Searched around a bit and didn't find anything close to this.
It's been really cold this week. Yesterday I went to start my car at 8 am and the key wouldn't budge. The wheel lock wasn't engaged. The usual tricks for when your key doesn't want to turn (wiggling the steering wheel, etc.) didn't work but the key wouldn't turn at all. Tired for about 30 minutes and gave up. Not sure how cold it was at 8 but it was well below zero. Worked from home and at 3 pm went out to my car and the key turned easily. Ran some errands and had at least one start in the mix. Key turned easily.
One thing of note is even after letting my car warm up 5 or 10 minutes, the transmission was difficult to engage. Went in first alright, but the first time I put it in 2nd the stick popped right out. Took a couple of blocks until the transmission easily went into gear.
Today I had the same problem. About 8:30 it was -18F. Same problem--can't get the key to budge. The wheel lock isn't engaged. Tried for about 10 or 15 minutes and gave up. It's been over an hour so I think I might give it another try.
Is the cold causing this? There is frozen moisture on the cluster window. I have no idea how moisture would get in when it is already cold as **** out, but maybe moisture is getting into the cylinder and freezing?
I don't really have anything to apply heat to it, so I'm not sure what to try. Any ideas? Thanks for the help. Work is 40 miles away--really need to get there.
1996 Jetta Trek
EDIT: Tried again and still can't get the key to turn, but the frost on the cluster window is gone, so maybe I'm making progress. It's also warmed up a bit--closer to 0.