car locksmith

What to Do When Your Key Gets Stuck in the Ignition

Your vehicle gets you where you need to go, most of the time. Sometimes, though, problems strike — such as the key getting stuck in the ignition. If this happens, do you know what to do or who to call to fix it?

Do You Know What to Do First?

First, don’t panic and make sure your car is in the right gear. If you are feeling flustered or in a hurry, it can be easy to overlook a crucial step such as shifting into the park position. Most automatic transmission vehicles include a safety feature. The key won’t release from the ignition if the car isn’t in neutral or park. So, check and ensure the shifting gear is in one of these positions.

Did You Turn the Car Itself Off?

Keys usually get locked in the ignition when the car is not turned off properly. The key must reach the lock position, which is turned down for most cars. If the key still will not release from the ignition, try starting your car and turning it off again.

Have You Tried to Ease the Key Out?

Wiggle the key gently to try and ease it from the ignition. This may seem obvious, but you might not realize that you are using too much force. That’s why being gentle is important. If you apply too much pressure, the results can be disastrous. Your key could snap, leaving you with half in your hand and the other half stuck in the ignition.

Have You Called a Car Locksmith?

The next step is to call a car locksmith who has the experience and tools to help with a stuck or broken key in your ignition. Over 24,371 registered businesses are in the locksmith industry, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Find a reputable car locksmith in your area to assist with the problem. Other types of ignition problems they cover include:

  • Dead Car Batteries
  • Keyhole Obstructions
  • A Broken Key
  • Steering Wheel Locked

As a general rule, check the state of your key before use. Does the key look damaged? Is it flimsy or prone to damage? If you notice any problems, your key could break off inside the ignition.

The takeaway from this unfortunate situation is that there’s always a car locksmith available to help. Don’t wait, call a licensed and certified locksmith if your key gets stuck in the ignition. This is the best solution to the problem that won’t cause damage to your vehicle or its ignition.