We’ve all been there – that heart-sinking moment when you try to turn your car key in the ignition, and it won’t budge. Whether you’re rushing to get somewhere or frustrated by the inconvenience, a stuck car key can be a real headache. Fortunately, there are simple and practical solutions to get your key out of the ignition without giving rise to further damage. This article explores five solutions to tackle this common problem and quickly get you back on the road.

5 Key Ways to Handle Stuck Car Keys

Following are the ways one can adopt in case of such an emergency;  

Key Extraction

Extraction becomes crucial when faced with a broken key lodged in the ignition. Professional locksmiths are equipped with the expertise and tools to carefully remove broken keys without causing damage to the ignition or other components. 

Ignition Repair

In cases where the ignition has sustained damage due to a broken key, repair or replacement might be required. Suppose the broken key has caused internal damage to the ignition components, such as tumblers or the ignition cylinder. In that case, professional locksmiths can assess the extent of the damage and suggest appropriate repair measures.

Check Damage to Additional Components

In cases of broken key extraction, the focus is not solely on the key or the ignition. Locksmiths also consider the potential damage to additional components, such as locks on car doors. If the key breakage occurs within the lock, locksmiths can extract the broken key pieces without causing damage to the lock itself. However, if the lock mechanism was compromised during the extraction process or was already damaged, locksmiths can address these issues as part of their comprehensive service.


Lubrication plays a pivotal role in preventing and resolving broken keys. Regularly applying a dry silicone spray or a suitable lubricant to the keyhole can enhance the smoothness of key insertion and turning, reducing the likelihood of key breakage. In cases of a stuck or broken key, locksmiths may apply lubricants to aid extraction, making it easier to manipulate and remove broken key pieces from the lock or ignition.

Call A Locksmith

Calling an automobile locksmith is often the most secure and effective solution for dealing with broken keys. Locksmiths possess the expertise, specialized tools, and techniques to extract broken keys, assess damage, and determine whether ignition repair or replacement is necessary. Removing a broken key without the proper tools and experience can lead to further damage and complications. Locksmiths can provide timely and reliable services to resolve the issue and ensure the continued functionality and security of your vehicle’s ignition system.

Other Important Solutions

In addition to the ones mentioned above, here are a few other essential and simple solutions one can try in an emergency;

1. Unlock the Steering Wheel

One of the most common reasons for a stuck key in the ignition is a locked steering wheel. Many vehicles have a steering wheel locking mechanism that engages when the wheel is turned too far to the left or right. It can prevent the key from turning or being removed. To unlock the steering wheel, turn it in the opposite direction of the lock while attempting to turn the key. This action should release the lock and allow you to remove the key effortlessly.

2. Jiggle the Key

Sometimes, a little jiggling can go a long way. Gently push down on the key cylinder with your left index finger while using your right hand to jiggle the key. This movement can help loosen the springs and pins inside the cylinder, making removing the key from the ignition easier.

3. Check the Gear Selector

Before removing the key, ensure your car is in park or neutral. Some vehicles require this position for the key to be released. The key may become stuck if the gear selector needs to be adequately engaged. Ensure the car recognizes that it’s in the correct gear, and then try removing the key again.

Read More: What To Do If You Get Locked Out Of Your House?


A stuck key in the ignition is an annoying setback, but with these five fast solutions, you can instantly resolve the issue and return to your day. Remember to stay calm, use gentle techniques, and address any underlying problems to prevent future occurrences. If you cannot remove the key, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to ensure a secure and effective resolution. 

Ready to reclaim your car key? Explore quick fixes to unstuck that ignition key and get back to driving smoothly. Contact The NYC Locksmith at (646) 762-9069.

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