Key stuck in ignition lock: Here’s what to do
For whatever reasons, the key may become stuck in the ignition.
There are many things I’m afraid all the drivers. One of the problems that strikes fear is the key stuck in the ignition. Many car owners, when faced with a similar problem, start to panic and try to pull out the key from the lock. But usually these attempts are futile – nothing happens. In this case, do not try with force to pull out the key from the lock, because this way you can break.
Also you should know that any key in the ignition should be easy to get out of the castle after a full turn key counterclockwise. If the key after turning does not extend from the lock, then you must understand the possible causes of the problem. We will talk in detail and, having ascertained not only the most frequent problems with stuck keys, but all methods that will help to get a stuck key out of the lock.
How to check why stuck the key in the ignition?
Any vehicle is a complex technical device which may have a lot of problems and breakdowns. The hardest part of any machine is to diagnose the problem. Because many of the symptoms can often point to various components of the car. Including not very easy to determine the cause of the sticking in the ignition key.
If you find that the key is not pulled out from the lock, you need to show patience, and in any case not to rush. But many motorists it is difficult sometimes to control myself when in the car there is an unpleasant problem. Especially if the car key is not coming out of the castle. Because like the law of meanness, as always happens at the wrong time.
Often many drivers stuck in the key are starting to look for some aid, which they believe will help them to get the key from the lock. For example, some motorists are trying to get the key out with pliers.
In any case, don’t do it. If you try to force the key from the lock, you risk to break it. So you only multiply the problem. It is not enough that you have to pull out the rest of the key from the lock, and then restore the broken key, so more may need to spend the money on a new lock cylinder.
I hope you will heed our warnings and take our advice, if faced with such a vexing problem. Now let’s consider more in detail some points that will help you diagnose a possible problem with the key stuck in the ignition.
1. Check off whether the ignition is completely
If your machine is in the lock, stuck the key in the ignition, the first thing you should do is to ask yourself the question: if you choked the engine? At first glance this is a stupid question. But you would not believe how many drivers every day, for hours trying to get the key out of the ignition lock various clever ways, and then suddenly find out that the cause of the jamming of the key in the lock was the car running.
Vehicle using the engine start button (Keyless entry system in a car) usually do not face this problem.
- What you need to do in the first place: so if you can’t get the key out of the ignition switch, first check whether you turned off the engine and turned it to the end of the key counter-clockwise.
Often drivers do not fully return the ignition lock cylinder in place in order to remove the key from the lock. This means that the ignition is still on and you can’t get the key out.
Understanding of the problem will save you from guessing on a coffee thick and will protect from rash actions that can cause damage not only key, but the ignition switch.
If you’ve tried to solve the problem with the key this way, but the attempt was not successful, then you can safely delete from the list of possible causes of a sticking key the ignition and go to the next step of the solution.
2. Check the steering wheel
You should know that if the key of your car is not out of the ignition, it does not necessarily mean that all the problems are inside of the lock cylinder. Sometimes the key might not get and other reasons. For example, did you know that the ignition key may become stuck in the lock due to the steering wheel? The fact that the steering wheel in addition to controlling the direction of the car as a Supplement to the ignition switch. Additionally, the steering wheel can be blocked by the ignition. Why is it necessary? Now tell.
Usually in most cars this is done as a security measure. So, steering lock is needed to prevent movement of the car when in the ignition no key, and when car engine is off. Including the steering lock is not removed if the ignition insert another key.
When you insert the “native” key in the lock, it should unlock the steering wheel. However, as the ignition switch is closely linked with the design of the steering wheel, locked steering wheel can lead to jamming of the key in the ignition.
- What you need to do in the first place: To resolve the problem, you’ll need some time to remove the steering wheel lock that will help to unlock the key in the ignition. To do this, you must slowly rotate the steering wheel left and right (even if the wheel is blocked, it will still have a gap, allowing you to rotate the steering wheel in different directions). At the same time, you should gently and slowly pushing down on the key, try to turn it in the lock. Ideally, this movement of the wheel and the key should unlock the ignition switch and give the opportunity to quietly pull the key out of the ignition.
As in the first case, the problem with the key lock for a steering wheel lock, pretty common. And as you can see, it’s quite easy to solve. So if your in the car stuck the key in the lock, you must first try to get the key as described above. But, alas, not always all happens so quickly and easily. Often the problem with the car ignition key can be more complex.
