How To Do When Your Car Key Is Stuck In The Ignition?
A vehicle key locked in the ignition or a car that won’t turn is a common problem that is typically simple to fix. A jammed key differs from a broken key in that the head of the key breaks off as you try to spin it. This generally entails placing a pair of needle-nose pliers or an extraction tool into the lock cylinder to remove the broken section of the key.
How to Get a Stuck Key Out of the Ignition
Getting your automobile key out of the ignition depends on the scenario. Is this the first time it has refused to come out? Is your key getting stuck in the ignition? Did you already attempt to extract the key and end up breaking it? Here’s what you should do in each of these scenarios.
The Ignition Key Is Stuck (1st time)
Set Parking Gear
The most common cause for being unable to get the key out of your automobile is that your parking gear is not set. Check if your automatic transmission’s gear selection is set to “P” or “Park,” or that your manual transmission’s shifter is set to “Neutral.”
Shake the steering wheel
If you’re certain you adjusted the gear correctly but the key still won’t come out, try carefully jiggling the steering wheel back and forth while gently pulling on the key to remove it. When the steering column locks (a standard safety and anti-theft function in most automobiles), it exerts additional strain on the ignition lock mechanism, preventing the key from being removed. The strain on the lock is relieved by slightly turning the steering wheel, and the key should slip out.
The Ignition Key KEEPS Getting Stuck
If you’ve found that getting your key in and out of the ignition has become slightly more difficult over time, or if the key keeps getting stuck in the ignition, here are a few things to try.
Spray a small amount of WD-40 into the ignition lock. The can should include a narrow straw that fits (or nearly fits) between your key and the ignition lock. This extra lubrication may be enough to allow the key to be extracted by gently wiggling it. Once the key has been removed, check it for damage or signs of being twisted. If this is the case, you should get the key changed.
Adhesive Remover / Rubbing Alcohol
If the key is not broken but you see some dirt or crud on it, properly wipe it with rubbing alcohol or an adhesive remover (such as Goo Gone).
If using WD-40 to remove the key does not work and you’ve previously tried the two solutions in the previous section, you may have an issue with the ignition lock itself. You should confirm this with a locksmith or technician, but an ignition lock cylinder replacement may be in your future.
Why Does My Key Get Stuck In The Ignition?
There are several causes for your key to become stuck in your ignition, including:
1. Your vehicle is neither in park nor in neutral.
If your car’s parking gear is not correctly adjusted, you may be unable to remove your key from the ignition. Before you may remove your key from an automatic transmission vehicle, the vehicle must be in the park position. If you have a manual gearbox and are having difficulty pulling your key out of the ignition, shift to neutral. You may be able to turn your key and slip it out of the ignition at this point.
2. Your vehicle is in accessory mode.
Most vehicles with a hard key have an accessory mode that allows you to use the radio, power windows, and other functions without turning on the vehicle. Turning your key one “click” past the Off position normally activates the function.
3. Your battery has run out of power.
If you turn your key and hear a “clicking” sound repeatedly, your battery may be dead. This might make it difficult to remove your key.
4. Your key has debris on it.
Debris may accumulate on your key, preventing it from rotating in the ignition cylinder. Minor flaws in a key replacement might lead it to become stuck in the ignition.
What Should You Do If Your Ignition Key Breaks?
The worst-case scenario is a broken key in the ignition. You have two alternatives if your key breaks: utilize a key extraction tool or employ a professional locksmith.
To remove the fragment of broken key caught in the ignition, use a key extractor tool. Working with a professional locksmith, on the other hand, guarantees that your damaged key is correctly removed.
Finally, inspect your key before inserting it into the ignition. If your key is broken or unclean, it is more probable that it may break within the ignition.