How To Remove A Key Stuck In The Ignition

Car Key often stuck in the ignition. It is a very common issue that most vehicle owners face on a daily basis. Though it is not such a big issue, it might create panicking situations at times. Knowing a proper way to pull out the stuck key from the ignition is very important. If not done properly or if you exert extreme force, it can damage the entire ignition cylinder. 


There are multiple reasons for which a key gets stuck inside the ignition. They include dead car batteries, a locked steering wheel, etc. If you want to know about these reasons in detail, click here.  Let us now discuss the ways in which you can pull out the key safely without damaging the ignition system.

Steps to Remove A Key Stuck In The Ignition

Unlock The Steering Wheel

Usually, when you park the car with keys still inside the ignition, the steering wheel gets locked automatically. The key also gets stuck inside the ignition. In order to remove the key, you need to wiggle the steering wheel back and forth for quite some time while trying to pull out the key. If not done properly it could even break the key inside the ignition cylinder.

Use A Jack 

If you are unable to remove the key just by moving the wheel, you can use a jack. Jack up the car so that the wheels are at least 3 to 4 inches above the ground. It would reduce the weight on the wheels. Then follow the same procedure by moving your wheel to remove key stuck in the ignition

Use Ice Cubes

No one used a different key to start the car. But there are instances when people are in a hurry and use a different key to start the car. In that case, using a wrong car key could damage the ignition system as it would not match with the locking pins. Another case could be of using a damaged car key. If you put a damaged car key in the ignition, it could cause damage to the ignition cylinder. In both of these cases removing the car, keys would be a really difficult and troublesome task.

Handle Things Wisely

If you are still unable to remove the keys following the above two methods, you may try a different one. This time you will need a zip bad half full with ice cubes. Crush the ice cubes inside the zip bag for a better result. Now you have to wrap the ice bag around the part of the key that is out in front of you. Ice would contract the metal which would take around 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, try pulling back the key slowly from the ignition.

Hair Dryer Your Last Resort

If all the above methods have failed, there is no need to disappoint yourself. Follow this very last step before calling our expert mechanics for the assistance. You will need an ice bad and a hairdryer for the same. Do not remove the ice bad from the head of the key. All you have to do is use the hairdryer to expand the ignition cylinder through its heat. While the ice bag would contract the metal, the hair dryer would expand the cylinder. This way you would be able to pull out the key safely.


Well, every one of us is not a mechanic. In reality, one should not try to experiment with things on their vehicles. Instead, professional assistance should be called for a quick solution to your problem. Every part of the car has its own importance. If it is mishandled, it could damage other parts as well. 

Hence, in these tricky situations, you are advised to book an appointment with our expert mechanics at GarageOnRoads. We provide 24/7 roadside assistance, Towing Services, Repairing Services, Car Servicing, and much more in various cities of India.


Don’t ruin the condition of your beautiful car by less maintenance and not giving it the care it needs. Contact us through a call on +91-9971800751 or download our mobile app on the Google Play Store

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