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Here’s What To Do When You Have an Ignition Problem

When you have a key that is stuck in the ignition, it is never a good sign. If you have a key that is stuck and it won’t move either to the left or to the right, this problem is magnified. Don’t worry; there is something that you can do about this. At Locksmith Service Chicago Heights in Chicago, IL, we know that there are many motorists who wouldn’t know the first thing to do if this were to happen to them. That is why we are providing you with this important information. We want you to be fully prepared to address this issue. Despite what you think, this is not an uncommon problem. It happens to motorists more times than you might know.

Common reasons why this might happen:

  • You may have the incorrect key in the ignition. It is possible that you managed to get the wrong key inside your vehicles ignition without even realizing it.
  • If you have a dead battery it could prevent you from being able to move the key in the ignition. The only way to release the key is to have the battery charged or changes (if necessary).
  • You may have a small imperfection in the key. It could be bent slightly without your even knowing it. To you, the key may look fine but in reality, it isn’t.
  • If you have your vehicle in the wrong position it will not enable you to remove the key. It should be in the PARK position if you are trying to remove the key from the ignition.
  • You may have inserted the key with force causing it to enter at the wrong angle. This will inevitably cause problems when you are trying to remove the key.
  • When there is dirt on the key, it could prevent the key from easily coming out of the ignition.
  • There might be a sensor in the transmission that is malfunctioning. This will prevent it from sending the right signal to the column lock thus causing the key to become stuck.
  • You might have internal damages. The tumbler might bind inside the ignition and the springs will not push it out.
  • You could have a wheel lock cylinder that is worn out. If this is the case then you’ll have to have a new one installed.
  • There may be a loose cable in the dashboard or the ignition. This will need to be replaced in order for you to remove the key from the ignition.
  • The anti-theft device might be damaged or faulty. This is sure to prevent you from being able to remove the key.
  • If your key should happen to break in the ignition then you’ll definitely experience trouble when trying to remove it.
All is not lost because you can always contact a locksmith to help you extract the key from the ignition. However, if you want to see what you can do before you contact a locksmith. There are some steps that you can take to see if you’re able to safely remove the key.
  • Check to make sure that the key is in the right position. Again, if your key is in gear and not in the PARK position then it will not release the key. When you have a cylinder that is worn, it is easy to turn the key beyond the right point. This often occurs when a motorists has too many things on their key chain. These heavy objects cause pressure on the cylinder and should be avoided if possible. You can try to push the key in and rotate it forward to see if it will come out. In some cases, this is enough to effectively remove the key.
  • Check to see that your battery isn’t dead. In most vehicles, a dead battery will prevent you from being able to remove the key from the ignition. If you have your battery jumped and it still will not release your key from the ignition then it is likely time to replace your vehicle battery.
  • If your steering wheel is locked then the ignition switch will not release your key. You don’t want to pull on the key too hard because you could make matters worse by breaking it off in the ignition. You should avoid this if at all possible. You’ll want to attempt to see if you can get the key to move slightly. While trying to move the key, hold on to it with your other hand on the steering wheel. Gently try to extract the key while trying to turn the steering wheel to unlock it. If you are able to successfully unlock it then you’ll be able to remove the key.
  • Lubricated keys are far easier to extract. You can spray a small amount of electrical cleaner inside the ignition to lubricate it. If the key doesn’t immediately come out then chances are that you’ll need to do it again. However, be careful that you don’t apply too much and that you don’t pull too hard on the key. Remember, you must avoid breaking it off if you don’t want the situation worse than it is.

If you have decided that you want to do the above before contacting a locksmith, then we encourage you to do so but be very careful not to jerk the key out or pull too hard. We understand how easy it is to do this, especially when you are frustrated. This is why it is sometimes in your best interest simply to rely on the services of a Chicago Heights locksmith who can effectively and quickly extract the key from the ignition.

If you decide to contact a locksmith, make sure they are reputable and trustworthy. You wouldn’t want to hire a locksmith that wasn’t responsive to the needs of their customers, as this can only contribute to your level of frustration.