Inserted key but ignition won't turn? - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Inserted key but ignition won't turn?

Hi everyone, it has been a little over a month since I last started my Ninja and it was stored outdoor with a cover on because I didn't have access to a garage.

Now my friend is willing to lend me a spot and I would like to get the bike running, trouble is the weather in Ontario has been really cold and for some reason when I insert the key into the hole it will not twist no matter how much force I apply. Is there a reason to this? I will go home later tonight to try to start it but right now the ignition switch seem to be stuck in the off position, thanks anyone for advice...
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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is it frozen ? put the bike inside for a while to make sure ice isnt the problem and if thats not it then it's probably got some corrosion in there in that case a little squirt of wd 40 might do the trick ..
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I will try wd40 and see it it works
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crayonshinchan View Post
Thanks I will try wd40 and see it it works
Also spray a tiny bit in your gas tank key hole as well. Mine seized up (to the point I bent a key) and that cleared it right up.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 07:15 AM
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The usual problem is the steering lock jamming. If it's very cold it could well be frozen even if you think you've freed off the lock barrel, so try moving the bars against the lock, and make sure that you free the lock piston as well as the barrel.

WD40 won't help with a frozen lock. Use a little car de-icer. To de-ice a lock barrel, heating the key before inserting it is another useful trick.

Rob
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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The usual problem is the steering lock jamming. If it's very cold it could well be frozen even if you think you've freed off the lock barrel, so try moving the bars against the lock, and make sure that you free the lock piston as well as the barrel.

WD40 won't help with a frozen lock. Use a little car de-icer. To de-ice a lock barrel, heating the key before inserting it is another useful trick.

Rob

Thanks Rob, to give an update on the situation I sprayed WD40 on both the ignition and gas tank hole. In a matter of seconds after I sprayed WD40 the ignition turned smoothly like it was any summer day, I was so shocked at the difference. The battery light up and everything is good but I didn't try to start the bike because there's still snow, I'm waiting for the snow on the road to melt again before I ride it to my friend's garage 2 blocks away.

However, the gas tank hole is still giving me trouble, I sprayed a bit of WD40 but my key will not even insert completely into it. It is not a huge concern right now as I filled the gas to the brim and will not need to open it up, I just hope it will de-ice or whatever once it gets a little warmer.

Thanks again for all the help!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 05:55 AM
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WD-40 works well on locks that are stiff or dirty because it's very thin and includes a solvent. Avoid using any kind of heavy oil on locks because they attract dirt and clog up.

Sounds as though your gas tank is frozen. You can buy lock de-icers with a little injection nozzle, but a hot key usually does the job. When the key is all the way in, press down hard on the filler cap before you try to turn the key.

Rob
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:54 AM
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The thing about WD40 is that it's a solvent, not a lubricant, and is only going to help the problem for a short time. What it's doing is dissolving/loosening the clumps of crap in your keyhole, but when it evaporates all the dirt is left there to clump back up and you're left with the same problem.

What really needs to be done is to clean the locks and get some real lubricant -- graphite is what's typically used for locks.

I don't know about the ignition, but I've rebuilt my gas cap and it's not the key barrel that was the issue, it's the internals of the cap that needed cleaning and lubing. I used Q-tips and chain cleaner (figured that would be best for the o-rings) and cleaned every nook and cranny and used some motor oil (I believe graphite is the typical lubricant used in locks and wouldn't recommend motor oil, it's just what I had) to oil the o-rings and tight spots. It mad an absolute world of difference and it was very easy to do. Just make sure you pay attention to where everything goes and it's very basic. I can put up some pics when I get home tonight.

It's also worth taking a close look at your key. When my gas cap was sticking badly I actually tweaked it a little and that was causing problems for me getting the ignition to turn smoothly. Sounds like you may have the same problem so check out your key closely for any bending or twisting. I bent mine back but I'm probably going to get a new key cut here soon.


Last edited by chuckbear; 01-05-2011 at 08:56 AM.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 04:18 PM
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would graphite cause any problems with the electrical contacts in the ignition switch ?

i have always used wd 40 with no issues , im not saying graphite is bad i just dont think i would want it in my ignition switch or in my gas ..
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 07:38 AM
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WD-40 is a water dispersant. It contains both a solvent and a very thin lubricating component - I hesitate to call it an oil. It's far too thin to lubricate anything other than a lock barrel, but it remains after the solvent has evaporated.

It's good for locks, where required lubrication is minimal, because it's very thin and doesn't clog or attract dirt like an ordinary oil. Thicker oils, chain lubes or greases can be used on external components - the bits that extract and engage when the barrel turns - but not the barrel itself. Any locksmith will sell you a suitable oil, although I don't know if graphite is used; I'd have thought it was a bit thick.

The electrical contacts are separated from the barrel and shouldn't be affected by any lubricant used. Electrical switch cleaner can be used in that part of an ignition switch, but that's only for cleaning contacts that don't make properly.

Rob
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