Subaru Forester Key Stuck In Ignition – Causes & Quick Fixes

Subaru Forester Key Stuck In Ignition – Causes & Quick Fixes

Are you having trouble getting your Subaru Forester key out of the ignition? If so, you’re not alone.

Many Forester owners have experienced this frustrating problem at one point or another.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix the issue without having to visit a mechanic.

In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of a stuck key in the ignition and provide you with some quick and easy fixes to get you back on the road in no time.


Causes Of Subaru Forester Key Stuck In Ignition

The Subaru Forester is a reliable and popular SUV. However, like any other vehicle, it can encounter certain problems, such as a key getting stuck in the ignition.

There are several reasons why this might happen, including:

Dead Battery: If the battery is dead, it can cause the key to get stuck in the ignition.

This can happen if the battery has been drained due to leaving the headlights or other electrical components on for an extended period of time.

Causes of a Stuck Key in the Ignition of a Subaru Forester Description
1. Worn-out key Over time, the ridges and valleys on your key can wear down, making it difficult to turn or remove from the ignition.
2. Malfunctioning ignition cylinder The ignition cylinder is responsible for the mechanical function of the ignition, and it can become damaged or worn out over time, causing the key to get stuck.
3. Dirt and debris Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate inside the ignition, causing friction and preventing the key from turning or coming out.
4. Locked steering wheel If the steering wheel is locked, it can prevent the key from turning or coming out of the ignition.
5. Battery or electrical issues In some cases, a weak battery or electrical issues can prevent the key from turning or disengaging from the ignition.

Faulty Ignition Switch: If the ignition switch is faulty, it can cause the key to become stuck in the ignition.

The switch may not be able to properly engage or disengage, causing the key to become stuck.

By understanding these common causes, you can diagnose the problem and take steps to fix it yourself or seek professional help if needed.

Preparation And Safety

Once you’ve identified the issue as a Subaru Forester key stuck in the ignition, it’s important to take certain precautions before attempting to remove it.

Preparation and safety are paramount when dealing with an ignition switch problem.

Subaru Forester Key Stuck In Ignition - infographic

As an experienced car ignition expert, I recommend following these steps before proceeding:

  • First of all, make sure your vehicle is in park or neutral and that the emergency brake has been activated so that there won’t be any risk of driving off while working on it.
  • Secondly, if possible enlist someone else’s help – especially if they have experience with car maintenance – as this can minimize risks and ensure everything is done safely.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that proper technique is essential when trying to remove a key from the ignition switch. To avoid damaging expensive parts such as locks or ignition switches, use small tools like pliers or screwdrivers very carefully.

It’s also important to remember that keys become stuck due to wear and tear over time; however, most cases tend to be resolved by simply wiggling the steering wheel back and forth while gently pulling out the key at the same time.

  DIY Troubleshooting Steps for Subaru Forester Key Stuck In Ignition

If you’re dealing with a Subaru Forester key stuck in the ignition, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience.

The good news is that many times it’s actually really easy to fix!

1. Wiggle the Steering Wheel:

  1. Ensure the vehicle is in park or neutral: If the vehicle is in gear, the steering wheel may not be able to turn, making it difficult to release the key. Make sure the vehicle is in park or neutral before attempting to wiggle the steering wheel.
  2. Apply pressure to the steering wheel: Place your hand on the steering wheel and apply gentle pressure to the left and right while turning the key. The pressure will help to release the lock on the steering column and allow the key to turn.
  3. Turn the key: While applying pressure to the steering wheel, try turning the key to see if it will release. If the key does not release, try turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction and turning the key again.
  4. Repeat as necessary: If the key does not release on the first try, repeat the process several times. It may take a few attempts before the steering wheel lock is released and the key can be turned.

If the key still does not release after wiggling the steering wheel, it could be a sign of a different issue with the ignition switch or key cylinder.

2. Check the Battery:

One of the first things you should check is the battery.

