How to Get Key Out of Ignition? What Causes This Issue?

A car key being stuck in the ignition is a common issue that can often be solved in an uncomplicated manner. However, it’s important to distinguish between a key that’s stuck and one that’s broken; the latter occurs when you try to spin the key and the head of the key snaps off.

In most cases, this will entail extracting the broken section of the key from the lock cylinder using an extraction tool or a pair of needle-nose pliers.

If the shifter is not in the P or N position, almost all contemporary automobiles include a safety device that will prevent the key from turning in the ignition. It protects against accidents in the event that the vehicle is left unattended on an incline or ramp. An unattended vehicle that rolls into moving traffic has the potential to inflict significant harm to both pedestrians and other people using the road.

When you park, it’s standard procedure for you to move the shifter into the P position. In today’s fast-paced world, however, it is far simpler to neglect this very unimportant but yet essential step.

Do not worry if your key has got stuck in the ignition, this guide on “how to get key out of ignition” will help you get rid of the issue.

How to Get Key Out of Ignition? 3 Effective Methods

Follow these three easy methods if you are unable to remove the key from the ignition of your vehicle and if it does not seem to be damaged.

  1. Unlock the Steering Wheel

The steering wheel lock is another deterrent against theft on automobiles. If you attempt to spin the wheel while the key is not in the ignition position, the steering rack will get immobilized. In addition, if the key to the ignition is already inside the vehicle, it will be locked inside.

Unlocking the steering mechanism is the first step in removing the key from the ignition. To do this, you will need to apply pressure in a clockwise direction to the key that has been inserted while simultaneously jiggling the steering wheel in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. You’ll eventually identify the place when the lock on the steering wheel will release, at which time you may take the key out of the ignition.

  1. Make Sure There Isn’t A Dead Battery

Batteries are the primary source of electricity for the many electronic components that may be found in modern cars. The ignition system must also have access to electric power in order to perform its functions correctly. There is a chance that your car might get immobilized if the battery dies while the key is still inside the ignition. However, this scenario is very unlikely.

In order to get the key out of the ignition, you will need to either give the car a jump start or switch out the battery in your vehicle. To remove the key from the ignition cylinder, you may also try using a small hammer to give the cylinder a few gentle knocks. This might help you release the key.

  1. Apply Lubricant to the Cylinder that Controls the Ignition Lock

Because it is a mechanical component, the ignition cylinder requires occasional application of oil in order to function properly. Pins within the locking mechanism glide over the key to determine whether or not that particular key is authorized to open the lock. The key and the pins themselves might get worn out as a result of the rubbing of metal against metal.

A dry graphite lubrication is the most effective lubricant to use for locks. That is the recommendation made by the majority of locksmiths. Additionally, dirt might start accumulating itself in the ignition cylinder at various intervals. This has the effect of being abrasive and will further accelerate wear.

This may be cleaned off quite well using WD-40 spray. Simply position this straw of WD-40 so that it covers the entrance of the keyhole, and then give it a couple of fast sprays to clear out any debris. In addition to that, this prevents corrosion on metal surfaces.

If the key is jammed, spray some WD-40 into the keyhole and then attempt to get it out by jiggling it. The ignition lock mechanism may be made easier to operate with additional lubricant.

If all of these efforts prove fruitless and the key continues to be jammed in the ignition, then you will need the assistance of a qualified locksmith.

Common Causes Of Stuck Key In Ignition Hole

1. Using Heavy Keychains

We all prefer having keychains attached to our sets of keys. However, keychains that are too hefty might lead to wear and tear on the key cylinders. While you’re behind the wheel, the keys remain inserted in the keyhole.

The key, on the other hand, is subjected to the gravitational pull of the keychain. The key will continue to grind against the pins contained inside the ignition cylinder. The grinding action will eventually produce wear and tear because of the continual motion. Therefore, you should always choose a keychain with a modest design.

2. Grime and Dirt on the Key

The filth and muck that accumulates on car keys over time is inevitable. Since we drop it often and use it to open Amazon deliveries, filth and dirt are always accumulating on it. Because of this, the key does not have a perfect fit inside the lock set. A dirty key that is repeatedly forced in and out might, over time, cause the pins to become misaligned.

 If a key is unclean, you may remove the grime off it by wiping it with rubbing alcohol or alcohol sanitizer. When it comes to cleaning, a cotton swab may be extremely useful.

3. Corrosion Inside the Ignition Lock

The key and ignition mechanism are both made completely of metal. Corrosion will eventually cause the lock set to become damaged. It is also a good idea to spray some WD-40 into the keyhole every once in a while for this reason.

4. Damaged Ignition cylinder

Because metal is a malleable material, the ignition mechanism’s ability to perform properly might be affected by wear and tear over time.

The primary concern are the small spring-loaded pins that move over the key when it is inserted. Because the pins are fragile, they run the risk of being broken if you are not careful while handling it. It is in the best interest of the mechanism’s lifetime to be lubricated with dry graphite on a regular basis.

5. Worn out key

Vehicle keys usually take a lot of abuse because of how it is handled. If the teeth on the key are beginning to show symptoms of wear, it is best to replace the key before it becomes jammed within the ignition at some point in the future.

The Bottom Line

Now when you know “how to get key out of ignition”, it is important to remember to spray WD-40 into the keyhole, and doing it once every six months should be adequate. Dry graphite lubrication also ensures that the lockset operates without any hiccups.

It is not recommended to use the key to the automobile to cut the packaging tape on courier shipments.

To start the engine, turn the key in the ignition with care and not too much power. But even while taking care of all of this, there is still a possibility that you may have lock problems. Therefore, make sure you always have the number of a reliable locksmith on hand in case of an emergency.

Recent Posts