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What to Do When the Key is Stuck in the Ignition

Arlington Heights Ignition problems

Even if you have never had the misfortune of having a key stuck in the ignition, it doesn’t mean that this can’t happen to you. The one thing that we would have to firmly caution you not to do is jerk the ignition key out. There is often a simple solution as to why your key is jammed in the ignition. You will only make the problem worse if you force the key out.

Here are some things that you can check before you begin to panic

  • Position of Key

Check to see if the key is in the lock position. When the cylinders get old they can sometimes turn beyond that point, thus causing the key to jam up. This is likely more probable if the key has been attached to several heavy objects that place pressure on the cylinder. The pressure wears the cylinder sooner.

  • Carefully Move Steering Wheel

Carefully and gently move the wheel back and forth while easing the key out of the lock position. There are instances when the steering wheel will lock and the ignition switch will lock your key into position until the steering system has been unlocked. Never focus on the key, just continue to try to maneuver the steering wheel.

  • Check the Cars Position

If you’ve put your car in the park position, it is possible that it doesn’t actually lock in that position. When the gearshift lever can be moved out of park once the car has been turned off, the linkage may have worn out or needs to be adjusted. It must always lock in park in order to be able to remove the key from the ignition.

  • Dead Battery

  • One of the absolute first things you may want to do is check to make sure your battery isn’t dead. Most cars will not enable you to remove the key from the ignition if you have a dead battery. It prevents the chip from being correctly identified and therefore will not allow you to turn the key. This is great for auto-theft prevention but not if it is your own car.

  • Lubricate the key

You can spray a small amount of electrical cleaner inside the space between the key and ignition. Only attempt to turn the key an inch and then slowing pull it toward you. Don’t put to much pressure on the key or you could damage the ignition.

  • Damaged or worn key

It may be stuck because your key is worn or slightly damaged. Again, slowly and carefully pull the key toward you. If you are able to get the key out, do not take the chance of putting it in again, instead, contact a locksmith to have a new key cut immediately. Continuing to use a damaged key could eventually cause you to damage your ignition.

  • Key position

If you forced your key into the ignition, there is a chance that it is sitting in the wrong position to engage with the necessary mechanism inside the ignition. This will certainly prevent it from moving and you’ll have to rely on the skills of a professional to disengage the key.

Now this may have happened to you one to many times and by now you are just fed up. Don’t make the problem worse; simply use a spare key to lock up your vehicle until you can get help. Also, make sure your car remains in the lock position so that they battery doesn’t drain, if it hasn’t already.

Most Common Reasons for Key Jamming

1. Loose cables
There may be a loose cable inside the dashboard or behind the cars ignition that has to be replaced before you’ll be able to get the key out.

2. Torn wheel lock cylinder
The cylinder may only one less turn possible, which is isn’t able to complete if the cylinder is torn.

3. Dead battery
On newer model cars, when the battery is dead you are unable to remove the key from the ignition.

4. Not parked
If the key car is not in the parked position, it will not engage with the correct mechanisms making it impossible to turn the key in the ignition.

After checking out these simple things and you’re still experiencing a problem, you can always depend on the services of a reputable and reliable Arlington Heights, Virginia locksmith, such as, Locksmith Arlington Heights to provide you with help. Locksmiths are familiar with all of the things that can go wrong with your ignition that may prevent it from allowing you to access your key. They will often come to wherever you are to administer the help you need so that you can also avoid the added expense of a tow service.

Make sure you rely on a reputable locksmith. If you do not, you could have someone who makes the problem worse because they don’t know what they are doing. Check around before you just allow anyone to help with your locksmith needs. We depend on our cars to get us from point A and B and all areas in between. While this might seem like a small job that anyone can handle, it really isn’t. The damages made to your ignition can be costly if they locksmith is unaware of what he is doing. Rely on a locksmith service that has been in business for a number of years and have the proven experience to back them up. When it comes to your vehicle, you can never be too careful. Take the needed precautions to ensure your getting the best services possible.

Most locksmiths offer emergency locksmith services, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Unlock a dealership, which might be your first thought. A locksmith will come to your location, thus enabling you to save money on the expense of having your car towed to the dealership. Save yourself time and frustration by getting in contact with a local locksmith in Arlington Heights to assist you in removing your key from the ignition.