Finding A Solution: Understanding General Car Key Ignition Problems

Worried about sudden car key and ignition problems? Keep reading for a few helpful tips that can help you the next time your car gets stuck.

Understanding General Car Key Ignition Problems

Car problems occur more intensely when you are in a difficult situation. A common culprit behind your car not “igniting” to life can be the car keys or the ignition.

Most of us do not have any expertise in automobiles. When a car component stops working, there is very little we can do to fix the issue, save for calling an expert for help.

However, understanding the problem can help us get the right solution faster and help us figure out who to contact. Here are some general car key ignition problems you might face and their solutions.

Key Stuck In Ignition

A key stuck in the ignition lock is the most common problem we face. It is often difficult to know what is causing this problem. If your key is not turning or coming out of the ignition lock, it might be due to the following issues:

Jammed Ignition Lock

If you have been using one car for years, chances are that your ignition lock is jammed due to being worn out or due to inner build-ups, as it is a difficult area to clean.

You need to use oil to get it moving, however, you need to be careful with what oil you use. Some oil can solidify or add to the inner build-up, causing your ignition lock to become even more jammed.

If you are doing it yourself, be well informed about the oil and its required quantity. However, stay on the safe side and hire a professional if you are unsure.

Car Battery Has Low Charge

If your car battery is down with low voltage, it can cause your car key to stick in the ignition lock. Get your battery charged to see if the problem is occurring due to low voltage.

If you are away from home, you can take jump cables from another car. However, only do this if you know how to do it and feel comfortable doing it. If you don’t have knowledge regarding this or are worried, call a mechanic.

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Jammed or Locked Steering Wheel

The first thing you can do when your ignition key is stuck or not turning is to check whether your steering wheel can turn. If your steering wheel is also stuck, then it means that this is also causing your ignition key problems.

Many cars have the option to lock their steering wheel, and sometimes we might unknowingly trigger that system. If you get out of the car using the steering wheel to keep balance, the force you use might cause the steering wheel to lock. Unlock the steering wheel to solve this issue.

If unlocking doesn’t work, it can mean the steering wheel is jammed. Try wiggling the steering wheel a little on every side, and it might get freed.

Connection Problems

When you are in a rush to get somewhere or you are blocking the way and a line of cars has shown up behind you with anger and honking, that is often the exact time when your vehicle refuses to start.

If you are turning your key and your car doesn’t start, the connection between your ignition system and your engine might have been disconnected.

Your car’s engine control unit is supposed to get a code from your ignition system when you start your car. If it does not get the signal to get things moving, you need to re-establish the connection.

Car Key Is Rusty Or Corroded

Your car key is made with material that holds well against the trials of time. However, too much wear and tear can cause it to corrode. If you leave your key around without use for too long, it can also get rusty.

If your car refuses to start with your worn-out car key or the car key is not moving in the ignition, replace it. There is no other way to fix a damaged key, save for getting a new one made. A car locksmith can get you another key.

If your rusty key still works, consider replacing it as rust can make metal brittle and prone to breaking.

Car Key Bent Or Broken

A bent key can be a huge problem, especially when you can’t put it in the lock. We do not suggest that you try to fix it yourself. If a key is bent, chances are it has gotten damaged, so trying to fix it might cause it to break completely.

One day, you were particularly angry and you turned your key with a little too much force and snap! Not only is your key broken, but it is also stuck inside the ignition lock.

Try taking it out with small pliers. If that doesn’t work, try putting some super glue or putty on the top of the plier. Latch on to the broken bit and keep holding if you are using super glue.

Contact a locksmith to get your bent key fixed or your broken key replaced to be on the safe side.

Key Is Unavailable

Did you lose your key or got stuck outside with your car key inside your car? If your car key is unavailable or even temporarily unavailable, it is wise to call for help.

Not everyone can use bobby pins to open a locked car, and many cars these days don’t even require you to put in the key to unlock the doors. So, contact a locksmith and get your key replaced.


If you have a car key ignition problem, chances are that something has gone wrong. If your problem can’t be fixed following the above solutions, don’t shy away from contacting a mechanic.

If your car key needs to be replaced, contact a locksmith and replace it. And, always remember to check whether or not you are putting in the right key!

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