Key is Stuck in Ignition: How to Remove a Broken Car Key and Replace Ignition Switches

Have you ever experienced the frustration of your car key getting stuck in the ignition? This can be a major inconvenience, especially if you’re in a rush to get somewhere. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss how to remove a broken car key and replace ignition switches.

How to Remove a Broken Car Key

If your key is stuck in the ignition, the first thing you should do is try to remove it carefully.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Turn Off the Car: Make sure your car is turned off completely. This will help prevent any damage to the ignition switch.
  2. Wiggle the Key: Try gently wiggling the key back and forth to see if it will come out. Do not force the key as this may cause it to break off in the ignition.
  3. Use Lubricant: If wiggling the key doesn’t work, try using a lubricant such as WD-40 to help loosen the key. Spray the lubricant into the keyhole and wait a few minutes before attempting to remove the key again.
  4. Use Pliers: If the key is still stuck, try using a pair of pliers to grip the key and gently pull it out. Be careful not to twist or turn the key as this may cause it to break off.
  5. Call a Professional: If all else fails, it’s best to call a professional locksmith to remove the key safely.

Replacing Ignition Switches

If your car key is stuck in the ignition because of a faulty ignition switch, you may need to replace it.

Here’s how to replace the ignition switch:

  1. Disconnect the Battery: Before you begin, disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical hazards.
  2. Remove the Steering Column Cover: Use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the steering column cover and gently pull it off.
  3. Locate the Ignition Switch: The ignition switch is typically located near the steering column.
  4. Disconnect the Wires: Carefully disconnect the wires from the ignition switch. Take note of where each wire is connected so you can reconnect them properly later.
  5. Remove the Ignition Switch: Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the ignition switch in place and gently pull it out.
  6. Install the New Ignition Switch: Place the new ignition switch in the same position as the old one and screw it in place.
  7. Reconnect the Wires: Reconnect the wires to the new ignition switch, making sure to connect them in the correct order.
  8. Replace the Steering Column Cover: Place the steering column cover back in place and screw it in place.
  9. Reconnect the Battery: Finally, reconnect the battery.

Car Keys Don’t Turn in Ignition

If your car keys don’t turn in the ignition, it may be due to a few different reasons.

Here are some common causes:

  1. Steering Wheel Lock: If your steering wheel is locked, your key won’t turn in the ignition. Try gently turning the steering wheel back and forth while turning the key to unlock it.
  2. Dead Battery: If your car battery is dead, your key won’t turn in the ignition. Try jump-starting your car to see if this resolves the issue.
  3. Faulty Ignition Switch: If your ignition switch is faulty, your key won’t turn in the ignition. Follow the steps above to replace the ignition switch.


Q: Can a broken key be repaired?

A: In most cases, a broken key cannot be repaired. It will need to be replaced with a new one.

Q: Can I remove a stuck key?

A: Yes, you can try removing a stuck key using the steps mentioned above. If these steps don’t work, it’s best to call a professional locksmith.

Q: How much does it cost to replace an ignition switch?

A: The cost of replacing an ignition switch can vary depending on the make and model of your car and the location of the repair shop. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 for the replacement.

People Also Ask

Q: How do I prevent my key from getting stuck in the ignition?

A: One way to prevent your key from getting stuck in the ignition is to avoid using too much force when turning the key. Additionally, keeping your key and ignition clean and free from debris can help prevent this issue.

Q: What should I do if my car key breaks off in the ignition?

A: If your car key breaks off in the ignition, do not try to remove it yourself. Call a professional locksmith who can safely remove the key without causing any further damage to the ignition.

Q: Can I replace my car keys myself?

A: In some cases, you may be able to replace your car keys yourself using a key cutting machine. However, this can be difficult and requires a certain level of expertise. It’s best to have a professional locksmith handle this task for you.

Q: Why won’t my car start even though the key turns in the ignition?

A: There are several reasons why your car may not start even though the key turns in the ignition. Some common causes include a dead battery, faulty starter motor, or clogged fuel filter. It’s best to have a mechanic diagnose and repair the issue.


A stuck key in the ignition can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but it’s not impossible to resolve. By following the steps outlined above, you can remove a broken key and replace the ignition switch if necessary. If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own, don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith or mechanic for assistance. Remember, regular maintenance and upkeep of your car’s ignition can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Our technicians are equipped with masks and gloves complying with health and safety regulations.
This is default text for notification bar