If your car key ignition switch stuck, you certainly don’t expect it to happen. But if it does, it’s certainly frustrating. If your vehicle’s key is stuck in the ignition, and it’s just not budging. Then you aren’t going anywhere. Still, don’t let yourself get stressed out over it
There are a number of typical reasons why you’re in this predicament:
- Maybe your car isn’t in park. Even if your gear shift lever looks like it’s in park. Your car’s shift lock solenoid, or another crucial mechanism, may require replacement.
- Your battery may be dead. With most cars nowadays, if your battery dies, your car key won’t come out of the ignition.
- There may be a cable loose, either inside your dash or behind the ignition. It will probably need to be replace.
- Your wheel lock cylinder is simply worn out, and you’ll need a new one to be install.
- The column lock mechanism (an anti-theft device) is failing, which won’t allow you to remove your car key.
- The transmission may be malfunctioning, not allowing itself to be put into park. Perhaps cycling the transmission a few times will make it possible to pull the key out.
- A sensor in the transmission is failing. Not transmitting the proper signal to the column lock, keeping the car key stuck inside.
- The car key itself may be bent or otherwise damaged.
- There may be some type of substance on the key, which is catching on the inside of the ignition lock.
- There may be damage internally. A tumbler may bind inside the ignition, so the springs are unable to push it back out.
- Did you force the key into the lock? It may be sitting inside the mechanism at the wrong angle, preventing the key’s removal.
- Did you actually insert the wrong key into the ignition cylinder? You may’ve thought it was the right one, but now your key can’t be extracted.
- Don’t despair. These are some likely possibilities. But there are still simple things you can try to get yourself out of trouble.
Before attempting anything, be sure your parking brake is on.
Test the park position.
Of course, the shifter must always be lock into the park position in order for you to remove the car key. Sometimes, your automobile just won’t lock into the park position properly. If you can still move the gear shift lever out of park after turning the vehicle off. Then that means your linkage may be out of adjustment.
Check to see if your battery’s dead.
Did your dashboard light up when the car key was in the “on” position? Depending upon the make and model of your car, a dead battery will prevent you from removing the key. Because the chip in your transponder key can’t be accurately identified. By your vehicle’s built-in computerized theft-deterrent system.
Check the position of your car key.
On the ignition switch, check to make sure that your car key is in the lock position. As cylinders get older, you may find it easier to turn them beyond the proper point. This is particularly true if your key has been attach to a variety of heavy objects on your key chain. Which gradually put additional pressure on the cylinder, promoting excessive wear. Try pushing your key in, and rotate it forward slightly. In some cases, this will lock your ignition into place so you can pull out the key.
Check your steering wheel.
Sometimes your steering wheel will lock. When this happens, the ignition switch will keep your key locked in one place. Until the steering system is unlock. Don’t pull too hard on your car key! Be gentle. Focus on getting some movement from the steering wheel. Put your left hand on the steering wheel as you try gently rotating the key forward. Move the wheel very gently to one side, and listen until you hear a click. If you don’t hear it, try turning the wheel gently in the other direction. As soon as you hear a click, try removing the key. If you’re successful, then you’ll know that the problem originates from the steering wheel
Lubricate the key.
You can try spraying a small amount of electrical cleaner between the ignition and the key. Followed by a quick spray of silicone or a drop or two of liquid graphite. Be careful ~ don’t allow anything to drip on your upholstery! Keep the car doors open so you won’t suffer from the fumes. Remember to avoid sparks and open flames. You may want to lubricate twice. Now, try turning the key a fraction of an inch, and then you can attempt to extract it. Move the key very gently, exerting only minimal pressure.
After all this basic troubleshooting, is your car key still stuck?
If so, then don’t waste another minute allowing yourself to go into a panic over your lousy circumstances. Just accept the fact that it’s time to hire a professional. Who possesses the expertise required to thoroughly inspect your vehicle’s ignition switch. Or gear shift lever, battery, and so forth. To properly determine the actual cause; and to bring you exactly the right solution.
If you’re stranded anywhere in Philadelphia. You may want to choose Auto Locksmith Philadelphia. Whose mobile automotive locksmith specialists on staff work. Always at the ready to come to your rescue if you’re in a jam.
In the meantime, until help arrives:
Use a spare key to manually lock your vehicle to keep it secure.
If you can, make sure your stuck key at least stays in the lock position, so you can avoid running down the battery.