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Q: Hard to get the key out of the ignition

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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!

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.

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