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2001 Chev Prizm, keys won't turn any locks or ignition

ironvaseironvase Member Posts: 2
edited December 2015 in Chevrolet
Hey guys, I need some help with a strange problem.

2001 Chev Prizm
1.8 L
114k miles

So the problem first started to surface about 2 months ago. Of the three exterior locks on the car (driver side door, passenger side door, trunk) the two locks on the doors suddenly began to only turn one way. The driver side lock would only turn to the right, meaning I could unlock the door but I couldn't turn it left to lock it from the outside. The passenger side door was the opposite: it would only turn left so that I could lock the doors from the outside, but it would not turn right so I couldn't unlock the door from the outside.

This struck me as odd but I wasn't too worried about it and decided I'd deal with it some time in the future.

This was how things were 3 days ago, on Tues Dec 1. I didn't drive the car on Wed Dec 2. Yesterday, Dec 3 when I went out to drive it, none of the three exterior locks would turn at all so I couldn't get into my car at all. I was in a hurry and needed to get to work, so I called a mobile locksmith to come open the door and get me in my car. I drove to work and back with no problems, making sure not to lock my doors so that I wouldn't be locked out because the locks still would not turn.

Today I go outside to drive the car and the ignition won't turn at all. And this is not a problem with the steering wheel being locked or anything like that. I have spent quite a while trying to turn the key in various ways, I have used a different key, nothing works.

Is there any chance some kind of electrical failure with the power lock system/ignition system could be causing this?

Thanks in advance for any help.


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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited December 2015
    So your spare key doesn't work either? That IS strange. Any chance of vandalism at work here? What did the locksmith have to say about all this?
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    ironvaseironvase Member Posts: 2
    Vandalism seems extremely unlikely to me, though it is a point I hadn't considered.

    The "locksmith" was really just a guy who was able to do a quick door-open procedure. He said I'd probably have to take the car to the dealer for the locks. He wasn't like most locksmiths I've worked with in the past who would shine a light in the lock and try to diagnose what was actually happening. If I can get it running I might actually take it to a real locksmith to see if somehow the cold weather is affecting the locks. Perhaps after 15 years the locks have just accumulated too much gunk and need to be cleaned or replaced :disappointed:
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, have a locksmith look at it before tearing anything apart.
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