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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've just bought my first car a used Corsa Sxi 2013 a couple of days ago and I'm running into a problem with starting it ☹ it could be something common / normal but I've no idea, hopefully someone can help.
This happened last night so I'll try explain, I went out for a drive everything was fine, got home and parked, took the key out and decided whilst sat there I should probably tidy up my parking a little. So I put the key back in the ignition and tried to start it but the key wouldn't turn, the inner lights turned off as soon as I put the key back in and the hazard triangle on the dash would blink? I tried several times but the same kept happening. Thankfully my dad was with me and after several attempts I ended up taking the handbrake off so it moved a little which seemed to break the cycle of the key not turning and it started up, sorry it's very vague but it's got me worried I'll get stuck like this when I'm out on my own 😕 does anyone have any idea what it could be? Thanks for any help.
 

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The steering lock wasn't engaged was it?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was hoping it was something ridiculously obvious, just sent me into a panic as I know nothing about cars, completely potato! Sounds like that could of been it, I'll try later on and let you know, thanks mate.
 

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My nephew, like many other youngsters learnt to drive with an instructor soy never got into a car that hadn't been started.
Called me in a flap one morning just after he had passed his test saying his steering had jammed and he couldn't turn the key. Turned out the steering lock had engaged and he didn't have a Scooby Doo how to get it off.
Easily done if you've never been shown.
 
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First off, if the key won't turn, never try to force it. Same applies to everything on the car and most machines you will encounter in life - gear changes too on a Corsa, including engaging first or reverse which also might not want to engage when stationary. Never use your strength unless you want to break or pop the plastic gear linkage! Use your head

Ideally, when you remove the key from the steering column, the steering wheel will be locked so it cannot be turned. It is designed to lock the steering wheel everytime so the car cannot be driven/stolen without the right key (unless you are a Hollywood tough guy in a hurry who knows exactly how to bypass the lock!)

A car steering lock is more complicated than a house door deadlock, but I find it helps to think of it like that. The steering linkage and thus the steering wheel including the locking parts might sometimes still be under some tension when you remove the key, especially if you have been reversing trying to park prettily. I think of it a bit like trying to unlock a house door while someone is pushing hard against it.

So if the key doesn't turn with minimal effort, then that just means there is first some tension left in the steering linkage to cancel. Maybe you've parked with a front tyre squashed still part turned against a kerb. And how do you cancel that effect? Simples. You will still be able to move the steering wheel a tiny bit against the tension - you will be able to feel it. Do that and hold it against the tension while you try the key again. You might even need to wiggle the steering wheel, but miraculously the key will soon turn with minimal effort!

And the sometimes sticky gear lever when stationary - you might need to put your foot on the brake while you take off the handbrake, then lift your foot a little to let the wheels and gearbox turn a fraction, very much like the steering wheel problem. Miraculously letting the car move a tiny bit will allow you to select first or reverse easily again.

And I think the hazard triangle you mentioned simply means your handbrake lever was not fully down. My Corsa insists my handbrake lever must be right down else it gives me the same warning.

The main thing to remember as a new driver with all these little foibles (every car has some) is just to remain chilled and sort it out in your own time, not worrying about who is behind you or in front, or beside you watching, smiling or worse - tutting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you for your detailed response 🙂 It hasn't happened since but it definitely sounded as if that was the problem. It's a shame we're not taught these potential small problems which are easily remedied whilst taking lessons, it's quite nerve wracking getting your first car and not having a Scooby-Doo when something goes pear shaped 🤣

Any tips on how to loosen up an electric window!? The driver's side gets stuck about half way down, I've tried buying some WD40 silicone and running it down the window frame but hasn't seemed to do much. I read somewhere something about holding the switch for 5 seconds? Not sure if it's got anything to do with that, passenger side works fine, drivers side seems to get around half way then make a slow-ish stop, not sure if it's tight or clogged with crap or something to do with the motor, really thought the wd40 would of loosened it as it's slightly varied how far it goes down, unless I'm imagining it!?
Cheers for the help & advice, stopped me sweating about taking it out and getting stuck 👍
 

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The window issue really belongs in a new thread, but typically this will be because the window needs adjustment.
Remove the door card and move the window down until you can see the two bolts at the bottom of the mechanism. Slacken them just enough to allow the glass to sit in the correct position before tightening them up. Test before refitting everything.
Use white grease to lubricate the mechanism, particularly the plastic slides.
 
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