Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Hard to get the key out of the ignition

asked by on

My 2007 Chevrolet Equinox will randomly hold onto my key in the ignition, not letting me pull it out unless I jiggle it forever. Sometimes I start the car up and turn it off again to try and get it loose. This is wasteful and a stupid problem to have. Can I fix this without spending a million dollars to replace everything? This car only has 65,000 miles on it, I was expecting to use it for longer before something really broke!

A: This issue can either be caused by an elect...

This issue can either be caused by an electrical or mechanic problem. The mechanical issue can be cause by the key tumblers sticking, preventing the key from coming out. Sometimes spraying some powdered graphite into the ignition cylinder will help this issue, though occasionally the key itself is the problem and needs to be replaced. Another possible issue is a physical obstruction inside the shifter box that will cause the shifter to not fully engage into park and prevent the ignition from turning all the way off, thus locking the key in the cylinder. A defective shift switch can cause the computer to think the ignition is not off, and prevent the key from releasing. This is why you are able to get it out by starting the car and shifting it in and out of gear a few times. Your local dealership will be able to give you a list of recalls and Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) related to this vehicle if you provide your VIN. A certified mechanic service such as YourMechanic may be able to diagnose your ignition key being stuck for you as well.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Truck died after running for 1 min or so and now wont even turn over batt and starter are good

The batteries must actually be tested as good. The cables and connections at the batteries and starter should be clean and tight. Voltage must be present at the small wire at the starter solenoid when the ignition switch is in...

Q: Car makes whirring noise and car doesn't start.

I would have the battery tested by a certified technician such as one from Your Mechanic. It sounds like the battery may be dead but they also need to determine if the charging system is working correctly.

Q: What does the Service Power Steering message mean?

The Service Power Steering message can appear on your driver information center (DIC). When the DIC displays this alert, it means that there is an issue with the power steering system, and the system should be serviced as soon as...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...