How to Deal with the Car Key Sticking in the Ignition
As people drive their cars on the way in daily life, they may meet different kinds of problems about the vehicle. For example, some people may meet the situation that their car key is sticking in the ignition key hole. They often feel confused about this emergent situation and want to know how to deal with the problem.
The Causes of the Car Key Sticking in the Ignition
Knowing the cause of a key sticking in an ignition is the best way to discover the solution. There are countless causes for a key sticking in an ignition, but they more or less fit into three primary categories.
Either something is blocking the inside of the keyway, the key has worn down (so it is no longer the correct shape), or the ignition is too damaged. To figure out which issue you are facing, look at the circumstances that lead to each type of break and the symptoms of each.
Dirt and grime can build up in an ignition cylinder, which decreases the space the key has to move in the keyway. Debris builds up slowly or suddenly, depending on what gets tracked in on the key or if you have sprayed the cylinder with an oil-based lubricant.
This type of build-up can also make it difficult to insert your car key into the ignition. If your key is sticking in the ignition and not sliding in properly, something might be blocking the keyway. You will need lubrication for minor blockage and cleaning for severe blockage.
2. Key Wear
A key turns a lock based on how its specific shape fits a lock. And when a key deforms or wears down, that shape can change to the point where it no longer fits the lock. This is a common reason for motorcycle key replacement, but car keys can also lose their shape.
Key wear can happen very slowly, with each insertion and removal grinding the metal smoother and reshaping it. If you have a new car key, it can be damaged fast if the metal is too soft or malleable. A key can bend slightly, almost unnoticeably, and it will stop working correctly.
You can look at your key and check to see if it is straight. Feel the grooves on the blade to check how smooth they’ve become. If the key can be inserted two ways, flip it, and see if the problem is more pronounced on one side versus the other.
3. Ignition Damage
Separate from blockage, the ignition can jam due to components breaking. Many keyed ignitions use wafer locks, which use springs and wafers that can corrode and wear out, just like a metal key. Breaking or misshaping can change tolerances enough, so the key has issues.
The cam or tailpiece can also get hung up, so the cylinder does not rotate correctly. And as a safety precaution, car ignitions retain the key until the cylinder rotates fully to the LOCK position. If that rotation is thrown off, the key will stick into the ignition until it is turned properly.
When your troubleshooting rules out blockage and any wear to the car key, the next step is to remove the ignition cylinder and look for what could be damaged. You may need a locksmith to find out what is damaged and the extent if you are unclear how the cylinder is meant to function.
The top solution for a car ignition sticking is dependent on the problem it is trying to solve. An issue with the cylinder cannot be fixed by addressing the key and vice versa. The best fix starts by zeroing in on your problem. If you meet other car door locks problem, you can Buy Car Locksmith Tools and try to fix the problems by yourself instead of calling for professional locksmiths.