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Why My Car Key Won’t Come Out Of Ignition?

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We generally face and deals with a lot of issues in our life. Sometimes the problems were too big, while some were too easy to solve. Apparently, in the end, we always find our solution what so ever is the issue.

From the origin of the problem to the answer to your question. We learn that there are natural reasons behind the situation, whereas some issues result from our carelessness. Leaving a car’s key in the ignition is one of the undefined careless mistakes.

Did you ever lose your car key stuck in the ignition? Or faces a situation when your car key won’t come out of the ignition; I know this situation is something which no one wants to meet, especially when we have an important meeting or a special occasion to attend. Here, our article will help you know why and how to deal with them when your key stuck in the ignition.

Reasons Why Key Won’t Come Out Of Ignition?

There may be multiple reasons a car key stuck in the ignition. Every problem has a solution. Similarly, this too has. The most often reasons are easy to fix and can quickly give the desired result.

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Whenever your key doesn’t come out of the ignition, don’t panic. Fortunately, our article would help you know the seven best reasons behind it. Along with the reasons, we will guide you on how to deal with the situation.

1. Parking Gear Not Set

If the vehicle’s gear in the car is not park, then the key won’t come out. All this occur because the gear may in drive, neutral, or any other available gear.

In older cars, it could be possible that the rubber or plastic shifter track has bunched up. The vehicles with digital screens usually display the gear settings on the screen, so check if “P” highlighted.

2. The Steering Wheel Is Locked

The wheel automatically locked as a safety feature that may prevent your key from pulling out of the ignition. It usually occurs when a certain amount of force is applied to the wheel while turning the engine. It’s a safety measure, so thankfully, it can quickly fix. Do not try to turn the key too hard, as this may result in breaking the key. And as we know that the breaking of the key does not solve the problem but invites a way complex issue to solve.

3. Debris On Key

Some people have the habit of opening the boxes and packages with the help of a car key. It could lead to sticking the debris particles on the key, for example, the piece of tape. Now, whenever you put the key stuck with tape into your vehicle’s ignition, it will be harder for the key to seize the ignition cylinder’s pin. It could quickly treat by rubbing the key with alcohol and a little scrubbing, which would solve the issue within no time.

4. The Battery Is Dead

The ignition system of the car needs the power to operate. Thus, if the battery dies, it would surely result in the ignition system locking up. In this case, you’ll need to jump-start the car or install a new battery. You can do either, depending on the condition.

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Fortunately, this is a simple procedure one can do at home and need to pay only to replace the battery. The average cost of a battery ranges between $50 to $150.

5. The Ignition Cylinder Is Faulty

Here’s another reason, the faulty ignition cylinder. With the advancement of the age of the cylinder, there are chances when the ignition cylinder may fail. And if this happens with the key inserted, then you will not be able to pull out the key.

All this because there are several rows of spring-loaded pins inside the ignition lock that might match your key’s shape. An average cost to replace the ignition cylinder is $70 to $250.

6. You Never Actually Turned The Car “Off.”

Most of the vehicles have an additional feature known as an accessory mode. This feature allows you to turn on the radio or power windows without switching on the car.

It is possible you were in a hurry, and you did not notice. Thankfully, the accessory mode can easily break. Turn the key clockwise for one click, and you are out of the problem.

7. Worn Or Damaged Key

The last and often most possibility, i.e. the key itself, is damaged or worn. Every time you put the key into ignition and turn it, this causes slight wear of the key. The most straightforward technique to get out of the problem is by changing the key. All this will require calling your nearby auto parts store, giving them VIN, and thus getting your new key.

How To Get Stuck Key Out Of Ignition?

If the car key won’t come out of the ignition and not even broken, one can try the following three ways.

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1. Unlocking The Steering Wheel

There are conditions when the steering wheel gets locked by turning the wheel too far to one side, resulting in the key’s inability to come out. You can try the following steps to make your steering wheel move:

  1.  Insert the key into the ignition.
  2.  Turn the key smoothly.
  3.  Apply pressure to the steering wheel.
  4.  Do not rock or shake the wheel.
  5.  Pull the key a little out before turning it.
  6.  Turn the wheel and key at once to unlock it.

However, this might correct by turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction. And soon, the key releases from the ignition.

2. Jiggling The Key

It is a simple procedure. Try to push down the key cylinder with one hand and jiggle the key with the other hand; this loses the rows of spring-loaded pins inside the cylinder, thus releasing the key.

Tips For Rapping The Key

  1.  Strike the key with the same force to knock quietly on the door.
  2.  Make sure you won’t hit anything else during the process.
  3.  Do not attempt to break the lock.

3. Shaking The Gear Cylinder

There is a feature in automatic cars that you can’t remove the key unless the selector lies in the park or neutral. Hence, gently shake the selector to release your key.

  1.  Purchase a new ignition lock assembly.
  2.  Remove the cover over the ignition.
  3.  Use an Allen wrench to release the ignition.
  4.  Make sure the new ignition switch is well greased.
  5.  Ensure the internal lock pins move freely.
  6.  Slide the cylinder into place and reconnect the switch plug.


We hope our article guides you and answer all your questions. Now, whenever your key doesn’t come out of the ignition, we hope you will deal with the situation calmly and smoothly.

If you have doubts regarding the topic, please comment below, and we’ll for sure clarify and answer them.