3. The key is in the ignition switch may just be broken
Nothing lasts forever in this world. Including the ignition key, which simply can break inside the lock stuck in it. This can occur in the following cases.
So, the key can break due to the fact that you’ve already put the cracked, crooked or cracked key in the ignition. In the world many drivers ignore the condition of car keys, postponing the solution of this problem for later. In the end, he breaks down in the ignition at the most inopportune moment.
So in any case, do not ignore the state of the ignition key. If your key has become unusable (cracked, bent), do not try to repair it or use force to insert into the lock. You risk breaking it and getting a headache in the form of a stuck key.
You can also break the normal key, if it is wrong to use it. For example, too much to turn it in the lock or try to turn the lock when inserted not before the end of the key.
- What you need to do in the first place: Usually, if you broke the key, you will quickly learn about it, removing it the remainder of the ignition lock. But don’t panic. Depending on the complexity of the device key and the ignition you can remove the rest of the key from the lock yourself or you will have to contact the locksmith that will solve the problem.
If you successfully remove the rest of the key stuck in the ignition, we advise you still to address to the mechanic for inspection of the lock cylinder before using the spare key to the ignition switch.
4. Problems with the ignition lock cylinder
To determine that the ignition something is wrong, much harder than anything we have told you above. The fact is that if the key stuck in the ignition, you should determine what is causing the key or the lock.
Of course, if you broke the key out of the lock, you immediately know why.
- What you need to do in the first place: to define But sometimes it’s very difficult. For example, if you did still, broken the key in the lock. How, then, to learn that the problem with the stuck key associated with the lock cylinder or with his larvae? Usually, we first need to make sure that you have no problems with the key. If you are sure that the key is not broken, then most likely the probable cause of the lock key in the lock.
5. Contamination of the ignition switch
Sometimes the ignition key may become stuck in the castle for other reasons. For example, if the key is not pulled out, his movement in the lock cylinder may prevent the mud in the castle. Unfortunately, many manufacturers do not protect the keyhole of the lock of ignition special album.
In the result, over time, the castle formed a large layer of dirt, which can cause a stuck key. By the way, sometimes dirt can even lead to breakage of the key. In this case, you must use some cleaning lock and key. For example, WD-40.
- What you need to do in the first place: Sometimes, in order to solve this problem, it is enough to pull the key from the ignition (often even if the key stuck in the lock, manages to pull it out a bit from the castle), and then inserted to the end. For cleaning the ignition switch, you can use a can of compressed air with a nozzle with which you’ll be able to remove the dirt.
6. Wear key
As car key often is under load, over time it can wear out (you can grind the teeth of the key). In this case, the key can simply unlock the lock because of a mismatch of the teeth of the key with the lock cylinders.
- What you need to do in the first place: eventually you will have to use a spare car key or order a new one. But in some cases the key that due to its wear do not match with the lock cylinders can be stuck inside. In this case, try a bit to draw back the key (usually, if the key is stuck, there is a backlash).
Then try to turn the key slightly to the right and to the left. Then insert the key again to finish. Quite possibly, this method will help you to get the key from the lock.
Car key not coming out of ignition switch
Of course, if the key stuck in the lock, you will need to understand the causes of the problem. Also, you have to think about how to rectify the situation and how you will get the key from the lock.
Here are some of the possible solutions that can help you when you are unable to remove the key from the lock:
1) How to get a broken key out of the ignition?
If your car key stuck in the ignition due to the fact that it broke inside, you must first assess the situation to understand who is going to solve the problem – yourself or mechanic.
The process of extracting a broken car key is not overly difficult, but may cause additional problems if you act incorrectly.
Most people will certainly prefer to do everything yourself, not to throw money on services of the mechanic. But remember that you have to weigh the risks. After all, if you break the ignition lock, you will spend much more money than you give avtomaster service station or mechanic in the garage for pulling out of the lock broken key.
If you are confident in your skills, then ignore our warning.
Here’s how to pull a broken key from the lock with the help of improvised means
So, to get the remainder of the broken key, you can use the blade of the jigsaw, fishing hooks, wire, etc. Your task is to catch it in the lock and slowly pushed outwards in order then pliers to completely remove from the lock.
In fact, in most vehicles, the process of removing a broken key from the lock exactly the same as if you need a regular key from the door lock.
