Reasons For A Car Key Stuck In Ignition

Do you own a vehicle and your car key stuck in ignition, Mercedes, BMW, Seat, Chevy, or a car model that you want to customize? That, I suppose, is why you’re reading this article. It’s time to learn all about all reasons for a car key being stuck in the ignition and the possible solutions!

Finding yourself in such a scenario might be terrifying. Do not worry, as this could result in a costly repair if you break the key in the ignition. This article has covered all you need to know about why your car key is stuck in the ignition and how to get it out. Let’s keep it short and sweet and get right to the subject!

Causes Of A Car Key Getting Stuck In The Ignition

Some issues are as perplexing as a car key locked in the ignition. You’re probably wondering why your car key is stuck in the ignition and you can’t get it out. The most common reason is always the simplest to address. A locked steering wheel, a car not in the park, or the car computer thinking the key is still in the ON position while off are all common causes. Debris on the key, a malfunctioning lock cylinder, a worn-out key, a dead battery, or the wrong key locked in the ignition is all possible causes.

Reasons For Car Key Stuck In Ignition

Car Is Not In The Park

Vehicles are equipped with a variety of safety systems. If your vehicle is not in the park position with an automatic gearbox, for example, the car key will not come out. Manual transmissions, on the other hand, require changing the gear lever to neutral before pulling the key out. If you own a car with a manual or automatic transmission, you should already be aware of this.

The plastic or rubber shifter track may have bounced up on older automobiles. Dirt or debris on the sidewall may obstruct the shifter’s ability to reach the park position.

The Automobile Is In Accessory Mode

Most cars with conventional keys also have an accessory position. After the off mode, a single click activates the accessory mode. It enables a driver to use some automotive features without needing to start the vehicle’s engine. A power lock window and a radio are among the amenities.

Because you were in a hurry, you probably didn’t notice you left the key in accessory mode. If you can’t get your key out the next time, try starting the car and turning it off to the off position.

The wheel lock is another safety feature in a car that may cause a car key to become trapped in the ignition and refuse to turn off or start. While you apply force to the steering wheel, especially when turning off the automobile, this feature engages automatically.

Cars are equipped with wheel locks to prevent steering wheel movement when the ignition key is not present. Regrettably, it sometimes activates while the key is still in the ignition.

Faulty Ignition Cylinder

The ignition lock cylinder, like most electrical and mechanical components in an automobile, wears down with time. What if it doesn’t work when the car key is inserted? The key will be stuck in the ignition ON position or whatever other key position it was in before the ignition cylinder failed.

Car Key

Reduce the number of items on your key holder to guarantee your ignition cylinder lasts as long as possible. Many items on the keyring will lead them to sway back and forth, increasing the chances of early wear and aging. The key can become trapped in the ignition as a result of aging and early wear, and the automobile will not start or turn off.

Particles On The Key

Car keys are extremely sensitive to any type of flaw. Debris or dirt on the automobile key can prevent the ignition from turning on or off.

In various instances, most of us utilize our car keys as a penknife. To scratch things, to dig things out, to open boxes or mail, to mention a few. Any of these activities could result in debris being left on the automobile key.

The car ignition system is powered by electrical voltage. If the battery is dead, the car will not start. If your car battery is dead, you may not be able to get the key. A persistent clicking sound when you try to start the vehicle is a solid indication of a key is in a bad position in the ignition owing to a dead battery.

A dead battery may prohibit you from withdrawing the ignition key, but this is uncommon. When turning the ignition on, a repetitive clicking sound usually indicates a dead battery or corroded battery contacts. It could also be the result of a faulty starter motor.

Damaged Or Worn-out Ignition Key

The final explanation could be that your ignition key is damaged or worn out. As previously said, many of us use our car keys for a variety of purposes other than starting the vehicle. These will cause the key to wearing down faster. Car keys are made specifically for locking and unlocking doors, as well as starting the car. Don’t use your car keys for anything else.

How To Remove The Key From The Ignition

There are various reasons why a car key becomes stuck in the ignition, and there are several ways to remove the key from the ignition. Let’s have a look at the resources listed below.

Reload Your Car Battery

If your car key becomes stuck in the ignition due to a dead battery, recharging the battery will free it. If you suspect a low voltage battery or hear a clicking sound when turning the key, charge the battery to see if the problem is low voltage. With another battery or another vehicle, you can jump-start the car.

Remove The Car Key Without Correctly Shifting The Gear Lever To The Park Position

Removing the car key without properly changing the gear lever to the Park position is a common problem for a stuck key in the ignition.


If this is the case, make sure the shifter is in Park by wriggling it back and forth between Park and neutral while stepping on the brake pedal, turning the ignition key backward, and drawing out the key. A wheel lock is a safety device that prevents the steering wheel from moving when the key is with the solution, as we already make a point. If the steering wheel locks while the ignition key is in the ignition, slowly pull out the ignition key while wiggling the steering wheel back and forth.

If the key is stuck in the ignition cylinder owing to debris, use any spray lubricant to lubricate the lock. Because the key is blocking the lock, this can be difficult. To do so, you’ll need a spray lubricant straw. WD-40 is a great example of such a lubricant.

Play With The Ignition

Pushing the key into the lock cylinder with your left hand while jiggling the steering wheel with your right hand is a tried and true approach that has saved many lives.

While depressing the brake pedal, jiggle the key and steering wheel back and forth. This will most likely result in the key being with the extraction procedure.

Fault Codes

Did all of the preceding steps fail? To discover if you have a fuse or shifter problem, get an OBD2 scanner and pull all the trouble codes from relevant equipment. You can read trouble codes from the ignition switch and immobilizer with a more advanced scanner.

Car Key Stuck In ignition

Examine The Safety Key

Many Japanese and American cars feature an extra lock switch in the ignition that requires you to insert the key and press a button to turn the key freely and remove it. Make sure you haven’t forgotten anything by consulting your owner’s manual.

Make An Appointment With Your Mechanic

If none of the following suggestions work, it’s time to contact your mechanic. There aren’t many options for you. Allow your mechanic to examine the vehicle. You most likely have a broken ignition lock that has to be in another place. Your immobilizer has become ok with the ignition switch. It will need to be with another program after it is in another place.

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