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Dodge Repair/Dodge Caravan steering wheel


steering wheel column
steering wheel column  
I have a dodge caravan that the ignition went out. I was able to find an ignition at the Upull it. I took the vin to the dealership and had a key made to fit the ignition. Now the key goes in, but won't turn. The steering wheel is in the lock position. But, the whole steering column and wheel are out of the vehicle. Is there anyway, or a specific place I can look to unlock the steering wheel to see if the key will turn? I'm assuming it won't turn do to the locked steering wheel. I appreciate any input on this. I am attaching a photo of the actual steering column so you can see it.

Hi Colleen
While I can't claim experience with all the possible permuatations between the ignition switch and the steering column mechanics, it seems to me that there should be nothing that impairs the lock cylinder from rotating out of the locked position that is dependent upon the column position other than when the wheel is undertension to the left or the right and in the locked configurtion then that will usually make it difficult to rotate the lock cylinder. So if you haven't tried it, try turning the wheel to both sides to the limit it will rotate and see if at either extreme position it will release the obstruction to the rotation of the cylinder. Other than that I would wonder if the key that was cut was done properly. Because you have it out and easily available you could go to a locksmith and let them verify that the key was correctly cut. They should be able to 'pick' the lock and get things straightened out for you.
I am not clear as to whether you just bought the used steering column as a whole or just the ignition switch. In any case, what is the year of the vehicle? I can then look specifically at how to remove the entire ignition switch from the column and that would eliminate the issue of whether the steering wheel position is the cause of the problem. Unfortunately, the lock cylinder itself will only come out of the barrel of the lock when it is possible to put it in the unlocked position using a valid key.
PS Please 'rate' my answer (see below). I would be pleased to learn how this is resolved.

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Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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