What To Do When Your Key Gets Stuck In Your Ignition

Posted on: 30 August 2016


When you put your key into the ignition of your vehicle, you are supposed to be able to easily and smoothly turn the key and start your vehicle. If your key is getting stuck every time you try to either remove the key from the ignition or put the key into the ignition, you need to clean your ignition mechanism. This is a simple do-it-yourself job that anyone should be able to accomplish. 

Gather Your Supplies

You only need a few simple supplies for this project such as:

  • dish soap
  • bristle brush
  • lubricant
  • can of compressed air. 

Cleanse Your Key

The first thing you need to do is clean your key, since the issue may be with your key itself and not the ignition. 

If you have a non-electronic key, soap the entire key in a bowl of warm water and dish soap for a couple of minutes. If you have an electronic key, hold the non-electronic components of the key in a bowl of warm water and dish soap for a couple of minutes; do not emerge the electrical components in the water. 

Once your key has soaked, use your bristle brush to gently scrub along the grooves of your key. This should dislodge any stubborn dirt that is stuck to your key. 

When you have thoroughly scrubbed your key, rinse it off with some clean water. Then, use a lint-free cloth to dry off your keys and allow your keys to air dry. If your key now works seamlessly in your ignition, you don't need to proceed with the rest of the cleaning instructions.

Dust Your Ignition Mechanism

If your key is still getting stuck, you need to dust inside of your ignition, which is where the can of compressed air comes in. Use the wand from the can of compressed air and put it right next to the entrance to the ignition.

Then, hold the trigger on the compressed air and allow the air to spray into the ignition mechanism. You should move the wand around so that the air really gets into the ignition mechanism and cleans it off. This entire process should only take somewhere around ten to fifteen seconds as compressed air is very strong and works quickly. The compressed air should dislodge anything that is stuck inside there. Wipe down the outside with a lint-free cloth. 

Lubricate Your Ignition Mechanism

Once you have cleaned all the dust out of your ignition, you are going to want to lubricate it. In order to get lubrication inside of the ignition mechanism, you are going to need your key. Take your key and spray a light dusting of lubrication on all sides of it. Then insert it straight in and out of your ignition a couple of times.

Respray your key lightly with the lubrication, and this time move your key around in your ignition and start your vehicle. This should solve any remaining issues you have with getting your key into your ignition and getting your car onto the road. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Jim's Garage Inc.