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What to Do if Your Key Is Stuck in the Ignition

It may be irritating and distressing to discover that your car key is stuck in the ignition, especially if you need to use your car right away. There are several causes for it, including a worn-out key or a broken ignition. 

Regardless of the source, it’s critical to maintain composure and take the required action to fix the problem. 

In this blog article, we’ll look at various strategies to assist you in removing your automobile key from the ignition without harming the car. 

Talking About Car Keys

Car keys are an essential component of any vehicle. They are used to start the engine, lock and unlock the doors, and activate other security features of the car.

Many varieties of electronic automobile keys are available alongside traditional metal keys. For instance, transponder keys feature a microchip within the head of the key that connects to the vehicle’s security system. 

The automobile may be remotely locked and unlocked using the buttons on remote keys, sometimes referred to as “key fobs.” The most sophisticated kind of automobile key, known as a “smart key,” uses radio waves and sensors to interact with the computer of the vehicle, enabling you to start the engine with the touch of a button.

Despite their convenience, electronic car keys can sometimes present challenges. Losing a key can be a major inconvenience, and if you don’t have a spare, it can be costly to replace. The car unlock service is available to help you in these situations. 

These professionals are trained to use specialized tools and techniques to safely unlock your car without causing any damage to your vehicle. They can also provide other services, such as key duplication and programming if you need a replacement key.


  • Used to start the engine and operate various functions of the vehicle.
  • It can be made of metal or contain an electronic microchip for added security.
  • They come in different types, including traditional metal keys, transponder keys, remote keys, and smart keys.
  • It can be programmed to work with specific vehicles, making them more difficult to duplicate.
  • Many modern car keys come with additional features like remote start, keyless entry, and trunk release.
  • If lost or stolen, car keys can be costly to replace and may require a visit to a dealership or locksmith.

Understanding the Reasons Why Your Key is Stuck in the Ignition

There can be several reasons why your car key is stuck in the ignition. The following are some common causes:

  • Steering wheel lock: A locked steering wheel may make it difficult to turn or remove the key from the ignition. It may occur if the driver twists the wheel while the engine is off, which might activate the locking mechanism.
  • Worn-out key: A car key’s teeth can become worn out over time, making it challenging to turn in the ignition. Because of this, the key could get trapped, and getting it out might need some wriggling or jiggling.
  • Ignition cylinder malfunction: The ignition cylinder is the portion of the ignition where the key is placed. It may malfunction or be damaged, which may result in the key being stuck.
  • Dirt and debris: Dirt, debris, and other particles can get into the ignition cylinder, preventing the key from turning or being removed.
  • Incorrect key: If you have multiple keys for your car, it’s possible to accidentally insert the wrong key into the ignition. This can cause the key to becoming stuck, and it may require a professional to remove it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove a Stuck Car Key

Following is a step-by-step instruction on how to securely remove a stuck automobile key:

  • Attempt to gently spin and jiggle the key: The steering wheel lock or a little misalignment of the key in the ignition can cause the key to occasionally become stuck. Try turning the key while slowly moving it up and down or side to side to see if that releases it.
  • Examine the gear shift: Ensure that your automatic gearbox is in “park” or “neutral” before starting the automobile. In some cases, if the car is in drive, the key won’t turn or release.
  • Spray a lubricant: A lubricant should be sprayed into the ignition. Any dirt or debris that may be causing the key to sticking can be removed by using a silicone-based lubricant, such as silicone spray or WD-40.
  • Use a backup key: Try using a spare key to check whether it turns the ignition if you have one. A worn-out or broken key may occasionally make the original key stick.
  • Cut the battery off: The key could get stuck occasionally as a result of an electrical issue with the ignition. The system could be reset and the key deleted by unplugging the battery for a short while, then reconnecting it.
  • Seek professional help: If none of these methods work, it’s best to seek the help of a professional “locksmith Las Vegas” or car unlock service. Attempting to force the key out can cause damage to the ignition or other parts of the car, which can be costly to repair.

How to Prevent a Key from Getting Stuck in the Ignition

Preventing a key from getting stuck in the ignition can save you time and money in the long run. The following are some tips to help prevent this issue from happening:

  1. Keep your key clean and well-maintained: Dirt and debris can build up in the ignition over time, making it difficult to turn or remove the key. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your key can help prevent this.
  2. Use a lubricant on your key: As mentioned earlier, using a silicone-based lubricant can help loosen up any dirt or debris that may be present in the ignition, making it easier to turn and remove the key.
  3. Avoid using excessive force: Forcing a key into the ignition or trying to turn it too hard can cause the key to becoming stuck. Use gentle pressure and try wiggling the key a bit to help it align correctly.
  4. Check the battery: If your car’s battery is weak or dead, it may cause the key to becoming stuck in the ignition. Make sure your battery is charged and functioning properly to avoid this issue.
  5. Don’t leave your key in the ignition: Leaving your key in the ignition for extended periods can cause it to wear down and become damaged. Always remove the key from the ignition when you’re not using your vehicle.

What to Do If You Can’t Remove the Key: Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your key is still stuck in the ignition, it’s time to call a professional. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Speak with a locksmith: Without harming your automobile, a skilled locksmith can assist you in removing the key from the ignition. They have the skills and equipment required to remove the key securely.
  • Contact a car-unlocking service: Car unlocking services are experts in opening automobiles, and they have the equipment and knowledge to assist you in removing a jammed key from the ignition. They can remove the key for you by coming to your place.
  • Get in touch with the dealership or the automobile manufacturer: For assistance, get in touch with your automobile manufacturer or dealership to see if your vehicle is still covered by warranty or if you have a maintenance plan. They might be able to provide you with services at a reduced price or for free.

Remember, attempting to force the key out can cause damage to your ignition or other parts of your car, which can be costly to repair. It’s always best to seek the help of a professional to avoid causing any further damage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with a Stuck Car Key, According to Professionals

Dealing with a stuck car key can be frustrating, but it’s important to avoid making common mistakes that can cause further damage. The following are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Using excessive force
  • Using the wrong tools
  • Ignoring the problem
  • Not cleaning or maintaining the key and ignition
  • Leaving the key in the ignition for extended periods
  • Using a non-silicone-based lubricant
  • Trying to start the car with a stuck key
  • Attempting to remove the key with pliers or other tools
  • Not seeking professional help if the key remains stuck


A worn-out key or a broken ignition are two common causes of a car key being stuck in the ignition. Keep your cool and take the required precautions to properly extract the key. Forcing it out can harm the ignition or other components of the automobile, which would be expensive to fix.

By following the steps outlined in this post, you can safely extract the key and avoid costly repairs down the line. And if you’re unable to remove the key yourself, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional locksmith or mechanic who can provide expert assistance. 

Remember, taking the time to properly remove a stuck key can save you both time and money in the long run.


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