Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Ignition locked up after the car sat for two months

asked by on

I didn't drive my car for two months. The other day, I tried to start it up. The battery died out. The key wouldn't come out of the ignition. I had the battery replaced and after that evrything seems to work inside the car, except for the ignition which seemed to be locked up. I still couldn't get the key out. I need some advice on what to do now. The car had no issues before and ran great. What could cause this? What should I do to restart it? Thank you.

You may be experiencing a faulty ignition lock cylinder. This is the part that is responsible for locking the steering wheel and the ignition switch without the key in the ignition. If this part fails, the key may not turn, the steering wheel may remain locked, the vehicle may not start, or in your case the key may get stuck in the ignition.

You can try to wiggle the steering wheel back and forth quickly while simultaneously attempting to pull the key out. It may also help if the brake pedal is depressed while attempting this. If this does not work, the ignition lock cylinder may require replacement. If this is the case, the new lock cylinder will come with brand new ignition keys. Be sure to have this job done by an experienced professional as it is really easy to make a mistake when installing an ignition switch.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Ignition pin actuator assembly needs replacing

I believe you may be referring to the ignition switch. I would first return to the place that changed your oil to see if somehow they made a mistake that prevented your vehicle from starting. If they have not made...

Q: 05 Jeep liberty wont roll

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be having transmission or transfer case problems. We know the engine runs, but it's power is being lost between the engine and the wheels. An inspection of th vehicle is going...

Q: Rear window not going up

Having a window that will not roll up is always a frustrating experience for a car owner. There could be a different few reasons as to why the rear window in your Cadillac is refusing roll up. A faulty window...

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...