Cars are machines. And, as with most machines, they tend to cause more trouble than they are worth, especially if they are not properly maintained; that isn’t to say that proper maintenance will keep all the mishaps away.
Sometimes complications just arise, and there is little you can do about it. Most vehicle owners will attest to the irritation they feel anytime their keys get stuck in the ignition.
This isn’t even that rare a phenomenon and most people are often at a loss. And why wouldn’t they be? Sometimes the key simply refuses to budge, no matter how hard you twist and turn it. In such cases, it is important to proceed with a cool head, even when things seem dire.
Why Getting your Key Stuck in the Ignition Isn’t the End of the World?
The first thing most people do when their keys get stuck in the ignition is to panic, which doesn’t really change anything. The second thing most people do, once the panic fades away, is to call the nearest mechanic.
Where the mechanic proves ineffective, they turn to a locksmith. For the most part, though, these problems are rarely as complex as they might sound. If your key is stuck in the ignition, there are several steps you can take by yourself to remedy the problem, this as opposed to spending money on a mechanic:
The first thing you need to do when your key gets stuck is to check the position. Ensure that the key is in the lock position. There are a lot of drivers that turn their key too far, so much so that it becomes impossible to remove, not because it is stuck but, rather, it is in the wrong position.
This is very common in vehicles where the cylinders have aged, making it that much easier to turn the key beyond the required point. If your car is off but you can still play the radio, then you shouldn’t be surprised to find the key stuck.
You should remember that automatic vehicles will not allow you to remove the key from the ignition if the gear is not in the park position. Most people find that their keys are more than willing to slide out of the ignition when they put their cars in park and turn the key to the proper position.
2). The Steering
The most common solution for a key stuck in the ignition is moving the steering wheel. Gently jiggle the steering wheel back and forth as you try to pull the key out of the ignition.
There are situations where the steering wheel locks in place, this, in turn, causing the ignition switch to lock your key in place. Unlocking the steering system should allow you to safely remove the key from the ignition; though, you shouldn’t pull too hard on the key. Rather, focus your efforts on the steering wheel.
Once the steering unlocks, you should be able to pull the key out.
There are a lot of modern cars that will lock the key in place when the battery dies, primarily because the chip in the key cannot be accurately identified by the car’s anti-theft system. If the dashboard fails to light up when the key is in the On position, you will need to partially charge the battery before the key can be pulled from its position.
4). Bobby Pin
Where these basic solutions to remove stuck keys fail to deliver results, you will have to get creative. It is possible to succeed by using a pair of pliers; though, care is required. You cannot jerk the key from one side to another, lest you cause it to break.
A bobby pin might prove to be more effective, but only if you actually know what you are doing.
If everything fails, this including the use of silicon sprays to get the key free you will have to seek out the services of a professional locksmith. Emergency Locksmiths are the safest option, even safer than you trying to solve the problem yourself.
Because you lack the necessary knowledge, you are likely to cause damage. If you doubt your ability to utilize the approaches above without breaking your key in the ignition, you are better off contacting a Locksmith from the very start.
The right locksmith should be able to successfully remove the key even while telling you why it got stuck in the first place. Be sure to leave the key in lock position while waiting for the locksmith. You do not want to deplete your battery.