What Can I Do If My Car Ignition Key Gets Stuck?

To remove a key that is stuck in the ignition, first try to turn the steering wheel while you gently rotate the key. If that does not work, try to push the key in and rotate it away from you. As a last resort, lubricate the key to eliminate buildup.

  1. Check the steering wheel

    Put one hand on the key and one hand on the steering wheel. Move the wheel gently to one side, and listen for a click. If you don't hear anything, try moving the wheel gently to the other side. Once you hear a click, try to remove your key. If it comes out, the problem is due to pressure from the steering wheel. Alternately, try rotating the key forward while you move the steering wheel to the left or right.

  2. Check the key positioning

    If you are driving a newer car, try pushing your key in, and rotate it forward slightly. In some cases, this action locks the ignition into place and enables you to pull out the key.

  3. Lubricate the key

    If your key is still stuck, spray a tiny amount of electrical cleaner into the space between the ignition and the key. Try to turn the key a fraction of an inch, and then try to pull it out. Move the key gently, without exerting much pressure.