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Call us (770) 628-0869
We accept all major credit cards
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What to Do When Keys Are Stuck in the Ignition

It is easy to lock yourself out of your car, especially when you’re having a bad day and want nothing more than to get inside your house and lock the world out. However, the problem with this is that you might end up leaving your keys in the ignition of your car. In some cases, you might leave your keys in the ignition unintentionally. Your key might be stuck in the ignition. When this occurs, you might find yourself missing time at work, late dropping off the kids, missing appointments or caught in outside in bad weather. When this occurs, feel free to contact us at Sugar Hill Locksmith in Sugar Hill, Illinois. We are more than happy to assist with your service needs. However, if you would rather try to figure things out on your own without contacting us, here is some information that might assist you in doing so.

Ignition Key Issues

There are several reasons why you’re key might get stuck in the ignition. They are all pretty common, therefore, this means there is also a rather simple solution. Here they are:

  • The lock cylinder is jammed
  • A loose cable in the steering column
  • A loose wire in the ignition
  • The shift interlock is out of order

What You Can Do

First and foremost, whatever you do, don’t panic. When you panic you may tend to over re-act. This doesn’t get anybody anywhere fast, except further frustrated. Keep calm and just don’t panic. We have seen some people get so worked up that they simply snatched the key out of the ignition causing more damage to the ignition and needed more expensive repairs. This may not have occurred if they just remained calm. Now that we have that out of the way, here is what you can do. When your key is stuck in the ignition, slowly and gently turn it to the left and back to the right. You are trying to get the key to loosen up so that it comes out. Once you’ve turned in both directions, several times, check to see if you to remove the key. Never force the key out because you could damage the ignition.

So that didn’t work, the problem might mean that there is an issue with the steering wheels locking system. If this is the problem, turning the steering wheel, turning the wheel in the opposite direction might loosen the key. Sometimes the key may become stuck when the ignition has been turned off while the wheel is turned. Pressure builds up in the steering column which makes the key stick. If you to release some pressure, you’ll usually hear a click, which means the it has released the key.

If your shifter is the problem, you might want to contact a locksmith. This can be a much more serious issue to address. If there is an issue with the shifter being out of order, it can cause problems with your airbags, causing them to deploy without notice. This can cause harm to whoever is around when this occurs.

Some motorists have sprayed a lubricant in the ignition and have found success in sliding the key out. You can also spray it directly on the key itself. White graphite powder, which repels dirt and debris, can also be used. If you have built up dirt and debris, this can cause your key to get stuck. Since we are aware of how build up can affect the use of your key in the ignition, you should only use your key for what it is meant to be used for, your car. Avoid opening things with your key that can cause debris to build up on it. Whether you notice it or not, this is occurring whenever you use your keys for anything other than to open or start your car. In addition to dirt and grime building up on your key, you can also begin to damage the grooves of your key. This can all contribute to your key getting stuck in the ignition.

We know this sounds too simple but your car may just be in the wrong position. Check to make sure your car is in the park position. If it is not, you will not be able to remove the key from the ignition. It is easy to knock it out of the right gear or simply be in a hurry that you don’t even realize that it isn’t in the right position. Now, this really is the simplest solution to this problem so this is where we will tell you to start when you have a key that you cannot get out of the ignition.

Another easy fix is straightening a bent key. If you get the key out, check it to make sure it isn’t bent before placing it back in the ignition. You may even experience a problem getting a bent key to fit into the ignition but force it to do so anyway. If this is what you did, it is sure to stick inside the ignition. Don’t force it out, instead, contact a qualified locksmith who can safely and effectively remove the key for you. We know that this may sound like something you can remedy on your own but we’ve seen this go from bad to worse far too many times. Yanking the key out will only make the problem far worse than it already is. Trust the people who work with locks and keys every day. Be wise and contact us to remove your key if you are unable to safely remove it.

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