An automobile key jammed in the ignition or a car key won’t come out of the ignition is a common issue that is often simple to fix. However, let’s admit that many of us freak out while trying to solve this problem. Ultimately, we can’t leave the key in the car without locking the doors and going elsewhere.
While the problem seems tricky, most of the time, if you can pinpoint the cause, taking your key out would take no more than 5 minutes. If you’re facing the same problem and don’t know what to do, read our Driverevolve’s post. We’ll introduce the 7 most common reasons behind your stuck key and their fixes.
Why Is My Key Stuck In The Ignition?
Parking Gear Not Set
Before trying to take a car key out of the ignition, always put your gearbox shift to “P.” If you position the gear shift in an automatic car in “D”, N, or other positions, you will not be able to take your key out. On a manual-geared vehicle, ensure you set your gear shift to “N” and not any other setting.
Occasionally car users may try and change the shift to P, but the gear shift doesn’t go all the way to the position you want. Examine the gear positions on your car’s display dashboard to see whether the “P” is highlighted.
Steering Wheel Lock
You will automatically activate the wheel interlock if you power off your car with your steering wheel turned slightly. When this setting is on, you will be unable to spin your wheel or remove your key from the ignition. This is because the ignition cylinder locks simultaneously with the wheel locked.
Debris on Key
Many car users like using their automobile keys to open parcels and deliveries. While this strategy may help cut through the packaging tape, it may also allow bits of the tape to adhere to your key.
If you subsequently insert your key into your car’s ignition with the adhered tape on, it will be more difficult for your key to turn.
To work correctly, the battery powers your ignition mechanism. If your battery is dead, the ignition mechanism will most likely lock. You will then be unable to remove the key from the car’s ignition.
The greatest solution you can try in this situation is to jumpstart or have your new batteries replaced.
Worn or Damaged Key
Car keys may withstand a lot of damage over time. Every time you twist your ignition key, it degrades your key a tiny bit. It might be because when not in use, you put your car key in your pockets or throw it onto a hard-surfaced desktop, gradually deteriorating your vehicle key.
Removing it from the ignition will be more difficult if it ever distorts or develops a slight fracture. If you see any damage, change to another key right away.
Damaged Ignition Cylinder
If your ignition lock cylinder is on the brink of failure, it may restrict your key from turning. That’s because an ignition lock has many sets of spring-loaded studs that, when engaged, fit the form of your key.
If those studs are somewhat out of position, you may be unable to remove your key (or even put it there in the first place).
While it is unlikely, your specific year, maker, and automobile model may be susceptible to recalls or technical service bulletins (TSB) associated explicitly with the ignition lock cylinder.
Use your VIN code on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) webpage to determine whether your car has been affected. Even if it isn’t, it’s a fantastic strategy to examine the status of any other pending recalls.
Key Won’t Come Out Of Ignition: How To Get Key Out Of Ignition
“Unlocking” The Steering Wheel
Twist your key while wriggling the wheel to unlock all locks. You should be able to remove your key or start the car immediately.
Wiggling The Key
Another simple way to free a jammed key is to press down your ignition hole with your finger while wiggling your key using your dominant hand. This can enable your key to come out by loosening the grip of the springs and studs within the keyhole.
Moving The Gear Shift
If your vehicle is equipped with an automatic gearbox, you will be unable to take your key out until you position your gear shift correctly in P or N. Wiggling the gear shift slightly when in the P setting can typically solve the problem.
Spritz a small amount of WD-40 into your ignition hole. Each bottle should include an extended tip that fits (or nearly fits) between your key and your ignition lock.
More often than not, this extra lube will be enough to enable the key to be taken out by lightly jiggling it. After your key has been removed, check it for deformation or signs of being damaged. If this is the situation, you should get the key changed.
Rubbing Alcohol/Glue Cleaner
If your key shows no damage, but you see some debris or crud, properly wipe it with rubbing alcohol or a glue cleaner (such as Goo Gone).
If utilizing WD-40 to take your key out does not help, and you’ve previously tried all the solutions mentioned in the previous part, you might have an issue with the ignition lock mechanism. You should verify this with a mechanic or technician, but an ignition lock cylinder change is often the solution.
To free the jammed key, utilize a key extraction device. This is frequently used by expert locksmiths and is far less expensive than hiring one.
We know how annoying it might feel when your key won’t come out of ignition, and you’re running late for an important event! Hopefully, today’s post has helped you indicate the underlying reasons and the fastest ways to solve your problem. Good luck!
For extra tips and advice, visit our Fun Driving section!