CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Key won't come out of ignition when cold

I have a 1991 Honda that has a quirk which is driving me nuts. When I turn off the engine, the key won’t readily come out. It’s especially difficult when the temperature is below 40 degree’s. I’ve replaced the key at a Honda dealer, which my mechanic suggested, but to no avail. I shake the gear shifter repeatedly which doesn’t seem to help. I sprayed lubricant into the key hole. Nothing seems to help. It’s frustrating to have to sit and wait a couple of minutes to exit my car. Does anyone have experience in this area or any suggestions?

I sprayed lubricant into the key hole.

Please… Unless you used a proper lubricant, never ever use an oil in any lock. Locks are almost all designed to be dry and never oiled. They may need cleaning, but seldom need lubrication.

Most of the time when a lock fails it is a result of dirt or oil in the lock. Things like good old 3 in 1 oil and WD40 may help the lock work for a short time, but in a short time the problem will be back, only worse.

If I am right the lock needs to be cleaned with a proper solvent and then maybe will benefit by a proper dry lubricant for the job like "Lock-Ease"