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Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Locksmith Information |

What Should I Do When My Key Gets Stuck In The Ignition?

What Should I Do When My Key Gets Stuck In The Ignition?

Admittedly, one of the most frustrating problems among motorists is an ignition key that will neither turn, nor come out of the ignition cylinder. Such scenarios not only leave the motorist stranded as the car cannot be started or stopped, they also pose a potential for danger especially on motorways. Several solutions could help the motorist who asks what to do when their key gets stuck in the ignition. And if you happen to be in Atlanta or surround areas, check out the website of ATL Locksmith Pros.

Check the ignition key’s position.

More often than not, the key gets stuck in the ignition because the motorist did not check its position. Whether in a hurry or just new to driving, a motorist is prone to mistake the key’s position leading to it getting stuck if it is not in the aDoff’ position. Some motorists turn the key from the allIstart’ position and exceed the aDoff’ position where the key is supposed to come out of the ignition cylinder. One characteristic of this problem is the inability of the key to come out of the ignition cylinder while the radio can still play. Therefore, the motorist must check that the key is in the correct position before making any further attempts to remove it from the ignition cylinder.

Check the steering wheel lock mechanism.

Most modern cars come equipped with a steering wheel lock mechanism that locks it in place before the ignition key can be removed from its cylinder. Due to wear and tear or damage to its pressure lock device, the wheel locking mechanism might not apply enough pressure to enable the steering wheel to lock. Consequently, the key cannot be removed from the ignition cylinder. In such cases, the motorist should jiggle the wheel or turn it forcefully until they hear the click which indicates it has locked.

Check the battery.

dead-batteryMost modern cars combine the wheel locking mechanism with the electrical system to ensure that the key can only be removed from the ignition cylinder after both have engaged or shut off. In some cars, the battery having insufficient charge to initiate the car’s secondary security measures, such as an alarm system, might prevent the key from moving out of the ignition cylinder. In such cases, the motorist should check that the steering locking mechanism is locked in place, before checking if the battery is flat. Should the battery be flat or have insufficient charge, the motorist should use jumper cables and another motorist’s battery to charge it enough for the key to be able to move out of the ignition cylinder.

Gently tapping on the ignition cylinder face or key itself.

ignition-cylinder-1Some older car models depend on ignition cylinders whose interior mechanisms resemble those used in door locks and padlocks. In such circumstances, one of the tumblers might lock in place preventing the key from coming out of the ignition cylinder. Similarly, a spring in the ignition cylinder might be inadequately depressed by the key meaning it cannot fully emerge from its position in the cylinder. In such cases, the motorist should use a small hammer or flat metallic surface to gently tap on the ignition cylinder face. If this fails to work, the motorist can gently tap on the key itself to see if either the tumblers of springs can be shocked into releasing the stuck key. However, the motorist should only use gentle force to avoid breaking the key or damaging the ignition cylinder.

Lubricate the stuck key.

Sometime dirt and grime accumulate in the ignition cylinder causing the ignition key to get stuck. In such circumstances, the motorist should first check for all other potential causes of the key getting stuck before resorting to lubricating it. When lubricating a key stuck in the ignition cylinder of a car, the motorist should always use the prescribed lubricants. These are; electrical contacts cleaner, silicone, or liquid graphite. First, the motorist sprays ample amounts of electrical contact cleaner into the stuck key to remove any grime or dirt. Next, a few drops of either liquid graphite or or silicone are added to lubricate the key which should then be gently removed from the ignition cylinder. If the process fails to work the first time, the motorist should repeat it until the key comes out. However, the motorist should take care not to spill any cleaner or lubricants on the dashboards, floor mats, or upholstery of the car to avoid stains and damage.