Car key stuck in the ignition? Don’t use brute-force to attempt to remove it, as this could cause damage to other components. Take a deep breath and skim through the list below to get answers to why you can’t remove the key from the ignition. And don’t worry: this problem is typically easy to fix.
Why does my car key get stuck in the ignition?
If you can’t remove your key from the ignition, first examine other aspects of your car. There’s usually an obvious reason why the key isn’t releasing. These include:
1. Is your car is still in gear?
If your key is stuck in the ignition while the car is running and in drive, put the car in park and try to remove the key. For vehicles with a manual transmission, be sure to disengage the clutch and apply the parking brake before trying to remove the key.
2. Is your vehicle wedged against the parking stop?
Can’t move your steering wheel to the right or left? Your steering wheel may be locked, which is another way your key can get stuck in the ignition.
To unlock your steering wheel, apply pressure to the wheel in the direction that has the most give while simultaneously turning the key to start the car. It may take a few tries but should not take much force. When the vehicle starts, let it run for a minute and then shut off the car and try to remove the key. It should come out this time.
TIP: When parking your vehicle, do NOT park it tight against the parking stop or the curb. This is the primary reason for the above to happen.
3. Your battery is dead
Is your key stuck in the ignition and your battery dead? With the amount of electronic safety and security features in vehicles these days, a dead battery could be your ignition lock to seize. Try charging your battery with a portable charger or another vehicle and jumper cables. Once your battery is changed the key should come free.
However, if the battery is not holding a charge and your battery is older than five years, it may need to be replaced. If the battery is relatively new, there are still reasons why your car battery won’t hold a charge.
Particularly in the height of summer, you may find yourself Googling, “Does hot weather affect car battery?” Either way, if your car key is stuck in the ignition and the car won’t start, you need to find a way to start the car so you can remove the key.
- Your vehicle needs maintenance
If your vehicle hasn’t been looked at recently and you’re having trouble removing your key from the ignition, it might be a good time to take your car into the shop for essential maintenance services.
The service team at Colony One Auto will take great care of you. We can provide you with your annual Texas vehicle inspection and answer all types of questions, from “Why is my car key stuck in the ignition?” to “How long can you go without an oil change?”
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