Key stuck in ignition – Why key won’t turn in ignition?

If you have had your current car for 3 to 4 years, the chances are high that the car Key might be stuck in the ignition once or twice. The key won’t turn in the ignition.

When such a problem occurs, you might be wondering why the key won’t turn in the ignition?

Today, I will share with you the probable reasons and the solution to each of those problems. Consequently, solving the problem of the key not turning in ignition or key being stuck in ignition is highlighted below.

1. Locked steering wheel:

Many times when the steering wheel locks after the key have been taken off from the slot, it might end up locking itself. In that case, when you put the key into the ignition lock, later on, it simply won’t turn.

Fortunately, there is an easier solution to this problem. I will highlight the same below.


To solve this problem, you have to follow the steps below:

• You have to first and foremost move the steering wheel in either direction.
• You have to notice the resistance while moving the steering wheel. You have to keep a note of the direction in which you cannot move the steering wheel.
• You have to move the steering wheel completely to the direction in which you can move it and hold it there.
• You have to turn the key in the direction of the steering wheel.
• In most cases, it will move. If it does not, you have to give a jerk to the steering wheel slightly.
• In case this solution does not work, you have to try and jiggle the key in the slot till it goes.

If the key does not move by this method, you have to try and move it in the opposite direction. It is a method that requires trial and error. Nevertheless, with the help of the solution, you can easily solve the problem of the key being stuck in ignition.

2. Ignition lock jammed:

Many times, the key might not move in the ignition slot because it is jammed up. In that case, lubricating the lock will most likely solve the problem.

However, many car owners think that in such a case, calling a locksmith is a necessity. However, that is not entirely true.

You have to 1st and foremost try and use the lubricant. Only when the lubricant does not solve the problem could you call a locksmith.

Below I will highlight the exact procedure to use a lubricant to free up a jammed ignition lock.


To lubricate the jammed ignition lock, you have to follow the steps below:

• You have to procure things like cloth, key, and lubricant.
• You have to put the lubricant into the ignition cylinder with the help of a spray.
• And after that, you have to use the cloth to wipe out the excessive spray.
• Only once you do so, you have to insert the key and turn it.
• In most cases, the key will turn. If it does not, you have to jiggle it.
• In some cases, the quantity of lubricant might be less. If you feel that the lubricant is less, you have to remove the key and reapply the lubricant. After that, you have to repeat the procedure.

With the help of this step-by-step procedure, lubricating the ignition lock and freeing it up is quite easy.

There is also another reason why the key won’t move in the ignition. I will highlight the cause and solution below.

3. Broken or deformed key:

After years of using a car key, it might so happen that the key might be broken or can be deformed. It might be so deformed that the key won’t turn in ignition lock at one point in time.

When that is the case, there are essentially two solutions that you can opt for. I will highlight both these solutions below.

Solution 1:

Most cars come with a couple of car keys. Sure enough, one will be used dominantly.

When it gets stuck in the ignition cylinder, it is time to compare the two keys. When you compare the two car keys, you will notice the dominantly used car key’s wear and tear.

You should be looking out for things like twists, breaks, or cracks, or vents. If the dominant car key has them, it means that it is not turning on the ignition lock due to wear and tear.

If that is the cause, you can use the spare car key for the time being.

Also, since the spare car key will not be deformed, it will turn instantly in the ignition lock.

It is the simplest solution when the car key won’t turn into the ignition lock.

There is another long-term solution as well. I will highlight this below.

Solution 2:

The 2nd solution which you have is to hire a locksmith to create a new key. In that case, you will not have to worry about relying on the spare key as well. You can keep the spare key for emergencies.

However, for the same, you will have to contact a locksmith and call him/her to the car’s location. That can be expensive.

If you do not want to call a locksmith, you can call the car dealership as well.

The car dealership can also help you buy a new key. It will ensure that you can easily unlock your car. The car dealership always has stock the keys of the most popular car models. That is why you will be able to get the key within an hour if you call the car dealership.

It is up to you to understand whether you want to go with the locksmith or the car dealership. The choice is yours.

Once you replace the key, you will not have to worry about wear and tear and other such problems.

So, if the key won’t turn in the ignition, these are the most likely causes. I have compiled each course with the solution as well. Once you try out the solution, you can certainly eliminate the problem and after that turn on your car once again.

If you want to prevent your car key’s wear and tear, you can store it in a safe place like a magnetic key holder for car. You can read my post here to know more about such boxes.

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