What to Do If Your Car Key Gets Stuck in the Ignition


Things have a way of going wrong whenever you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry. One of the most frustrating things that happen is when your car key gets stuck in the ignition! Now, this isn’t going to be a problem for people that have the updated, keyless entry cars, but a lot of people still have classic cars that use keys. The older your car gets, the higher the chance that your key might end up getting stuck in the ignition at some point. Whether this has just happened to you, or you’re trying to stay prepared for the possibility of this happening, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to be going over the usual causes of why keys may get stuck in the ignition and what you can do to get it out!

Reasons Your Keys Maybe Stuck in the Ignition & and How You Can Get It Out!

Even though the natural response to the key being stuck in the ignition is to try to yank it out, that’s something that you shouldn’t be doing here. If you’ve tried to pull it out gently and it hasn’t come out, stop right there. If you try to force the key out, it might make matters worse because the key could snap in half, and then you’ll be stuck. Instead, see if any of these reasons could be at play here, and try the relevant fixes and you’ll have your keys back in no time!

  1. Check if your car is in “Park”: Since cars don’t need to be in “Park” to turn off, a lot of people forget to switch the gears before turning it off. It isn’t a problem when you switch the car off but when you try to turn it back on, the key is likely to get stuck. This would mean that to get the key out, all you need to do is switch the gears and put the car in “Park” and it’ll come out easily!
  2. Check if your car is even off: On the ignition switch, there are a couple of different sections. It’s not a simple Off and On. You have the “Start”, “On”, “Accessory” and “Off”. Each of these serves a different purpose but the “Lock” mode is the only one where your car is off. If it’s in any other mode, the key will not come out. You can check this by turning the key back all the way and then try to take it out. If it were in the wrong mode, it should come out easily now.
  3. Check if the steering is locked: Almost all cars come with a safety mechanism that locks the steering wheel in one spot to keep it from getting stolen. When it’s locked, the key switch keeps the key in place and you cannot take it out. To unlock the steering wheel, turn the key and the steering at the same time until you hear a “click”. Once you do, the steering is unlocked and you can take the key out!
  4. Check if there’s something in the ignition: A lot of the time, even though you might think you’re cleaning every inch of your car perfectly, you might forget about the ignition. Dirt and debris can become gunk and literally “hold” the key in place. You can try to blow some compressed air into the ignition to remove some of the dirt, but if it doesn’t work, call a locksmith. Any recommended Locksmith Rochester NY or a trusted emergency locksmith in your area should be able to fit this problem for you easily! They’ll be able to clean the lock without causing it any damage!
  5. See if the key broke inside: Sometimes, if you’re using a spare key, they can break inside since they’re not made of the same, strong material that the original keys are made of. This is also an instance where you could let the locksmith work their magic. Trying to pull the key out yourself could result in it getting stuck even deeper inside, making the problem even worse.

No matter which type of car you have, if it uses an ignition switch, it’s likely that one of these problems has caused the car to get stuck, following the solutions should get you your key back in no time!

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