Starting up your car is one part of driving that you may rarely think too much about. After all, the whole process of sticking the key in the ignition and turning it is pretty simple when everything goes as planned. Unfortunately, car keys can sometimes get stuck in the ignition switch, which can leave you stranded if you can't get it out. After making sure that your car is in park and that the steering wheel isn't locked up, your next step is to reach out to an auto locksmith that can help you get the key out.
Avoid Making the Key Harder to Retrieve
A stuck car key can invoke a sense of panic. While it might be tempting to try to turn the key harder or yank it out with serious force, these strategies can cause the key to break off. Once this happens, it will be harder for the locksmith to retrieve. Using the wrong strategy can also damage the ignition lock. When you call for auto locksmith services, the person who arrives has special tools that are used for key extraction that reduce the likelihood of causing more damage.
Examine the Key for Damage
Keys are made to smoothly move in and out of the ignition lock cylinder. When one gets stuck, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the key. For instance, the teeth on your key can wear down or warp over time. It is also possible that the key somehow sustained damage while it was in the ignition switch. Ask the locksmith to check out your key. If it is damaged, then you can have a copy made from your spare to prevent the issue from happening again.
Find Out if the Ignition Lock Cylinder Needs Replacement
If you are lucky, then the stuck key did not cause damage to the ignition lock. Yet, it is also possible that the ignition lock cylinder is the cause of the problem. Once the key is removed, the ignition lock cylinder needs to be inspected to check for damage that requires it to be repaired or replaced. This is especially important if the key broke off inside of the cylinder and parts of it could not be retrieved. Making sure that the entire system works properly and that you have a key in good condition helps you feel confident that the issue will not happen again.
If you need help getting your key out, contact services such as Jerry's 24 Hr. Locksmith Service.