A dead or weak battery can cause a variety of issues with your vehicle’s electrical system, including a key that won’t turn or get stuck in the ignition.

  1. Turn on the headlights and check if they are bright. Dim or non-functioning headlights may indicate a weak or dead battery.
  2. Attempt to turn on the car’s interior lights or honk the horn to see if they are functioning normally. If not, this could be another sign of a weak or dead battery.
  3. If you suspect the battery is the issue, use a voltmeter to check its voltage. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts or higher.
  4. If the battery voltage is low, try charging it or jump-starting the car to see if this resolves the issue.
  5. If the battery is older or damaged, consider replacing it to avoid future problems with your Subaru Forester’s ignition.

If your battery appears fine, then move on to checking out the ignition switch itself.

3. Lubricate the Keyhole:

If your Subaru Forester key is stuck in the ignition, you can try lubricating the keyhole to see if it helps.
  • Use a graphite-based lubricant, as other types of lubricants can attract dirt and debris, which can exacerbate the problem. 
  • Spray a small amount of the lubricant into the keyhole.
  • Jiggle the key around gently, and then try to remove it.
  • If the key still does not come out, you may need to try another troubleshooting step

4. Check the Ignition Switch:

If the key is stuck in the ignition, it could be a sign of a faulty ignition switch.

One of the signs of a faulty ignition switch is difficulty turning the key or the key getting stuck in the ignition.

If you are experiencing this issue, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the ignition switch:

Step Action
1 Try wiggling the key while turning it to see if it will release
2 Check the electrical connections to ensure they are secure and free of corrosion
3 Check the battery charge and replace or charge the battery if necessary
4 Check the starter and have it replaced if necessary

Fortunately, these fixes don’t necessarily require taking your vehicle to a mechanic; they’re relatively simple DIY jobs you can handle yourself at home with some basic tools and knowledge.

With just a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you should have no problem getting your Subaru Forester back in action soon enough!

Professional Assistance

If you’ve already tried DIY troubleshooting but your Subaru Forester key is still stuck in the ignition, then it’s time to call a professional.

The first step: would be to figure out exactly why your key won’t come out.

In some cases, there may simply be dirt or grime clogging up the mechanism; this usually comes from environmental factors like rain and snow that have built up over time.

In other cases, a worn-out part might need replacing in order for the key to turn freely again.

No matter what the cause may be, rest assured that I’ll assess the situation thoroughly and let you know what kind of repairs are necessary before any work begins – so you’re always aware of what costs could potentially arise.

Preventive Measures

It’s a sinking feeling when you turn the key in your car’s ignition, only to find it won’t budge.

You may be faced with an immovable Subaru Forester key stuck in the ignition and unable to start your vehicle.

Here are some preventive measures that you should take:

  • Regularly check the condition of your key and its connection with the ignition system to prevent potential damage if the key becomes stuck.
  • Invest time and money into proper maintenance of the car and its keys to avoid having the key stuck.
  • Lubricate all parts regularly to reduce friction, making turning easier and reducing wear and tear on components over time.
  • Check for corrosion or build-up between the tumblers inside either the lock cylinder or switch housing at least once every two years.

By being proactive about car maintenance and carrying out regular checks on our vehicles, we can protect ourselves from unnecessary inconvenience down the line!


It’s an awful feeling when your car key gets stuck in the ignition and won’t budge.

It can be a major inconvenience, but thankfully it’s usually something that can be fixed with some DIY troubleshooting or professional help.

I’ve been dealing with this problem for years now, and while it may seem overwhelming at first, you can rest assured knowing there are solutions out there to get your key unstuck from the ignition.

So if you ever find yourself in this predicament, remember to stay calm and follow these steps we’ve discussed today so you’ll be back on the road again quickly and safely.

References & Official Resources: 

About the author

Team is a team of auto experts and experienced editors. The experts gives all the information, facts and technical details to the writers and then the editors make sure that the guides are to-the-point, easy-to-read and made JUST RIGHT for you.

Leave a Comment