- 1 What is Car Key?
- 2 Causes of a Car Key Getting Stuck in the Ignition
- 3 How to Get a Stuck Key Out of the Ignition
- 4 FAQ Section
What is Car Key?
An automobile key or a car key is used to start the car. The latest keys usually have a symmetrical design and some use grooves on both sides. If your car key is stuck in the ignition, remove it gently because it is not a major issue.
On the other hand, if you are hyper or stressed, you cannot be able to remove the key easily. Sometimes, the key will be broken in the ignition.
If your key is stuck in the ignition, you will be eligible to put it out. But on the other hand, if your key doesn’t remove easily from the ignition, then don’t force it. Otherwise, the key may break off.
Causes of a Car Key Getting Stuck in the Ignition
The car key uses to start the vehicle. A car key should easily come out from the ignition when you completely rotate the key clockwise and anti-clockwise. But on the other hand, if the key wouldn’t come out of the ignition, you will ask why my car key is stuck in the ignition.
Following are the major causes due to a car key stuck in the ignition:
- Car is in accessory mode
- Parking Gear Not Set
- Damaged Ignition Cylinder
- Steering Wheel Lock
- Worn or Damaged Key
- Debris on Key
- Dead Battery
1) Damaged Ignition Cylinder
In the car, an ignition lock cylinder is automatically installed for security reasons. So, if the ignition cylinder is damaged, then your key will be stuck in the ignition.
This is just because there are many lines of spring-compressed pins that match up with the pattern of your key when you insert it into the car ignition. So, due to this reason, the car key could be stuck in the ignition.
2) Damaged or Worn Key
The car key may damage over time. When the driver puts the car key in the ignition and rotates it, the key wears a little bit. If your car key is not in your use, you must keep it in a safe place.
If you throw it on a hard surface or table, then this may damage your key. This will slowly break the key, making it hard to remove it from the ignition.
When you notice small cracks on your key, you should change it immediately.
3) Dead Battery
The battery plays a major role in running all electrical parts of the car. Similarly, the ignition system is dependent on the power of the battery. A dead battery is one of the major causes of ignition system lockup due to that car key being stuck in the ignition.
The two useful solutions to this problem are jump start and the second one is the installation of a new battery.
4) Debris on Key
Maximum people use their car keys to scratch the code. I’m feeling very weird explaining this thing that some people use the car key to throw out the ear dirt or to open the box tape through the car key.
In this regard, the tape will be stuck to the key due to that the key will be stuck in the ignition. Miss use key may damage it.
5) Steering Wheel Lock
When you move the steering wheel slightly to turn off your vehicle, this action may activate the wheel lock. The disadvantage of activating this lock is that you will not be able to swivel the steering wheel. This lock will not allow you to remove your key from the ignition. The key is stuck because of ignition cylinder locking, which is activated at the same time when the steering wheel lock is activated.
If you want to overcome this problem and want to disclose both of the locks at the same time, then turn your key and jiggle the steering wheel around at the same time. And it will help you to get out your key from the ignition.
6) Parking Gear Not Set
Key may also be stuck when you forget to use the parking gear and park your car in neutral or any other gear. So, if you want to ignore this problem, then make sure your car is in the parking gear before turning it off. Then you will be able to take out your key from the ignition.
7) Car is in accessory mode
If you are using the accessory mode in your car and after that, you forgot to remove your key in the accessory mode, this will not allow you to take your key out from the ignition. When your car is in accessory mode, then you will use some functions of your car without starting it.
How to Get a Stuck Key Out of the Ignition
If your key is stuck in the ignition and you don’t know how to get a stuck key out of the ignition, follow the below-given steps:
1) Recharge Car Battery
If your key is stuck in the ignition because of a low battery so you should recharge your battery. Whenever the battery is low, the car has a system that indicates that your battery is turning low. So, notice it and recharge or repair the battery immediately. Then you will be able to take away your key from the ignition.
2) Unlock the Steering Wheel
As alluded to above, a wheel lock is a safety feature that prevents the steering wheel from moving when the key is removed. If the steering wheel locks with the key in the ignition, Try wiggling it back and forth while gently pulling out the ignition key.
3) Set Parking Gear
If your key gets stuck in the ignition because you didn’t engage the parking gear while parking a car in a parking lot. So, if you want to get rid of this problem, turn on the car, put it in parking gear, turn off the car, and take the key out from the ignition.
4) Check Safety Key
There have been many inventions in the century we are living in. America and Japan have invented cars with an extra ignition lock in which you insert the key and press the button to freely turn the key and remove it. Consult your user manual to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
5) Jiggle the ignition
Another way is if we keep our right hand on the key and jiggle the steering wheel through the left hand. Jiggling the key through the left hand and rotating the steering while clockwise and anti-clockwise, Keep the brake pressed with your foot. Then the key will come out of the ignition.
6) Shake the Gear Selector
Your car must be set in park or neutral before you can remove your key. Yet, there may be times when your car doesn’t recognize the fact that you’re parked or in neutral. In these instances, gently shake the gear selector. Alternatively, try resetting your gear into the parking position.
7) Spray lubricant in the ignition cylinder
If your car key is stuck in the ignition due to dirt. Use oil to the lock or lubricant spray. This is very difficult because the key is blocking the lock. For this, you need a spray lubricant straw. So, the most used full spray to solve this problem is WD-40.
8) Read Fault Codes
Get an OBD2 scanner to pull out all the trouble codes (such as P0011, P0017, or P0016) from related units to see if you have a fuse or shifter problem. If you have a more advanced scanner, you can read trouble codes from the ignition switch and immobilizer.
9) Consult the mechanic
If you have attempted the above points and nonfunctions. So now you need to consult your mechanic to get rid of the problem. This is an easy way to overcome this problem.
What to do if my key breaks in the ignition?
If your key breaks out in the ignition, this will be a terrible situation. In this situation, you have only two options. The first and recommended choice is to hire a professional to help you remove your broken key from the ignition.
The second option is to use a key extracted tool. The important thing is that you need to look at your key before inserting it into the ignition. If it is damaged or has any dirt on it, then clean or repair it. If it is not able to be repaired then replace it with a new one.
How do you know if your ignition lock cylinder is bad?
It is really simple and easy to know that your ignition lock cylinder has some problems. So, if you are noticing the following signs in your car then take it seriously that your car may have a bad ignition lock cylinder.
- You may face a challenge in starting an automobile.
- If your car is not in starting position,
- the key will be stuck in the ignition.
- When the starter motor creates no sound or noise.
- If the dashboard flashes of your car are twinkling.
How much does it cost to fix a key stuck in the ignition?
If, unfortunately, you came across this problem and now need to overcome it. So, for this purpose, you go out and search for a mechanic. And the mechanic will charge according to the rate of your area. It is hard for me to tell you the exact amount that will be required for this maintenance. But according to an estimate, you may have to spend $70 to $250.
How long does it take to replace an ignition switch?
It depends on your car model and the complexes of your car ignition cover. But normally takes 20 to 25 minutes to renovate the ignition switch. If you want to know the exact time, track the time your car takes for service.