Key wont turn in ignition. Dead battery?

Hi guys need some help. My bike has been parked up and not touched for 4 months. Parked outdoors with a cover over it.

I wanted to start it and run it so it doesnt drain the battery, think i maybe too late. Now the key doesent even turn in the ignition. I tried turning the bars, wiggle the key, i was trying for 10 mins, nothing.

I had a quick google up, all the suggestions are use wd40 or graphite powder to lube the barrel. I will try that but i also noticed there is no red flashing dot, the hiss immobiliser i think.

Now if my battery is dead and the hiss is of will that cause the key not to turn. How to i go about testing/ fixing the battery.


Hey bud,

The key not turning is highly unlikely to be a battery problem (well unless it is a battery powered key barrel)

As you’ve read a bit of WD40 is a good start. Unlikely as the weather it pretty mild but could be a iced up barrel little warm water to help there (but this is unlikely).

Also, could be a locked up steering lock, mine is playing up and very hit and miss at the moment so I suspect a bit of WD40 in there but that will not be as easy.

All that being said plenty of people on here with more experience than me and they’ll be along soon as well…

The barel is mechanical so it won’t be an issue with the Hiss. See if the WD40 will free it up. You can check the battery with a multi meter. Sounds obvious but have you pressed the key down before trying to turn it? That step is required to free the steering lock on a Honda. Down, turn, up.

it sounds like its just sticking to me like the other two have said. I had a Kawasaki er6 that was prone to this, ended up bending a key in it. All I can recommend is as you’ve already suggested, lube it up and keep jiggling the key whilst applying light turning pressure.

I would also recommend raking the lock as the pins might be sticking.

Thanks for your help guys. I will try with the wd40.

As above turning the ignition is nothing to do with the battery. You need to free the ignition lock internals/steering lock whichever is seized. Penetrating oil will be your best friend here, WD40 is mostly paraffin so it’ll probably do the job almost as well. Other options include raking the lock pins with a lock pickers rake to jiggle the pins. If you don’t have a lock pickers rake you can make one from a paper clip. Assuming the problem is corrosion of the lock internals you can try a proprietary rust remover such as Rustins £3.00 off the shelf at your local ToolStation or raid the kitchen/bathroom for some vinegar, lemon juice, toilet cleaner or whatever you have that shifts corrosion. Don’t forget to give it a thorough rinsing and proper, regular lubrication when its sorted.

The Honda Ignition Security System (HISS) is doing what it does and what it does is it goes to sleep after 24 hours inactivity and the red light stops flashing. The ignition remains immobilised until the ignition is turned on with a programmed key.

Very helpful, thank you.

Sounds obvious but check your key. Had a bit of a moment this morning where I possibly didn’t push the key all the way in before trying to turn or took it out my top box too quick… not really sure what happened but the key wouldn’t turn. After a bit of fumbling and the feeling of not wanting to force it ( I only have 1 key) I realised the key was bent. I’ve got it pretty straight again with pliers but it has scared me into looking at getting another key, also a bleeding expensive HISS :slight_smile:

Isn’t the immobiliser bit in the ‘handle’ of the key?

A new key with the top of the old one on the same keyring should work as a cheap alternative shouldn’t it?

HISS transponder systems have a small seed in the key fob and a ring around the ignition barrel which are programmed into the Engine Control Module. When the seed and the ring are in close proximity the HISS is deactivated.

If you need a spare key you can cut out the seed from the old key fob and fit it to the new key fob, much better than having two fobs. Alternatively you can get a Honda compatible programmable ID46 transponder key cut and programme it to the ECM yourself, no special tools required.

The method is very simple and better explained by YouTube video than I could do here. Don’t worry about the demonstrations being done on a different Honda model to yours because the Honda HISS system is a Honda HISS system across all models. The only differences I know of are the location of the ECM to CKP connector and the wiring colours. The positive wire is normally yellow and the ground wire is normally green or green/trace but check a wiring diagram for your specific model to be sure to be sure.

Search YouTube for ‘Honda HISS key’.

Tried again for a few minutes, not budging.
A squirt of wd40 on the key and the ignition, a little wiggle and clicked over then started first time.

Think i was being a bit paranoid about the battery because its been parked up in the garden and not started for a wile.

I wont be riding for a wile so i was thinking just start it every few weeks and leave it running for 20 mins or so.

What you need to do is lubricate that lock and remove the battery to a warm shelf in the house/shed where you can put it on a battery charger and give it a full slow charge by means of a low amperage charger, slow charging is good charging. Starting the engine every couple of weeks and leaving it to idle for 20 minutes is unlikely to keep the battery voltage topped up and all those cold starts without getting the engine up to normal running temperature, which you wouldn’t achieve in just 20 minutes of idling, is likely to do more harm than good to the engine internals.

If you don’t have a multimeter and battery charger no need to spend too much hard earned either the cheap as chips jobs off eBay are as good as any for the home DIY’er.


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now you have freed the lock I would personally recommend applying some graphite powder to the lock to keep it in tip top shape, the WD40 is only a temporary solution to get it all moving again as it’s not really a lubricant.

I’m happy to be corrected here, it’s not something I have tried before but I was wondering if it would be useful to apply some sort of tape to keep any water ingress out of the lock barrel whilst it’s not in use.

Are there any “bite marks” in your key?

A few months ago my key barrel froze, and it turned out the problem was that some of the teeth in the barrel had been grinding against the key that the sharpened ends left they trapped inside the barrel.

Luckily the mechanic I knew was able to remove the barrel (with the steering locked) and send it off to locksmith to discover this and repair it. Not cheap, but still much less than Honda would have wanted for a new barrel.

But before this there was one time about a year earlier when the key would not turn. But after a lot of effort it eventually it did, and as it never happened again I forgot about it. So I would check the key does not have any marks cut into by the lock teeth, just in case you may end up stuck in the Morrisons car park in Skegness on a cold night waiting for a recovery truck.