Jeep Key Stuck in Ignition: How to Deal With It?

A Jeep’s key helps to start the ignition and start the vehicle. But this process gets tough if the key gets stuck in the ignition. You’ll face a hard time with a stuck key. Have you ever thought about why a stuck key in the Jeep’s ignition?

Wheel lock, not parking the Jeep, driving on hills, expired battery, faulty ignition cylinder, damaged key, dirt on the key, and TSB issues are responsible for a stuck key in the Jeep’s ignition. You can fix these issues by shaking the steering, jiggling the ignition, and other ways.

Recovering a stuck key is pretty easy but retrieving a broken key is a pain. You must know how to use jigsaw blades, key extractors, and tweezers to pull out the broken key.

Reasons Behind A Stuck Key In Ignition

Like other vehicles, a Jeep has the exact reasons behind a stuck key, and sometimes you might need to unlock your Jeep without a key if you are in that unusual condition. But some of these signs are unique, while some are common. Here, we’ll discuss both types of symptoms of a stuck key in the ignition of a Jeep.

Leaving The Jeep Unparked

If you’ve put your Jeep in gear and tried to take out the key, the key stays stuck and shuts off the Jeep. This is because most modern Jeeps are automatic and equipped with a lock that prevents your Jeep from rolling away.

As stated earlier, you must park the car before taking out the key. Otherwise, pulling out the key from the ignition will be difficult.

Wheel Lock

Most Jeeps have the wheel lock feature to ensure jeep safety. The steering lock is activated if you turn it a little while turning off your Jeep. Consequently, you’ll fail to get the key out of the ignition, and the traction control light will be on.

The ignition cylinder lock and the wheel lock work simultaneously when moving the wheel. As a result, the wheel gets locked. You’ll face this issue more while driving on a hill.

Defective Ignition Lock Cylinder

The ignition lock cylinder is a very sensitive part of the Jeep. Its efficiency decreases with time. But it can go bad if you roughly use it. Finally, a stuck key is the ultimate result of this action.

Damaged Battery

There are many ways to explain the damaged battery situation. The first one is that the battery gets really old. Hence, the charge drains faster than usual. The next one is that it might be a default issue.

The manufacturer sometimes forgets to check out all the batteries before installing them. As a result, the battery fails to provide enough power. Finally, resulting in a stuck key in the ignition.

A half-charged diehard or interstate battery can’t deliver enough voltage to the Jeep responsible for the stuck key or voltage regulator issues.

Dirty Key

It’s not surprising people use their car keys as an unboxing tool. So, many things get attached to the key, making it dirty.

Finally, the key gets stuck in the Jeep’s ignition when you’re trying to take it out or at least makes jeep key fob problems. The key sticking matter gets even worse if tapes are glued to it.

Broken Key

Well, Jeep keys are made of metal. So, it will wear out with time during use. In addition, it becomes rusty and gets bent if you roughly use the key.

Sometimes, unwanted cracks form around the key, another reason behind a stuck key in the ignition.

Technical Service Bulletin

Technical service bulletin (TSB) is a rare case. But you can cross-check the stuck key issue by putting the VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site. This site will inform you about the faulty ignition with additional Jeep issues.

Ways Of Removing The Key From Ignition

Removing the key from the Jeep’s ignition isn’t a big issue for veteran drivers and mechanics. However, it can be a critical problem for fresh mechanics and new drivers to take out the key from the ignition.

Check out these simple solutions for a stuck key in your Jeep’s ignition.

Enough Battery Voltage

Low battery voltage is a prime reason behind a stuck key in the Jeep’s ignition.

Before applying force to recover the key, inspect if the battery has enough charge. If the battery is charged correctly, the key should come out once you start the Jeep.

Shake The Steering Wheel

Shake the steering wheel a little to remove the key from the ignition. The shake creates enough pressure to make the key come out if the steering wheel is responsible for this issue.

If you’ve parked your Jeep on hills, it’s the best method to pull out the key from the ignition. Follow this method if the wheels are in the same way.

Jiggle The Ignition

Jiggling the ignition for a time may solve the key stuck situation. Next, rotate the key with your hand while applying force on the key cylinder with another hand.

The key should come out in an instant. Remember, this solution may only apply to some types of Jeep models.

Using Shifter Properly

Knowing how to use the shifter can be a game changer while recovering the key from the ignition.

Force the shifter a bit higher to remove the key. Remember to turn the key while doing it smoothly. The key will come out if you see any sign of park failure.

Proper Lubrication

It’s the ultimate way to take out the key from the ignition. Apply lubricant properly on your Jeep’s key and apply gentle force on it. It should come out in an instant.

Don’t apply heavy pressure. Otherwise, you might break it off of the cylinder.

Trouble Code

Use an OBD II scanner to check if any trouble code is causing the key to get stuck in the ignition.

If you’re experienced enough, you can quickly scan and confirm the code. Otherwise, it’s better to ask an expert motorist to perform the process.

How To Retract A Damaged Key From Ignition

How To Retract A Damaged Key From Ignition

Well, the key got broken in the ignition is the worst-case scenario. But, it’s possible to recover the broken key from the ignition.

Learn how to retrieve a broken key from the Jeep’s ignition from this section.


You can use a key extractor to recover the broken key from the ignition. Plus, you can call a locksmith to do it.

There’re various types of key-extracting tools present in the market. You can extract almost any kind of key with these tools.

Jigsaw Blade

A slim jigsaw blade easily fits in the remaining space beside the key. Put the knife inside the chamber and slowly rotate it.

Once it gets attached to the key’s teeth, the key will come out. Apply gentle force to pull out the key from the ignition.


Tweezers follow the same mechanism to retrieve the broken key. However, it fails to recover the key if it has gone too deep inside the chamber. In this case, call an expert locksmith to remove the broken key.

Final Words

The Jeep can’t perform at its peak level for various causes, and a stuck key in the ignition is one of them. Therefore, you must fix the stuck key issue ASAP. Otherwise, it’ll turn into a severe problem in no time.

We hope the analysis of the Jeep key stuck in the ignition has given you a clear visual of the signs and remedies. Remember to keep the key clean after using it. Always inspect the vehicle properly before you put the key in the Jeep’s ignition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *