You go to start your car, and as you stick the key in the ignition, you think that your battery may be dead. What just happened? We have the information you need now and fast!
How Do I Get My Key Out Of The Ignition If Its Dead?
Let’s jump right to the help you need, without any delay. Check out the following steps to remove our car key, if it is stuck and you have a dead car battery.
- First, move the key back to the furthest position it will stay.
- Grab a small pocket screwdriver, the flat one.
- No screwdriver? You can also use a small paper clip. You can even use the end of a nail file.
- With your tool, locate the access door on the steering wheel. Most are found underneath the steering column.
- Stick your tool in, where you see the ridge, so you can open the door of the access compartment.
- Now, you will have access to the inside of your steering column.
- Take a flashlight. Your objective is to find the white button, and push it down, and turn the key. Your key should come right out.
- Then, be sure that you close the access door so that you get no debris on the inside of your steering column.
- Need more information or some great visuals? Click here!
How Do You Fix An Ignition That Won't Turn?
Not only is it frustrating to stick your car key into your ignition and it fails to turn. Do you have a dead battery? Is there some other culprit? Let’s examine some ways you can remedy an ignition that just won’t turn.
Car Key is Stuck in Ignition – Here Are Some Causes & Solutions
You are in panic mode because you have inserted your car key into the ignition and it refuses to come out. While it can be scary to be in this kind of situation, there is help. You may fear that you may break the key. You may also fear that there is some expensive repair that lies head. Before you panic, check out a few things you can check to ensure that you eliminate all possible issues. Check out some of the most common reasons your car is stuck in the ignition- as well as some solutions.
Your Shifter May Not Be in the Park Position
Many automatic transmission vehicles are outfitted with a specific feature. This feature is created by the vehicle manufacturer- in the event that if a vehicle’s transmission is not in park- the ignition component will lock the key in place. Furthermore, the driver will not be able to take the car key out of the ignition.
This particular feature ensures that the car owner or the driver will not forget the car in drive, reverse or even neutral- then walk away from the vehicle.
Since the vehicle’s gears are only engaged when the vehicle is on, with that automatic transmission, the vehicle is able to move without restriction once the transmission is left in reverse, drive or with disengaged hand brakes. This mechanism also ensures that the vehicle owner or the driver will not take the key out, should the vehicle be in park mode, while the engine is running.
You Have a Rusted Car Key
Did you know that just a little rust on a car key will make its surface rough, causing it to get stuck in the ignition? Do you have a car key that is showing signs of rust? Then you may want to get it cleaned ASAP. You may also decide to get a duplicate of that car key too. It is quite typical of original car keys to get rust on them, due to them being made of stainless steel.
Your Car Key Is Bent
Another issue- which is all too common- that also keeps a key stuck in an ignition- is bent key. This happens a lot when we as drivers are in a hurry to get going in our cars, and we fail to pay attention to the state of our keys. We hurry to put our car keys in the ignition, not realizing that we are using tremendous force- that is placed on our car keys. Are you using a duplicate key? That duplicate key can bend even more. If this is your situation, you want to keep your bent key as one piece. So, make sure that you are very gentle, as you work to remove the key out of the ignition. Your objective is to not have the key break in two. Once the key is out, just toss it in the trash, as it’s no good.
You Have a Locked Steering Wheel
Many vehicle manufacturers build a component that can lock a steering wheel. Of course, this is to prevent vehicle theft. The feature is designed in a way that the vehicle’s steering wheel will rotate without the engine being turned on, or the car key being inserted in the ignition, without being rotated or turned. The end result is a steering wheel that locks after just a slight rotation. The ignition will require access of an array of steps that will help with rotating the car key at various levels. Should the key be inserted and turned at a particular state, then the steering column will unlock. However, if the key is not turned, then the vehicle’s steering column will lock in the same fashion, as if the car key wasn’t inserted at all. The car key inside that is not turned is not any different than a key that isn’t inserted into the ignition. Therefore, you need to ensure that the steering wheel isn’t locked, once you take the car key out.
You Have a Dead Car Battery
A dead car battery is something that newer vehicle owners experience. As a safety feature, these newer vehicles will lock the key up, should the car battery fail to put out necessary power for the vehicle. Since most new vehicles are controlled by computer, the computer of the vehicle will lock the key in place if the system should stop receiving power from the vehicle’s battery. If this is your circumstance, you can evaluate the status of your battery, by turning on the headlights or your vehicle’s radio. Do the lights or the radio fail to come on, then your car battery is out. This is why you’re unable to take the car key out. Instead of forcing the key out and risk damaging your key and car, just wait for a jump or just replace your car battery.
You Have a Faulty Ignition Mechanism
You have tried just about everything and you are still unable to get your car key out of the ignition. There’s a possibility that you have an issue with your vehicle’s ignition assembly. If this is the issue, then there is nothing for you to do, but to call a professional auto mechanic. PLEASE do not force the key out. You risk damaging the key as well as further damaging your ignition assembly. Many times, your car may be in park and the key refuses to come out. Cycling the shifter though other gears and then coming back to the park position may remedy the problem. Lots of times, the position of the car key gets stuck, releasing it like there was some kind of obstruction.
What Can I Do When My Key Is Stuck in the Ignition Lock?
Check out few things you can do, when your key is stuck in the ignition.
Make Sure That You Have A Fully Charged Battery
Perhaps your car key is stuck in the ignition due to a battery that has low voltage or is completely dead. in this case, you want to make sure that your car battery is charged and has been charging for a considerable length of time. A battery with low voltage can cause your vehicle’s ignition to lock and not release the key.
Check To See If The Shifter Is In The Park Position
Do you have an automatic car? Then you want to make sure that your car is in the park position, before you attempt to remove the key out of the ignition. You may also have a faulty shifter switch. This may trick the car into “thinking” that the shifter is in a different position, than the position it is actually in.
Look To See If Your Keyway is Blocked
Sometimes, your car key is stuck in the ignition due to there being some sort of obstruction prohibiting the smooth movement of your car key being able to engage with the ignition cylinder. Your ignition cylinder has to be free of dirt and debris. Sometimes we as drivers and car owners can neglect this. There can be lots of grime and overall buildup that accumulates over time, and poses a potential hazard for the day-to-day operations of your car key going smoothly in to the ignition. Be sure that you keep your keyway free of debris and grime. Perhaps you can remember to clean the keyway, each time you get your car washed, or on a weekly or monthly basis.