You’re trying to get home after a long day at work, but you can’t start your car. You try turning the ignition again and again, but it keeps getting stuck. You’ve probably heard this one before: Don’t panic, friend! There are many reasons why car keys can get stuck in the ignition, but rest assured that it is not a sign of anything sinister. And as with all problems, there are simple solutions for removing your car keys from the ignition. The methods we outline here work for almost any type of vehicle – from sports cars to pickup trucks and everything in between. Let’s get started!
Why Does My Key Get Stuck in the Ignition?
Your car’s ignition may become stuck when the tumblers in the cylinder become worn or damaged. The problem may be caused by a faulty switch, weak springs, or corrosion. Whatever the case may be, a stuck ignition will prevent you from turning your car on or off.
Check Your Ignition
- First and foremost, check the ignition for things that could be causing the problem. You should inspect it for loose wires or anything else that could be affecting the operation of your key. If you find anything wrong, replace it at once.
- If you’ve checked your ignition and found nothing wrong, then we’re going to have to dig deeper. If your keys are stuck in the car and the engine is running, then there is a chance that you may have a broken wire somewhere along your key chain. This is more likely on older cars with wires that are secured with screws instead of soldered connections. In these cases, you will need to remove one of those screws, attach an alligator clip to the broken wire, and use an alligator clip splitter or jumper cable to connect it directly to another open circuit. Do not attempt this if you do not know how to do so safely!
- If you’re still having trouble getting your keys out of the ignition after disconnecting those wires, there are a few other things that can be done: try bending and twisting them back into place (be careful!), or try removing them from their holder completely by inserting a flathead screwdriver under one edge so it pops free from its holder (instructions on removing car keys from card holders!). You can also try using an automatic-transmission transmission fluid pencil like this one (available at auto parts stores) or a similar device if you find that your keys are still stuck in the ignition.
- If none of the above work, then you may need to bring it to a mechanic. But don’t panic! If you do have a broken wire somewhere along your key chain, it is not uncommon for this to happen. Most car manufacturers will replace your entire key chain if it is deemed defective.
- If you’re still having trouble, try using a battery-powered drill or similar tool to unscrew the screws holding the ignition together (so that you can try removing it completely). This is also useful if you find that your keys are stuck in the ignition and the engine is not running.
Loose Key Or Key Fob Battery
- If you have a key fob, stop trying to start your car. Instead, remove the key fob battery.
- If you have a loose key, remove it from the ignition and place it in a safe spot.
- Turn off the car and wait at least 30 seconds before turning it back on. This gives the key enough time to reset itself back to its original position in the ignition.
- If your car is still stuck after doing this, try removing the fuse for that particular reason (not all cars have different fuses for each reason).
- If you have a key fob, try reinserting the battery.
Stuck Key May Be A Sign Of Wear And Tear
1. Inspect The Ignition Switch
First, you’ll want to check the ignition switch. The ignition key is actually attached to a small plastic lever that turns the key in the ignition. This lever may be stuck in place, which can make it difficult to turn the key. If this is your problem, you should be able to turn it with a little force, but it may still get stuck at times. If this is your problem, then you should take note of any problems with other parts of your car that are connected to this switch. For example, if your car has been in an accident or otherwise has been damaged, then there’s a good chance that the switch could have been damaged as well. In this case, replacing the switch will solve your problem and prevent future lockups from occurring.
2. Inspect For Loose Wires
If none of these solutions work for you (or if after reading them yourself), then you may have a loose wire somewhere inside your car causing this issue. It’s very common for wires and metal pieces to become loose over time; some of these can cause problems like broken wires or broken switches on your keys and even damage to other parts of your vehicle that are connected to that wire or switch. Using a flashlight, you can look inside the ignition to see if there are any loose wires. If you find one, then remove it and check for damage. If you find one that is loose, then replacing it is the best solution for your problem.
3. Inspect The Key Fob
If none of the above options work for your car, then there’s one other thing to check: your key fob. The key fob is a small electronic device that has a button on it that opens and closes the doors when you press it. It also gives instructions to your car when you push a certain button on it (like “open trunk” or “re-set alarm”). This can be very useful if you have a baby or elderly family member who may need assistance getting into your car or if you have concerns about theft or vandalism in your vehicle; however, if this is not the case, then this extra feature might be causing problems with your keys getting stuck in the ignition. In most cases, replacing this device will solve your problem and prevent future lockups from occurring.
4. Remove Key Fob
A common issue with key fobs is that they are too tight against the steering wheel rim and cannot be removed without damaging them; however, with careful use of a flathead screwdriver and patience, these can usually be loosened enough to get them off without causing damage to the fob.
While there is no definitive reason why car keys get stuck in the ignition, there are a few things you can check if you find yourself in this situation. First, inspect your ignition to see if it is worn or stuck. If it isn’t, you should check that the battery in your key fob is charged. If your key fob battery is charged, and you still can’t start your car, your key may be bent or the tumblers inside your lock may be worn down. In either case, you’ll need to replace the ignition or get a new key made to solve the problem. No matter what the cause, getting your key unstuck is easy. All you need to do is identify the type of vehicle you have, the kind of ignition it has, and the type of key you have. Then you can try the various removal methods we’ve outlined in this article.