What to Do When Your Ignition Key Gets Stuck?

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What to do when your ignition key gets stuck? Should you leave your car and call for help? Or can you face the problem by yourself? Check out the answer now!

After a long driving, you will park your car and leave. And at this time, the problem begins. You can’t take out the key because it gets stuck. You can’t get it out of your car, and you can’t leave your car with the key inside, too. So what you can do and cannot do in the situation? 

We think you should first find out what are the reasons for this situation. After that, you can probably solve it by yourself.

So, do you think you can deal with these problems? Let’s find the answer in this article.

What to do when your ignition key gets stuck

The ignition key can get stuck for many reasons

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Four Reasons Why the Key Gets Stuck

Please remember that you can only solve the problem if you know where it comes from. Many car drivers have to face the stuck ignition key at least one time in their lives. Some of them try to press hard on the key to take it out, and some of them try to find the real problem. And damages that the second group has to face is less. So, here are some reasons why your car gets stuck.

1. You Forgot to Set the Parking Gear

Did you set the parking gear? Did you turn off the key correctly? You always have to ask yourself whenever you have a key stuck in an electric lock. If you want to remove the car key right from its ignition, your transmission gear must be “Park.”

For automatic transmission, you can’t remove the key if the car gear is neutral, drive, or other equipment but park. For manual transmission, you can only remove the ignition key when its gear shifter can be “neutral.”

But the cars that use keyless buttons to start up generally do not face this problem.

2. The Steering Wheel Locked

There is the fact that the ignition switch is not the only problem if you can’t unplug your car key. Sometimes, you have to pay attention to other factors because they are maybe the thing that holds your key inside. And its steering wheel is one of the elements like that.

The locked steering wheel is often done as a safety measure in most vehicles to ensure that your car cannot move if there is no key inside. So, it would be best if you unlocked the steering wheel to unlock the key.

What to Do When Your Ignition Key Gets Stuck

The locked steering wheel is a major reason for the stuck ignition key

3. Ignition Switch Problem

It is challenging to identify if your ignition switch is broken or not because if your ignition key gets stuck, you have to determine if it comes from the key or the ignition switch. Fortunately, if you check the key before using it, you may find if it comes from the core or anything else.

Many users like using their ignition key to unbox the tape or something like this. It is very convenient, but if the tape is still on the key, it will be harder to engage the ignition cylinder’s pins. So, please use your car key only for the car.

Of course, your key will wear out after a long time using. So, whenever you turn the ignition, it will wear out, and every time you toss your key on a rock desk, it will destruct more.

4. Other Reasons

One primary reason why your ignition key gets stuck is because of a dead battery. If your car’s battery dies, it will lock the ignition system.

Besides, it could be a damaged ignition cylinder, but it is tough to identify this problem with your eyes, you should call for help.

What to Do When Your Ignition Key Gets Stuck?

Try Your Best First

The first answer to the question of what to do when your ignition key gets stuck is trying your best. But don’t try to press and take out the key, you should try to check the following factors:

• Check if the parking gear is set or not. If you forget, you should turn it to parking gear and try again. If you don’t forget, re-confirm that the gear selector can be “P” or “Neutral” on the LED.

• After setting the gear, if you cannot take the key out, you should check your steering wheel by jiggling the wheel back before gently pulling the key at the same time.

Find Some Tools

If you set the Parking gear and jiggled your steering wheel and there is no optimistic outcome, please find some WD-40 then, spray it into the ignition switch. The WD-40 is one of additional lubrication that allows you to remove your key by wiggling it.

If you find tapes or dirt on your key, you can use alcohol to clean the key and try again entirely.

After taking the key out, you should recheck the key to see if there is a problem or not. And it is best to take your car to the garage for professional checkers.

What to Do When Your Ignition Key Gets Stuck

Use WD-40 to spray the key

What to Do With the Broken Key?

We hope that you will not have to face this problem. But if you are in the situation right now, be optimistic because you are not the only one. Ask we mentioned above, what to do when your ignition key gets stuck is do no try to insert the broken part in because It will cause the other pass to go deeper. And as a result, it will be more challenging to remove the key.

Call for Help

Well, after following the whole instruction above, if you still can’t remove the key, don’t make everything worse, you should call for help. The professional locksmith often uses the critical extraction to remove the stuck key- which you can’t do.


If you decided to drive by yourself, you should equip yourself with helpful knowledge so that you can confidently face some common issues on your own.

And we hope that the information in this article will help you in the typical cases. And please remember that once your ignition key gets stuck, you should take your car to the garage as soon as possible, no matter if you can take it out or not.

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