It’s one of the most stressful and frustrating times of a driver’s life: you’re in a hurry, perhaps with a meeting, going to work, or picking up the kids for something. Regardless, you hop into your car only to discover that your key is stuck in the ignition. Making matters worse, you don’t want to leave your car to get help since having the key in the ignition might cause your car to be stolen. You also face the problem of wasting a lot of time by trying to get it out on your own. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to solve the situation.
Check the position of the key. Check the key to make sure that it is in the “off” position. A common problem is to turn the key too far when you turn your car’s engine off. You can usually tell if this is the problem if you can turn your car radio on. If the radio comes on, that means your key is in the “on” position, not “off,” which will keep the key in the ignition. Also, check to make sure that your gear shift is in the “park” position. Otherwise, you will not be able to remove your key from the ignition. Most modern automatic cars will not allow you to remove your key from the ignition in any gear except “park.”
Move the wheel. Another technique to try is to move the steering wheel while trying to remove the key from the ignition. In many cases, the position of the steering wheel will lock the key in the ignition. Further, if this doesn’t work, try rocking the steering column back and forth to see if this releases the key from the ignition.
Check the battery. In some cars, if the battery is dead, you will be unable to remove the key from the ignition. If this is the case, trying to remove the key from the ignition might damage it. As a result, you will want to wait until your battery is recharged, or at least partially recharged before you attempt to remove the key.
Use a bobby pin. If nothing thus far has worked, you might want to consider using other household objects. All modern steering columns have an override that you could use. Find the access point on the steering column, remove the cap, then press the button located underneath the cap with a bobby pin. This releases the override and might allow the key to be removed. If that doesn’t work, find a pair of pliers or vise grips, attach them to the key, and GENTLY move the key forward and backward. There’s a good possibility that this will release the key. You need to be careful when trying this, however, since if you are too forceful with the movement, you could damage your ignition, bringing you more problems than you started with.
Try to loosen the key. Sometimes you can loosen the key from the ignition by using electrical oil, WD40, powdered graphite or a similar product to lubricate it. To do this, simply squirt a small amount gently into the space between the key and the housing of the ignition. Once again, you will want to move the key to see if this works, but when you do, you will want to be gentle so you don’t damage your ignition or break the key off in the lock.
Call a locksmith. If you have tried these suggested methods with no luck, it’s probably time to call a professional locksmith, such as those at (Business name). Even if you are in a hurry, it will pay you not to do something so forcefully that you damage the lock or break the key off in the ignition. This will only leave you in a worse position than you are in now. Even if it does take time for a locksmith to arrive, he will know how to fix the problem in as quick a method as possible, but more importantly, he will be able to do it without causing further–and more expensive–damage to your car’s lock. It is a much simpler option to call a locksmith after you have attempted the methods listed above than to damage your key, the ignition, or even your car in general. A locksmith from (Business name) has not only the expertise, but the experience to remove your key as well as to understand and fix the reason you could not remove it.
Getting your key stuck in the ignition of your car isn’t as simple a problem as it is often assumed to be. Not only that, but add the issue of happening at the most inopportune time, and you could have a serious problem on your hands. Fortunately, with a call to (Business name), you will be on your way in as quick a time as possible, and with a solution to your situation that will probably remedy you from now on.