Car is Not In Park

Regardless of how the key got stuck in the ignition, the issue now is how to get the key out of the ignition. Whether or not you can get the key out of the ignition depends on whether there is some part of the key sticking out of the ignition or not.

A few words of caution are necessary in order to avoid expensive damage to your car. Don’t panic and try to fool with the ignition.

  • Don’t spray lubricant into the ignition as this can cause bigger problems like requiring the ignition switch to be replaced.
  • Don’t stick things into the ignition beside the key part to try to pry the key out. Again, this can cause bigger problems that may require replacing the ignition switch.

If some fragment or part of the key is sticking out of the ignition, you may be able to remove the key yourself. You will need a pair of needle nose pliers to grab the end of the key fragment firmly and pull it gently out of the ignition switch. Asyouarepulling, if the key starts to move smoothly out, continue to pull carefully until the key clears the ignition. If at any time the key starts to stick, stop pulling and don’t force it.

If you cannot see any part of the key sticking out of the ignition, you will not be able to remove the key yourself. You will probably want to call a professional locksmith that specializes in automotive issues.

An Automotive locksmith will have the experience and the correct tools to get deep into the ignition and push the pins out of the way in order to get the remaining key fragment and pull it out. If they are not able to pull the key fragment out, they may be able to mechanically turn the ignition switch and then retrieve the fragment of the key out of the lock.

You will also need the locksmith to make a new key for your car and it is a good idea to get a spare key made to have on hand for emergencies in the future. An experienced Automotive locksmith can make a duplicate key using your car’s VIN number.

Our Automotive Locksmiths specialize in solving problems with automotive keys, locks and ignition lock cylinders for all makes and models of automobiles. We are mobile and can come to your home or office to remove a broken key and provide a replacement key.

If you overturn the steering wheel while parking and turning off the engine, the steering wheel position can lock the ignition. Get a firm hold on the steering wheel and jerk it to the right or left to release the ignition lock.

Key Broke Off in the Ignition


Many of the newer smart cars will not let you remove the key from the ignition unless the car is put in park. It is a safety measure.

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Steering Wheel in the Wrong Position

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A key can break off inside of an ignition for several reasons:

  • The key has worn down due to constant wear and tear.
  • The lock needs lubrication and is causing grinding on the key each time you turn the car on or off.
  • Your key failed to turn in the ignition, so you kept applying pressure to make it turn.
  • You mistakenly inserted the wrong key into the ignition and you tried to pull it out.

Key is In the Wrong Position

Nothing is more frustrating than car and car key problems. Usually, you don’t find out you have a car or car key problem until you are in your car trying to start your car and go somewhere or, your have arrived somewhere and you are trying to turn your car off and remove the keys. What if you can’t get our keys out of the ignition?

 If your key won’t come out of the ignition, there isn’t any reason to panic. Sometimes, this can be easily fixed.

Sometimes you can actually turn the key too far and the car hasn’t really turned off and you can’t remove the key. Make sure the key is lined up in the OFF position. 

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