Key stuck in the ignition! Admit that it’s among the worst fear in your mind as a driver. You could be in a hurry leaving for work or worst an emergency. While it’s usually uncommon but it can leave you stranded without much on your plate to work with. Since the key is stuck it might lead to panic as you can’t just leave the vehicle unlocked with the key inside for going to work or worst being suck at home. With that being said never apply force in case the key gets stuck in the ignition because it is only going to make the situation worse therefore instead of wrestling with the key, just move the steering gently and try to remove it smoothly. However, if the key still doesn’t get removed here are a couple of things to try.

Check the Gear

Key Stuck in Ignition

Most of the automatic vehicles can only be parked in Park gear “P” only. Therefore before attempting to pull out the key make sure the vehicle is only in park gear instead of on Neutral or any other gear. This might happen to you because you are in a hurry and forgot to park the gear in or maybe you are a newbie driver.

Steering Wheel Lock Check

Key Stuck in Ignition

Now that you have parked the car in the correct gear and the key is on the “lock” point of the ignition, try turning the steering right and left. If it doesn’t move then you have activated the steering wheel lock. Plenty of new cars come with this anti-theft feature where you can just lock the steering wheel hence preventing to steer if someone tries to start with circuiting the wires. In order to unlock the steering wheel, move it smoothly on lead and right and turn the key. This will disengage the steering lock leading to setting out the key.

Dead Battery Will Lock Your Key

Key Stuck in Ignition

Since the newer cars are equipped with computers. It can lead to locking your key in the ignition when not receiving any feedback from the computer. Therefore if the battery is dead it will lead to no feedback from computers locking the key and ignition. Therefore check if the battery is dead. This is pretty common as it can happen to any car sitting long or having a faulty battery.

Connect a voltmeter to your battery terminals to see if there is enough juice in there or even the easiest solution is turning the headlights ON. If they don’t turn off then you got yourself dead battery. If the battery is running low on charge you can just jump start it however in case of a faulty battery, replacing it is the only option.

Your Cylinders Might Have Gone Bad

Ignition cylinder is responsible for the mechanism of turning your key into ignition hence starting the car up. Since the key stuck in the ignition, chances are your ignition cylinder went bad. This can be common in older cars as compared to the newer ones. If the ignition cylinder is blown up, ignition pins inside it won’t let the key come out leaving you stranded. Henceforth there isn’t really much you can do except calling a mechanic or locksmith with car expertise.

WD-40 to the Rescue

Now that it affirms that the key actually the key stuck in ignition is pretty much you got to deal with. Grab a WD-40 and spray it inside the ignition hole thus lubricating your key and the ignition pins inside. Lubrication will increase the chances of your key coming out.

Don’t Frustrate Or Break Your Key

While being stuck in a situation where key stuck in ignition comes out of nowhere is the least you expected. Try to remain calm and assess the situation since it could have been worse. If none of the remedies work. Don’t try to take the key out forcefully or switch it for ON because it can break the key or damage your ignition cylinders and steering column thus making it worse. While you didn’t predict this to happen you now have to deal with it wisely, therefore, calling a mobile locksmith is the best option you got. However, if you don’t have access to that, just call a tow truck or a friend to tow your car and take it to professionals.

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