solution.

By repairing or replacing these components, you can handle the underlying issues and restore functionality to the ignition system. Thus, the key can turn smoothly.

It’s best to consult an automatic mechanic or authorized Kia Soul’s service department for accurate diagnosis and proper repair or replacement of the affected parts.

Normally, replacing an ignition cylinder may cost between $234 and $281, with $162 and $191 for new parts and $71 to $90 for labor costs.


kia forte key won't turn

Is It Safe To Force The Key To Turn In The Ignition?

No. Forcing the key to turn in the ignition is generally not safe. Applying excessive force to the key or trying to turn it forcefully can lead to several issues:

  • Key damage: Keys are typically made of metal, and applying excessive force can bend or break the key, rendering it unusable.
  • Electronic ignition switch damage: The ignition switch is a sensitive component that can be damaged if excessive force is applied.

The internal mechanisms of the switch may become misaligned or broken, leading to a malfunction.

  • Steering lock: If the vehicle key is forced, it can cause the steering wheel to lock in place, making it difficult or impossible to turn. It can also result in damaging the steering column or other related components.

How Much Does It Cost For Kia Soul Ignition Switch Replacement?

Normally, replacing an ignition switch may cost $135 to $250, with $60 to $100 for the parts and $75 to $150 labor costs.

The cost can vary depending on various factors, including the vehicle’s specific year, the extent of the damage or malfunction, and the labor rates charged by the repair shop or dealership.

Moreover, prices can differ between different regions and service providers.


Encountering a situation where the Kia Soul key won’t turn can be inconvenient. It can be caused by faulty electronic ignition systems, steering wheel lock issues, and low gear levels.

Ensure the key is inserted correctly, and gently wiggle it while applying light pressure. You can also seek an automotive mechanic; check out the manual or online services for more details.

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