Key Stuck in Ignition? 5 Fast Solutions for Your Stuck Car Key

Automotive locksmith Calgary

Getting your key stuck in the ignition can be incredibly frustrating and inconvenient. However, it’s a common issue that many drivers face. Super G&R – Automotive Locksmith understands how crucial it is to get your key out quickly and safely. Here are five fast solutions to help you when your key is stuck in the ignition.

1. Check the Gear Position

One of the simplest reasons your key might be stuck in the ignition is that the car is not in the correct gear position. Most vehicles require the car to be in the “Park” or “Neutral” position before you can remove the key. Here’s how to resolve this issue:

Steps to Follow:

  • Ensure the Car is in Park: Double-check that your car is securely in the “Park” position. Sometimes the gearshift might appear to be in the correct position but isn’t fully engaged.
  • Try Neutral: If the key still won’t come out, try moving the gearshift to “Neutral” and attempt to remove the key again.
  • Jiggle the Gearshift: Lightly wiggle the gearshift back and forth while trying to turn and remove the key. This can help align the gears properly.

Why This Works:

The ignition system and gearshift are often interconnected for safety reasons. Ensuring the car is in the proper gear position can release the lock mechanism, allowing you to remove the key.

2. Inspect the Steering Wheel

Sometimes, the steering wheel locks into place when the car is turned off, which can also lock the key in the ignition. This feature is designed to prevent theft but can occasionally cause the key to become stuck.

Steps to Follow:

  • Turn the Steering Wheel: Gently turn the steering wheel to the left and right while trying to remove the key. Don’t use excessive force, as this can damage the steering mechanism.
  • Apply Pressure: Apply a little pressure to the key and the steering wheel simultaneously. This can release the lock and allow you to remove the key.

Why This Works:

The steering wheel lock mechanism engages a pin that can trap the key in the ignition if it’s not aligned properly. Turning the wheel can disengage this pin and free the key.

3. Lubricate the Ignition

Over time, dirt and debris can build up in the ignition cylinder, causing the key to stick. Lubricating the ignition can help free the key by reducing friction and allowing smoother movement.

Steps to Follow:

  • Choose the Right Lubricant: Use a lubricant specifically designed for locks, such as graphite or a silicone-based spray. Avoid using oil-based lubricants as they can attract more dirt and debris.
  • Apply the Lubricant: Spray or apply a small amount of lubricant into the ignition cylinder where the key is stuck.
  • Gently Wiggle the Key: After applying the lubricant, gently wiggle the key back and forth to work the lubricant into the ignition mechanism. This can help free the key.

Why This Works:

Lubricants reduce friction between the key and the ignition cylinder components, making it easier to turn and remove the key.

4. Inspect the Key for Damage

A bent or damaged key can get stuck in the ignition. If the key is not perfectly straight or has visible damage, it can jam inside the ignition cylinder.

Steps to Follow:

  • Check the Key: Remove the key from the ignition and inspect it for any signs of damage, such as bending, cracks, or wear.
  • Straighten the Key: If the key is slightly bent, use pliers to gently straighten it. Be careful not to apply too much force, as this can break the key.
  • Use a Spare Key: If you have a spare key, try using it instead. A spare key can often help you determine if the issue is with the key itself or the ignition cylinder.

Why This Works:

A damaged key can misalign with the ignition cylinder’s pins, causing it to stick. Inspecting and straightening the key can resolve this issue.

5. Seek Professional Help

If none of the above methods work, it’s time to seek professional assistance. Super G&R – Automotive Locksmith offers expert services to safely and efficiently remove a stuck key from the ignition without causing damage to your vehicle.

Steps to Follow:

  • Contact Super G&R: Visit our contact page or call us for immediate assistance.
  • Explain the Situation: Provide details about the issue, including the make and model of your vehicle and any attempts you’ve already made to remove the key.
  • Schedule an Appointment: We offer flexible scheduling and 24/7 emergency services to accommodate your needs. Our skilled locksmiths will arrive promptly to assist you.

Why This Works:

Professional locksmiths have the tools and expertise to handle complex ignition issues. Attempting to force the key out on your own can cause further damage, leading to more costly repairs. Trusting professionals ensures the problem is resolved quickly and safely.

Preventive Measures

Preventing your key from getting stuck in the ignition in the future involves regular maintenance and care. Here are some tips to help you avoid this frustrating situation:

Regular Maintenance

  • Clean the Ignition Cylinder: Periodically clean the ignition cylinder with a non-oil-based cleaner to remove dirt and debris.
  • Inspect Keys for Wear: Regularly check your keys for signs of wear and replace them if they show any damage.
  • Use Proper Key Handling: Avoid using excessive force when turning the key in the ignition and don’t use the key as a handle to pull yourself into the car.

Spare Keys

  • Have Spare Keys: Always keep a spare key in a safe place. If you notice your primary key is becoming worn or damaged, switch to the spare key and get a replacement made.
  • Duplicate High-Quality Keys: Ensure any duplicate keys are made by professionals using high-quality materials. Poorly made duplicates can cause issues with the ignition.

Professional Services

  • Schedule Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with Super G&R to ensure your vehicle’s locks and ignition system are in good working condition. Preventive maintenance can identify and fix potential issues before they become major problems.


A key stuck in the ignition is a common but frustrating problem that many drivers face. By following these five fast solutions, you can often resolve the issue quickly and safely. Whether it’s checking the gear position, inspecting the steering wheel, lubricating the ignition, checking the key for damage, or seeking professional help, there are effective ways to free your key and get back on the road.

For any persistent issues or if you need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Super G&R – Automotive Locksmith. Our team of experienced locksmiths is available 24/7 to help with all your automotive locksmith needs. Visit our website or contact us today for expert services you can trust.

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