Tips to Remove Car Key Stuck in Ignition

Have you ever gotten your car key stuck in the ignition? You might worry that you’ll never be able to get the key out again unless you break it off. Of course, it is not a good idea to do that because you will need to pay a mechanic to remove the other half of the key from your ignition. Then, you will need to pay them to fix whatever caused your ignition problem in the first place. Fortunately, you can avoid both circumstances from happening.

A normal situation is when your car key can be removed from the ignition very smoothly and without any problems. If you are unable to do this, then there are several reasons why this might be the case. You need to examine each possible cause until you find the one that is present. Then you just fix that problem so that you can remove your key from the ignition.

The Top 3 Tips

Sometimes you might own a vehicle of a particular make and model that has its own unique problem with key sticking in the ignition. Perhaps the manufacturer has issued a recall notice on such an issue. If you have a warranty on your vehicle, then the manufacturer or dealership where you purchased the vehicle should be able to take care of that problem for free. Otherwise, you are left to deal with the problem yourself unless you want to pay money to have it fixed.

To help you get the key out of the ignition, below are 3 tips that you should follow.

1) Set Parking Gear – The only way you can remove a car key from the ignition is if the parking gear is set. If the gear is set to reverse, drive, or neutral, then you cannot remove the car key until you change the gear to park. A lot of people forget about this or they simply haven’t shifted the gear completely. Sometimes when we shift the stick, we might not always put it on the “P” when we want to park the vehicle. Make sure you do.

2) Maintain Your Car Key – Sometimes you might have dirt or debris stuck to your car key. If you put the key in the ignition like this, it may have trouble coming back out. To prevent this from happening, always make sure your key is clean, especially if you used the key to open boxes or to perform some other task. Another problem with the key might be that it is damaged. Car keys can get worn down after years of use, especially if you’ve dropped your keys or thrown them around a lot over the years. Check to see if your key has small cracks or bends in it. If it does, then it is time to get a new set of car keys.

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3) Deactivate the Steering Wheel Lock – You may inadvertently lock the steering wheel if you move it while turning off the engine.  Once that happens, you won’t be able to move the steering wheel or remove the key from the ignition. As the steering wheel locks, the ignition cylinder locks too. That is why this happens. You can unlock both by gently jiggling the steering wheel while trying to take the key out. Do not try to force the key out if it will not come out. You need to make sure you’ve turned the key all the way counterclockwise before trying to remove it. If you jiggle the steering wheel enough times, it should unlock the ignition cylinder so that you can smoothly take out the key.

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