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My Chevy Cruze Key Is Stuck In The Ignition – What To Do?

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While trying to start your Chevy Cruze, you may have inserted the key into the ignition, and it got stuck. There is no reason to be too alarmed, as there are very simple and practical steps you can take to retrieve your key from the ignition. Here's what experts we talked to recommend you do. 

The most likely reason your Chevy Cruze key gets stuck in the ignition is low battery voltage. To remove this stuck key, move the car's steering back and forth to enable it to loosen if it was locked due to the steering lock. You could also try to gently wiggle the key to make it lose.

In this post, we have provided you with further details on all you need to know about your chevy Cruze and how to unstuck your key from the ignition. 

First test drive of a new Chevrolet Cruze SW (combi version) on highway - My Chevy Cruze Key Is Stuck In The Ignition - What To Do

Chevy Cruze

A 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan (now discontinued) at a dealership

The Chevy Cruze is an automobile brand produced in 2008 by General Motors for the South Korean market. It was designed and manufactured with a synthetic four-door that is designed with a five-door hatchback body. 

When the Chevy Cruze motor was invented, it replaced most vehicle models. Before the Cruze was renamed Chevrolet Cruze, the vehicle's model was sold between 2009 to 2016 by Australians as Holden Cruze. As the market demand began to change, the Cruze motors slowly faded out, and production in South Korea ended in 2018.

Chevy announced a redesign for the vehicle in early 2018 before it was canceled in 2019. The six-speed manual transmission was replaced with a new, more economical model. For some trim levels, the Cruze also received technology updates and a revised version.

The 2019 model went on sale in November 2018, however, production at the Lordstown factory ended on March 6, 2019, only four months later.

What Does It Mean When Your Ignition Locks Up? 

Your vehicle's ignition locking up can be a result of some common issues. When the ignition gets locked, this means the car's battery voltage isn't enough to keep propelling the car forward, or the steering lock was turned on. Ignition can also get locked due to dirty, damaged, or bent keys.

Reasons Your Chevy Cruze Is Stuck In Ignition

Here are common reasons you can't pull your Chevy Cruze key out of ignition: 

Parking Lock

Car models equipped with automatic transistors are designed to have a lock that prevents the key from being moved from the ignition when the gear is on.

If the vehicle is in another gear, it will roll away without turning on the parking brake. When you leave your driver's seat without putting your vehicle on the brake, it will cause the key to get stuck in the ignition.

Low Battery

When your Chevy Cruze lacks enough voltage to engage the safety mechanism properly, it leaves the key stuck in the ignition.

Issue With Ignition Lock Cylinder

It is very normal for the Chevy Cruze's cylinder to get bad from time to time, which is mostly seen as a general reason for keys getting stuck in the ignition. When this occurs, a professional should be consulted to replace it.

Bad Keys

As keys get used frequently, they tend to get worse, lose shape, bend, get dirty or rusted, and so on. This mostly affects old cars and can leave keys stuck in the ignition.

What To Do When Your Keys Get Stuck In Ignition

Woman hand put key into the ignition and starts the car engine in vintage color tone

Here are simple steps to follow to un-stuck your keys from the ignition.

  • Unlock the steering wheel
  • Wiggle your key
  • Shake the gear selector
  • Install new battery
  • Use adhesive remover for more difficult cases

How Do You Start a Car With a Locked Steering Wheel? 

It is difficult to start up your vehicle with a locked steering wheel. The ignition switch of the vehicle won't turn on, or you will see a light indicating that the steering wheel is locked. However, you can start up your car even though it has a locked steering wheel with the following steps;

For Cars Made With Ignition Cylinder

  • With the aid of your left hand, wiggle the steering wheel left and right. Try not to apply too much force.
  • Use your right hand to activate the ignition key from the lock position to the start position.

For Cars Made With Start Button

  • Using your left hand, wiggle the steering wheel, and use your right hand to tap on the start button. Do this simultaneously.
  • Avoid stepping on brakes; by doing this, you automatically put the car on ACC mode and this unlocks the steering wheel without activating the engine.

How Do You Fix a Locked Steering Wheel? 

Young man inside his car, driving a luxury car with both hands on the wheel.

As one of a car's safety features, steering wheels lock into place. A locked wheel's primary function is to restrict vehicle movement when no key is present or when the incorrect key is put into the ignition.

However, turning the ignition key unlocks the steering wheel. Over time, ignition tumblers are subjected to a great deal of mechanical movement and strain, which can lead them to fail and prevent the wheel from unlocking.

That being said, whenever your car steering wheel gets locked, so long as it's yours, don't get bothered about it because there are simple steps you can take to resolve the issue quickly.

Insert and Remove the Car Keys into the Ignition Several Times

Shutting the car off with a bit of force on the wheel may be the most likely reason for it being stuck. However, to unlock it, you'll need to use the ignition key in the same way you'd use it to start the car.

Turn the Car Key Gently

If both the key and the wheel are locked in place, apply pressure on the ignition key in the direction you would normally turn it.

Avoid putting too much pressure on the key's body since this could cause it to bend or even break while it's inside the keyhole. Instead, press down on the ignition with gentle but firm pressure until it unlocks.

Apply Pressure when Handling the Steering Wheel

A pin on one side of the steering wheel secures it in place. When the wheel is locked, it cannot freely move in any direction, although one end will not allow any movement at all (the side with the pin).

Determine which way the wheel will not move towards, then exert pressure in the opposite direction while twisting the key with the other hand.

Do Not Shake the Wheel

You might want to shake the wheel back and forth while trying to reopen it, but doing so will reduce your odds of success. Instead, keep pressing down on the wheel in one way until it unlocks.

Release the Key from the Ignition Before Turning It

The key may wear out if it is persistently turned in the ignition and may not be able to turn on the ignition again. You might reach the pins required to start the vehicle by fully inserting the key and then pulling it out slightly. Pull the key back out slightly and then turn it again.

Simultaneously Turn the Wheel and Key to Unlock

This could take a few tries, but rotating the key while putting pressure on the wheel in the appropriate direction will release both, enabling the wheel to move freely and the car to start.

Though this may take a lot of power, don't push the wheel or the key to turn if they are not yielding. The steering pin, your key, or other internal components may be broken as a result.

Can Your Ignition Freeze? 

The reason for an ignition lock to freeze is due to moisture inside the car. When trash like snack packs or wet clothes are left inside the car, it will moisten the air. This moisture can leave your car's ignition lock frozen. To stop this from occurring, keep your car moisture-free.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Unfreeze Car Doors? 

Unlocking a frozen car door

Rubbing alcohol has been proven to be one of the best ways to unfreeze your car doors. Generally, 90% of isopropyl alcohol unfreezes the car doors. To achieve better results, you can mix 50% alcohol with 50% water and spray this mixture all over your car doors.

As long as you don't overdo this action, you stand a chance of leaving your car unruined. Ensure that the car isn't packed under severe cold conditions if you intend to use alcohol to unfreeze car doors.

To Wrap Up

As you use different vehicles, including the Chevy Cruze, you are bound to experience challenges. When it has to do with a vehicle's ignition, chances are that you will experience difficulties in starting. If it gets to the point where your ignition malfunctions, you'll be on the right track to solve these issues by following the steps given above. 

To learn more about dealing with your Chevy Cruze, read these engaging articles:

Can A Chevrolet Cruze Be Flat Towed? 

Does Chevrolet Cruze Have Bluetooth?