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What To Do If Your Key Gets Stuck In The Ignition?

Imagine this – You’re getting ready to leave for work or head out on a road trip, and you go to start your car.

But wait—the key is stuck in the ignition hole!

Now what?

First, don’t freak out.

It may seem like a daunting task, but it is possible to remove a stuck key from an ignition.

In this blog post, we will explore what to do if your key gets stuck in the ignition.

From troubleshooting tips to step-by-step instructions, we’ve got you covered.

So whether you’re dealing with a stuck car key or a broken key, read on for everything you need to know.

Causes Of A Car Key Getting Stuck In The Ignition

If your key gets stuck in the ignition, it’s likely because of the following:

key stuck in ignition

The key is worn down

If the key is worn down, you can try filing it down with a metal file.

The ignition switch is dirty

If the ignition switch is dirty, you can clean it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Steering wheel lock

Another common cause of a stuck ignition key is the mechanism of the steering wheel lock.

If you turn the ignition off at the same time as turning the wheel, it could activate a double lock of the ignition cylinder at the same time as the steering wheel.

A dead battery

If the vehicle’s battery dies with the key in the ignition switch, the key might get locked.

Try turning your headlights on to see if this is the case. If the car battery is dead, the lights will not work.

Damaged ignition cylinder

You should spray WD-40 in your keyhole to prevent this.

Car’s parking gear

It should be in the parking position or neutral.

How Do You Remove A Key Stuck In The Ignition?

If your car key is stuck in the ignition, there are a few things you can try to remove it.

Remember, the issue can sometimes be with the steering lock mechanism and not the actual car keys.

  1. Applying clockwise pressure on the key inside while jiggling the steering wheel clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  2. Most cars should allow you to turn your car on and off before trying to remove the key.
  3. Using your left index finger, push down on the key cylinder. At the same time jiggling the keys with your right hand.
  4. Using a key extraction tool.
  5. Get a professional locksmith (your local dealer can help you with a replacement key if your key broke, but make sure it’s the correct key)
  6. If you have a manual transmission car, move your shifter to neutral.
  7. Remeber that most vehicles with automatic transmission come with a safety feature/ anti-theft feature that does not allow the driver to remove the key from the ignition when the car isn’t in neutral or park position. The steering wheel lock is one of these safety features.
  8. Shaking the gear selector.

Override function to remove key from ignition

If your key is stuck in the ignition, you may be able to override the function to remove the key.

To do this, you will need a flathead screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the keyhole and turn it clockwise.

This should release the key so you can remove it from the ignition.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Key Stuck In Ignition?

The cost of removing a key stuck in the ignition in America can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the severity of the issue.

If you have an older vehicle or one with a simple ignition system, it may only cost around $50 to have a professional remove the key.

However, if you have a newer vehicle with a more complex ignition system, the cost could be closer to $100-$150.

The price of a new battery is roughly $50-$200.

How To Get A Key Out Of The Ignition With A Dead Battery

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic.

There are a few things you can do to try to get your key out of the ignition.

First, check to see if your battery is completely dead.

If it is, you won’t be able to use any of the electrical components in your car, including the power windows and locks.

If this is the case, you’ll need to jump-start your battery before you can do anything else.

Once you’ve verified that your battery is the issue, there are a few ways to go about getting your key out of the ignition.

One way is to use a pair of needle nose pliers or a small screwdriver.

Gently insert the tool into the keyway and try to wiggle the key out.

Be careful not to damage the ignition switch as you’re doing this.

Another method is to use a rubber band or a piece of string.

Tie one end around your car key and feed it through the hole in the bottom of the steering column.

When you feel it hit the back of the ignition cylinder, pull on both ends of the string until the key pops out.

If neither of these methods works, you may need to call a tow truck or locksmith for assistance.

DIY Or Phone A Locksmith?

If you find yourself with a key stuck in your ignition, it can be tempting to try and fix the problem yourself.

However, unless you are a professional locksmith, it is generally not advisable to attempt to fix the issue yourself.

Calling a locksmith will ensure that the problem is fixed quickly and efficiently without causing further damage to your car.

What You Can Try First

If your car key is stuck in the ignition, there are a few things you can do to try and remove it.

If the key is jammed and will not turn, do not force it.

This could break the key or damage the ignition.

Instead, try one of the following methods:

Use a small mirror to look into the ignition to see if the key is visibly jammed. If so, you may be able to gently wiggle it free with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Apply lubricant to the key and insert it into the ignition (this will lubricate the ignition lock cylinder), then try turning it again. This may help if the key is simply stuck due to friction.

Try starting the car with the other key (if you have one). This could dislodge the stuck key enough that you can remove it.

If none of these methods work, or if you are unable to remove the key yourself, you will need to call a tow truck or locksmith for assistance.

Be sure to have your VIN number handy, so they can create a new key for your vehicle.

The tl;dr

Why is my car key stuck in the ignition?

This can be caused by a number of things, including a build-up of dirt and grime on the key or in the ignition cylinder, a problem with the ignition switch, or a problem with the car’s electrical system.

What happens if you get your key stuck in the ignition?

If your key gets stuck in the ignition, it can be a frustrating experience.

You can do a few things to try to fix the problem.

First, try wiggling the key back and forth to see if you can loosen it.

If that doesn’t work, try using a lubricant like WD-40 on the key. If the key is still stuck, you may need to call a locksmith or tow truck to get it out.

Can a locksmith get a key out of ignition?

If you’re locked out of your car, and your key is stuck in the ignition, you may be wondering if a locksmith can help you.

The answer is yes!

A locksmith can get a key out of the ignition by using a special tool to release the lock cylinder.

This process is relatively quick and easy, and it’s a great solution if you’re in a bind.


If you find yourself in a situation where your key is stuck in the ignition, don’t panic.

You can do a few things to try and fix the problem.

First, check to see if the shift lever is in the correct position.

If it is, then gently wiggle the key back and forth until it comes loose.

If that doesn’t work, then you can try using a lubricant on the key to help it come out.

Finally, if all else fails, you can always call a tow truck or locksmith to come and help you get your key out of the ignition.