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Removing a Jammed Key from Your Car’s Ignition

key stuck in ignition

If your car key is stuck inside your car’s ignition, you can choose how you’re going to respond. You can push, pull, twist and turn the key all you want, but if it’s stuck, it isn’t about to budge an inch. You can also throw up your hands in frustration and throw a temper tantrum, but that too is unlikely to get you anywhere fast. If you are serious about dealing with a key that is stuck in your car’s ignition, there are some practical tips that you can try doing on your own that might help you solve your problem.

  1. Firstly, you should check the switch on the ignition, to see exactly what position your key is in and how far your key has been turned. This is an important first step, as car ignitions age with time. With a lot of usage, it becomes really easy to twist the car key too far, so that it is no longer in the lock or unlock position, but rather past that point, which might explain why it jammed to begin with.
  2. If your key is in the correct position, then you know that there must be a different issue that is causing your ignition key to jam.  You can attempt to move the steering wheel from side to side slowly and carefully, while at the same time turning your key in the ignition. The steering wheel can sometimes lock in place, so by turning it from side to side, you can unlock it. Even though you’ll be turning the key in the ignition while at the same time turning the steering wheel, the main focus of your efforts should be on the wheel, and not on the key. Once the steering wheel becomes unlocked, the key should be released smoothly
  3. If turning the steering wheel doesn’t help, you can do a bit of detective work to try and figure out what exactly the issue is. Many ignition keys can only turn if your car is in park. If you see that your car is in park but the key still won’t budge, it is possible that the gearshift is not lined up properly. You can play around with it carefully, so long as your foot is on the break, this might allow the key to turn.
  4. The final thing you might want to check out when trying to figure out what the issue is with your car’s ignition key, is the state of your car’s battery. If you’ve left your lights on overnight, or you see that for whatever reason you see that your dashboard is lit up, your car battery might be dead. A dead battery will affect your car’s ignition, as it won’t be able to recognize the signal being sent by your transponder key’s chip. Without recognizing the code from the microchip inside the key, your car’s ignition will remain locked.
  5. If you’ve tried all these steps and you are still unable to get your key out of your car’s ignition, call us and our skilled auto locksmiths will be able help you out 24/7!