It can be a frustrating experience to discover that your car key is stuck in the ignition. However, it is critical to remain calm and take the necessary steps to resolve the problem without causing further harm. We’ll walk you through a series of practical steps to safely remove a stuck car key from the ignition in this article.

Assess the situation

The first step is to assess the situation thoroughly. Determine whether the key is completely stuck in the ignition or is only partially turned. Understanding the nature of the problem will assist you in selecting the best solution.

Check for a worn-out key or ignition

Car keys and ignition mechanisms can wear out over time, making it difficult to insert or remove the key. Examine your key for signs of wear, such as bent or worn-out teeth. In addition, look for any visible signs of wear or obstruction in the ignition cylinder.

Ensure the car is in the correct gear

The car key may become stuck in some cases due to a misalignment between the ignition and the transmission. Before attempting to remove the key, make sure your vehicle is in “Park” or in gear (if it has a manual transmission). If the car is not properly positioned, the key may not come out.

Wiggle and jiggle the key

Wiggling and jiggling the key gently while attempting to pull it out. A slight movement can occasionally free the key from any obstructions or binding points within the ignition cylinder.

Lubricate the ignition

If the key is still stuck, inject a small amount of graphite lubricant into the ignition cylinder. Graphite lubricant is designed specifically for locks and can aid in the removal of any debris or friction that may be causing the key to stick. Oil-based lubricants should be avoided as they may attract more dirt and aggravate the situation.

Use the spare key and call for professional help

If you have a spare key, try starting the vehicle with it. If the spare key works, it means the issue is with the original key. In such cases, it is best to seek the assistance of a professional automotive locksmith or your car dealer.

Avoid forceful removal

Refrain from yanking or twisting the key too hard, as this can severely damage the ignition mechanism. It may also result in a broken key, complicating and increasing the cost of resolving the situation.

Seek professional assistance

If all of your attempts fail, or if the key breaks while you’re attempting to remove it, you must seek professional help. A reputable car dealership or a trained automotive locksmith can provide the expertise required to safely extract the key without causing damage to your vehicle.


Dealing with a stuck car key in the ignition can be a stressful situation, but with the right approach, it can be resolved efficiently. Remember to remain calm, assess the situation, and try the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article. When in doubt or if all else fails, reach out to a professional locksmith or your car dealer for expert assistance.

Marco Auto Locksmith is the leading and most dependable automotive locksmith services provider, with over 15 years of experience in the automotive field, particularly for automotive locksmiths. So, to fix your car’s locking system issues, trust only Marco Auto Locksmith, your Sydney automotive locksmith!