Key stuck in ignition II Everything you want to know

Think, as usual, you are going to the office in your car. You reach your destination and park the car in the garage. When you are thinking about going out of the car, you can't remove the key from the ignition slot. If it happens to you, there is nothing to be worried about. It's a common incident, and many of the car owners have already experienced it. In this kind of situation, you can call your trusted mechanic or locksmith for the best solution, which is a pricey option. You will have to pay him a lot.

But if you want, you can try it by yourself. It happens for several reasons. If you know them and try to fix the exact problem, you can overcome the situation. Today, I am here to tell you everything about the key stuck in ignition.

The reasons behind key stuck in ignition

The gear is in the "Park" mood or not

When you want to remove the key from the ignition slot, you need to set the gear to "Park". When we talk about an automatic transmission, if you set the gear to drive, neutral, or any other mood, it will not come out. For manual transmission, the gear should be set to "Neutral" to remove the key.

These features are included in the car to protect you and your car. When you will try to go out of the car, it will remind you that the car is still in drive. You should turn off before taking the key and going out of the car. Nowadays, a lot of vehicles have a digital screen that displays the gear settings. If you have it in the car, take a look at the screen and ensure whether "P" is highlighted or not.

Steering wheel lock

The steering wheel lock will activate if you turn off the car while the wheel is moving. Then you will not be able to remove the key from the ignition slot. It happens due to the ignition cylinder locking at the same time as the steering wheel lock. 

Dirty key

Many of us have a bad habit to open a box or package by our car key. Doing so, the tape of the box can stick to the key. Before using the key, you need to make it clean. But if you whimsically place it into the ignition of the vehicle, it will be tough for the key to engage the ignition cylinder's pins.

Dead car battery

A car battery can be dead at any time. If it happens, the ignition system can't run properly. It causes the system to lock up and the key stuck there. To overcome this situation, you can jump-start the car with a jump starter.

Damaged key

We abuse the key over the years. When we put the key in the ignition and turn, it wears the key just a little bit. After using, we keep in on a hard surface desk. This is one kind of abuse that results in damaging the key. After a period, it can forms a small crack somewhere. When it happens, we can't remove the key from the ignition. In this respect, the only solution is to replace it.

Damaged ignition cylinder

This incident can also happen for the damaged ignition cylinder. Do you know, there are several rows of spring-loaded pins inside the ignition lock. These pins match up with the shape of the key when we insert it. If the pins are slightly out of alignment, it will be a difficult job to remove the key.

Broken Key

If the car key causes more damage, it can be broken. Sometimes, we know that it is damaged but we continue to use it. That's why there is the possibility that it might be broken within the ignition. It results in stuck in the ignition. In this respect, a locksmith can be helpful for you. But my recommendation for you no to use a damaged key.

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The ways to remove the key from the ignition

Keep the gear in "Park"

You should be habituated to set parking gear always. So, before removing the key from the ignition, have a look at the gear. Doing so, you will be able to reduce the possibility of the key stuck in the ignition.

Take a look at the steering wheel

You set parking gear but do you not able to remove the key yet? Then have a look at the steering wheel. Maybe, you turned off the car while moving the steering wheel just a little bit and the steering wheel lock has been activated. Now jiggling the wheel back to unlock it. It can work for you.

Rubbing alcohol

If the incident happens due to a dirty key, then you can use rubbing alcohol or adhesive remover. It works to eliminate debris from the key and makes it clean. Then, the key easily removes from the ignition.

Key extractor

If the key has been broken in the ignition, then you can use it. It is a very common thing to remove a broken key from the ignition. I think you will be able to remove the key with ease.

Jigsaw blade

It is a thin blade that can fit right alongside the key in the ignition pathway. You need to insert it, turn it ever so slightly so that the notches in the blade grab on the broken key. Then, you can slowly pull it out.

Needle nose pliers

It can be a good solution when any part of the key protrudes from the ignition. If the broken key is completely in the ignition lock, you can try it. Hopefully, it will work for you.


The last and most popular solution for you to call a locksmith. If you have tried all of them I told above, then you have no other solution calling a locksmith. But you will have to pay a lot for it.

Finally, I have come to the end of the article. I have tried to tell you every single word you wanted to know about key stuck in ignition. If you read the whole article, you will be benefited for sure.