My key is stuck in the ignition!


My key is stuck in the ignition of my 2000 Honda Accord LX. This has happened before but after jiggling it around I eventually could get it out. Now I can’t. I can turn the car off but I can’t lock the car so anyone who wants to can steal it. I think the ignition itself is broken as it appears to be pushed in one one side. This all started one night when my car refused to believe that it was in park even though it was. I don’t know if that’s relevant.

I must get this fixed pronto but it’s Sunday and I’m pretty broke. My grandpa has told me to go to a Honda dealer but I’m worried that’ll be too much. My brother tells me to go to a mechanic but none are open. And the guy at Jiffy Lube suggested a locksmith. What should I do? Also, I have full coverage but my deductable is $500 so…


Try pulling the gear shift from ‘park’ and put it back into ‘park’. Or jiggle it in the ‘park’ position while trying to remove the key. There is a safety interlock to prevent the key from being pulled out and locking the steering column unless the car is actually in ‘park’.


I have been trying that. No luck.


BTW, this is probably not a claim for insurance, since it is not the result of an accident, but a part failure. You’ll probably need a mechanic to fix this right.


Does the car still think it is not in ‘park’?


No, the car thought that the first time this happened and everything was fine for a couple of weeks. Then it started happening again and again. Now it’s totally stuck. But you think a mechanic is my best option? Thank you btw.


Yes. A locksmith can help, but it will most likely be a part that needs to be replaced. Either the safety interlock solenoid or the switch itself. The Honda dealership will probably be the quickest bet, since they will probably be the only ones with the part to fix it. An independant mechanic will most likely wind up going to the dealer for any parts.


Then that’s what I’ll do. Any idea how much something like this will cost? And once again, thank you.


Sorry, can’t say. It would depend on what exactly is at fault.


Try moving the steering wheel from side to side as you put the key in the “on” position. Sometimes the steering wheel is locked in a position that creates tension in the steering column and prevents the key from coming out. If you feel the tension release, you should be able to get the key out.


Try disconnecting the ground cable from your battery. There are electric components in the system that forces you to be in park to release the key and they might be stuck or out of adjustment.
Also, if you are good at internet searches, look for any TSB (technical service bulletin) that Honda might have put out about this for cars in your year range.


Locksmiths see this problem all the time. This happened to me and it was fixed in about 1 minute. You will probably need some graphite to loosen the lock after the locksmith removes the key. You will have to drive to the locksmith–they won’t go to you if the car will start. I doubt if you need any new parts, the lock has just gotten stiff and jammed.


You can probably get a tube of GRAPHITE LUBE at Walmart (auto supplies section), or an auto parts store. Graphite is a very fine powder. Also, get a 3 ounce can of any light oil (3 in 1, Mystery Oil, Machine Oil, etc.). Put the nozzle tip of the tube of graphite against the gap where the key goes into the ignition lock, and squeeze gently. Wriggle the key and squeeze the tube a little bit. If that doesn’t work, try the light oil. If that doesn’t work, get a jumper battery attached to your car battery. Try to remove the key. If it THEN comes out, let us know.


You might call the Honda dealer about this. Accords, just like other Honda models, are under recall for ignition switch problems. The problems are varied; interlock, electrical contacts, etc. and the recall applies to the 2000 model year.
If the recall has not been performed then this will be done for you absolutely free.