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Nissan Repair/2000 altima ignition problem


went to grocery store came out inserted key in ignition and it would turn.  Tried moving stearing wheel to free up if in lock position. I could not get the key to turn and i could not remove the key from the ignition. After much giggling and pushing and pulling, i finally said Ok Lord I need this car to start and get me home. I pushed in key as hard as I could into the ignition and turned it to start ignition.
Praise God a miracle. When i got home i could not get the key out nor would it start again.
Husband finally got key out. He was convinced it was the battery but i didnt think so and thought it has something to do with ignition. He and my son tried jump starting but that didnt work.
My husband took the battery out and had it tested where we had purchased it. Battery is fine.
After checking auto repair sights on internet,  I am convinced it is the ignition.
What can I expect to pay to have this problem repaired.  Thank you in advanve for your help. Sincerely, Nancy

Hi Nancy

Sounds to me like the ignition cylinder needs replacing.

There are 2 parts to your ignition, the ignition switch, and the ignition cylinder. The cylinder is the one that accepts the key and engages the switch, which is attached to the cylinder. The reason i tell you this is because i don't want you to get swindled into changing both units. You will only need to change the cylinder.

It is a quite simple process, I can walk you through the replacement. The part alone should cost about $100 give or take. labor should take it near $200, depending where you go. Let me know if you need instructions for replacement.

However, do you have a spare key that was hardly used? Hopefully it is the original key? Have you tried that one?
You see, the original key is the one that the cylinder "remembers". All the ridges on the key will wear down as the key gets used over and over again. Sometimes to a point where it will not work in the lock anymore because the peaks and valleys on your key has worn down. I think this is what happened to your key. And, when you make copies of keys, using these worn down keys as a template, it gets worse, similar to a copier making copies of copies, of copies, each generation's quality compromised more and more.

With that said, if you replace your ignition cylinder, it will come with a new key. I would suggest you make copies of the new key and use the copies for your everyday use, and store the new key. That way when you have to make copies again, you have a new key to use as the template.

The disadvantage of replacing the cylinder is you will end up with one key for the ignition, and the original key for the doors and trunk. You can get a complete set of matching locks installed, but it will be in the $300 category.

Hope this helps -

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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