Don’t Panic! How to Get Key Out of Ignition: 7 Simple Solutions

How to Get Key Out of Ignition

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Have you ever experienced the frustration of being stuck with a key in the ignition? You’ve turned the car off and for some reason, your key won’t budge! You’ve probably googled “How to get key out of ignition” and that’s why you’re here. But in reality, it’s a common problem and can be caused by any number of reasons. Before you panic, let’s explore the most common causes of this issue and how to get your key out of the ignition.

Reasons for a Stuck Key in the Ignition

The most common cause for a stuck key is when a car’s gear isn’t set in the park position. This will prevent you from being able to remove the key from your ignition as it won’t have been released from its locking mechanism. Another issue could be that your steering wheel has become locked while turning off your car, which can happen when you move the wheel while turning off your engine. A faulty ignition cylinder or debris on the key can also prevent it from coming out easily. Lastly, if your key is worn or damaged, it may not fit properly into the ignition cylinder and thus not turn fully and release itself upon turning off your car.

how to get key out of ignition

Solutions for How to Get Key Out of Ignition

No need to worry—there are solutions available to get your stubborn key out! Firstly, ensure that you have set your car gear into park position—sometimes shaking the gear selector a little will help with this issue. Also, try jiggling back and forth on the steering wheel while gently pulling on your key at an angle. If these don’t work then check if there is any debris on or around the base of both ends of your keys – try wiping them clean with a damp cloth before trying again. 

If these solutions still don’t work then you could try unlocking your steering wheel if it got locked during the turning-off process (this needs to be done differently depending on make/model). Alternatively, if all lights are still on after you shut off the engine then recharge the battery as this might be stopping power from releasing the lock mechanism in the ignition which prevents the removal of the key. 

Lastly, spray lubricant on the ignition cylinder – this should ease the removal of keys however if all else fails then call a professional locksmith who can repair the ignition and get new replacement keys made. Thankfully, here at Mobile, we provide automotive and emergency locksmith services 24/7, so whenever you find yourself in a tricky situation, you know where to call!


We hope that this blog has helped provide insight into why keys can sometimes become stuck in ignitions as well as potential solutions to help you get them out without breaking anything or needing help from professionals such as locksmiths. The best way to avoid getting stuck with a key in the ignition is by making sure all gears are in park position before shutting down the engine and never moving the steering wheel while shutting down the engine otherwise it can lock up making removing keys harder than usual – so take extra care when turning off engine next time so you won’t have to google “how to get key out of ignition” again! Good luck!