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Need an auto locksmith? What to do when you break your car key or get it stuck

Sales Galmier - Friday, April 20, 2018


You never think it’ll happen to you… until, of course, it does.

You might be walking to your car after a long day at work, dropping the week’s groceries off back to your parking spot or rushing out to complete an errand you completely forgot about.

You reach your car and jam the keys into the ignition chamber.

That’s funny. The key isn’t turning.

You pull it out and try again. 

This time, the key is stuck!

When you lose your keys, your next course of action is pretty straightforward - you need to get a new car key cut. If you’re ahead of the curve, you might already have a plan in place (a plan which involves calling Galmier’s auto locksmith for rapid car key replacement when all are lost!)

But stuck or broken keys in the ignition is a much rarer occurrence. However, having said that, it of course happens.

For many, the first reaction is shock. “Keys aren’t meant to break!” you think to yourself. “And they’re not meant to get stuck either... well, unless it’s the wrong one, but this one’s definitely the correct key!”

Once the shock wears off however, what are you meant to do? 


Broken Car Keys - Auto Locksmith Moorabbin


How could this happen to me? Stuck key in ignition

We know what you’re thinking. Does it really matter why your key is stuck?

And our answer is an emphatic “yes!”

Not only is it good to know, but the exact cause also determines what type of fix you need. For instance, your keys might be stuck due to:

Problems with your car

In some cases, the problem can be traced back to a problem with your car itself. While there are many components in your ignition that can cause issues, your steering wheel can also present issues!

Let us explain: whether you drive a Holden, Ford or a luxury car, removing the keys in the vast majority of cars also locks the steering wheel in place.

Problems with your keys

This one might sound like no-brainer. But think about this: how often do you actually look at your keys?

Even though you use them every day, it’s quite easy to not notice a subtle or some slightly worn out teeth.

Problems with your ignition

In other cases, your keys might be stuck due to a problem with your ignition cylinder.

It could be a case of something else getting stuck in there. In other cases, it might be the springs that push your ignition pins into position failing.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same: your keys are stuck!


What to do when… your key snaps in the ignition

Let’s say you’re in a rush to get somewhere. You unlock your car and jam the keys into your ignition, and attempt to turn the lock.


Due to extreme force, your keys have broken off in the ignition.

While less common, broken keys are another never-ending source of trouble for drivers.

Depending on where your key snapped, you might be able to save things yourself!

If your key has broken near the top, you might be able to jimmy them out with a pair of pliers and some patience.

Other times however, you won’t be that lucky.

When the key snaps off towards the bottom, your chances of removing it on your own are almost non-existent.

Sure, you can try to pry the broken part of your key out using a flathead screwdriver. But there’s no guarantee of success with this option - worse, you could easily permanently damage your ignition.

If you ask us, it’s just not worth it. Call an auto locksmith instead.


What to do when… your key gets stuck in the ignition

If your key is simply stuck however, you have a range of options!

Your first reaction might be to gently jiggle your keys. In some situations, this might be all you need - the mistake many make however is jiggling your keys too hard!

Instead of losing your temper at your key, apply pressure to your lock cylinder with one hand and softly jiggle the key with your free hand. While it won’t always work, you might catch a lucky break.

If you’re wary of causing further damage (like ending up with a snapped key in the ignition), we urge you to call a mobile locksmith who can come to you!


Broken Car Keys - Auto Locksmith Moorabbin


There’s only one foolproof solution: call an auto locksmith!

When you try to DIY in these situations, you can easily end up making your situation even worse than it already is. And when that happens, you’ll have to call a professional anyway!

Even if you do succeed by yourself, that doesn’t change the fact that your ignition might be faulty or the fact that you’re still stranded without a key.

That’s where a licensed auto locksmith comes into the picture.

An auto locksmith comes in and fixes your car key problems on-the-spot. With years of experience working with all sorts of cars and keys, you can trust your local auto locksmith to:

Galmier Locksmiths - Bayside’s leading auto locksmith

Our mobile locksmith service is proud to offer on-the-spot fixes and a quick turnaround. We even offer after-hours service for when your keys fail after work!

Give us a call on 0407 022 234 or reach out to us using this contact form to fix your broken car keys and get back on the road sooner!