Here is a video from which you will also learn how to remove a broken key from a door lock:
That is, in principle, depending on the design of automobile ignition lock you can use the same tools that the professionals use when removing broken keys from door locks.
But we still recommend that you consult a professional plumbers, who have more experience than you.
Broken key means that you’ll have to take a spare car key. Also, you have to order a new key or a duplicate. Unfortunately, in most modern cars, a simple duplicate will not fit inside the original key is likely to be the immobilizer chip that contains a unique code that reads the security system of the car when you insert the key into the ignition. However, if you have a spare factory key, you have nothing to worry as you can order a new key from the dealer, and yet to use a spare.
2) Replacement of ignition lock cylinder
As we mentioned earlier, the key may get stuck because of problems with the ignition lock cylinder. In this case, you will need to consult a plumber who can repair the lock, for example, replacing it with the cylinder. It is much easier because it will be able to accurately diagnose the cause of problems with the ignition lock cylinder. Additionally, the locksmith can tell you whether you can repair the castle or have to buy a new one.
Keep in mind that if you contact a locksmith, he will first have to get the key from the lock before it begins its work.
3) the Search for other reasons for the lock key is in the ignition
As we have said, the cause of the sticking key in the ignition could be the steering lock. But additionally, the key may not get out of the castle and for other reasons not related to the castle itself. For example, the key may be blocked if the automatic transmission mode is set to “Drive” (D) or “reverse” (R). In many cars, in order for the car not stalled on the move for the reason of pulling out the key from the lock, is triggered to lock the key in the lock when the automatic transmission is not included above modes. In this case, the problem is solved by the inclusion of a mode “Parking” (P).
In particular, in some machines the key in the lock may be prevented because of the discharge of the battery. If your key stuck in the lock it is for this reason, you have to forget about the key and focus on the battery. You need to recover. To do this, charge the battery or buy a new one. In this case, the problem with the key will disappear by itself.
Do not suggest in this case to try to remove the key from the lock. You risk damaging not only the keys but also the lock. Yes, even due to discharge of the battery, the key can really lock in the lock is exactly the same as if you broke it. So no need to act according to the principle “power is not mind”.
4) Grease a car key
There is another solution which you can use if your car key stuck in the ignition. Just try to start to lubricate it, for example, using WD-40. This tool is great if the key stuck in the lock due to the dirt. This simple solution may help to pull the key from the lock. Pulling the key, also separately apply WD-40 the lock cylinder, sprysnuv tool in the larva. Also, treat the cleaner and the key itself.
5) What to do if the car key bent?
Again please note that if your key has worn, it is better not to use, as this may damage the key inside the ignition. But, alas, for example if the key for some reason is bent, it usually happens at the most inopportune moment, when we have somewhere urgent to go. In this case, you can try to straighten the key. But after bearing be sure to check the key for cracks. If not, then you can use the recovered key.
However, we do not suggest you to use this key for a long time, because when the key is bent, disrupted the integrity of the metal structure. In the end, the key sooner or later will break. And, most likely, it will happen inside of the ignition switch.
How to straighten the key? For this you need a rubber or wooden mallet. Put the key on a solid flat surface and hit with a hammer on the key, pushing it to the surface. In any case, do not try to straighten the key with pliers, or by inserting the key halfway in the ignition. So you can break not only the key but the ignition lock.
- Don’t try to pull the key when you see the car key comes out of ignition switch. Take the time to evaluate the possible causes that led to this problem, and then decide on a course of action. This can be either call a locksmith or attempt to extract the key from the lock alone.
- Pay attention to other vehicle components. These include steering wheel, the gearbox (especially if your car is automatic transmission) and battery, which may discharge.
- If you think that the key gets stuck because of an obstruction inside the lock, lubricate the key and ignition cylinder, treating them cleaner WD-40. If after processing the lock WD-40’d you get the key, then separately treat the key with WD-40 and lock cylinder. If your key is broken, that tool carefully remove the key from the lock.
- If your car key stuck in the ignition as the result of problems with the ignition cylinder, remember that this problem is harder to diagnose until the key is inside. Usually in this case you cannot do without professional help. Note that if the key is stuck because of problems with the lock cylinder, your self further actions may lead to a complete breakage of the castle, with the purchase of a new lock which costs a lot of money.