Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition [Simple Fixes]

Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition [Simple Fixes]

It’s a common issue that many car owners face at some point in their life – a Subaru key stuck in the ignition!

It can be an incredibly frustrating experience but there are ways to try fixing it yourself before calling a mechanic.

In this article, I’ll provide you with useful information on how to fix this problem quickly and easily.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start; we’ll go over all the steps necessary so you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

From checking the battery connections to lubricating certain parts of the ignition system, I’ll show you exactly what needs to be done.

With my help, you should have no trouble getting your Subaru key unstuck from the ignition.

Let’s get started!


Diagnosing The Problem of Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition

Diagnosing the problem of a Subaru key stuck in the ignition can be like putting together pieces of a puzzle.

You have to examine each cause and assess the damage that has been done before you can make any repairs or changes.

Step Action
1 Examine all possible causes of the Subaru key getting stuck in the ignition.
2 Determine if it’s a simple issue like dirt buildup on keys or a more serious internal component problem.
3 If it’s dirt accumulation, remove the key and clean off the debris.
4 If the issue is deeper, further inspection is required.
5 Assess what needs to be repaired by checking external and internal car parts such as fuses, wiring systems, ignition switch actuators, etc

Once all necessary diagnostics have been completed, then one will know exactly what steps need to be taken next in order to get your Subaru back up and running without causing any additional harm or inconvenience.

Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition Fix - Infographic

Examining The Battery Connections of Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition Fix

It’s important to test the voltage of your battery connections if you’re having issues with your Subaru key getting stuck in the ignition.

I’d recommend testing both the positive and negative terminals to make sure you aren’t dealing with a voltage issue.

Once you’ve tested the voltage, it’s important to clean the terminals with a terminal brush.

This will ensure that there are no corroded connections that could be causing the key to get stuck.

If you’re unsure of how to clean the terminals properly, don’t hesitate to reach out to me – I’ve been working on car ignitions for years, and I’m here to help!

1. Testing Voltage

I know that testing the voltage is one of the most important steps when it comes to examining battery connections for a Subaru key stuck in the ignition.

Steps for Testing Voltage Information
Step 1 Ensure all power sources are connected properly
Step 2 Set your multimeter to the voltage setting
Step 3 Connect the multimeter’s positive (red) lead to the positive side of the circuit or component being tested
Step 4 Connect the multimeter’s negative (black) lead to the negative side of the circuit or component being tested
Step 5 Read the voltage measurement on the multimeter’s display.
Step 6 Compare the measured voltage to the expected voltage for the circuit or component being tested. If the measured voltage is significantly different from the expected voltage, further investigation is needed.

With careful evaluation, replacing fuses where needed, and following these simple steps – you can make sure your Subaru key stays safely in place!

2. Cleaning Terminals

Now that we’ve tested the voltage and checked for any imbalances between the positive and negative sides, it’s time to move on to cleaning terminals.

  • This is an important step when examining battery connections as dirt or corrosion can cause issues with your Subaru key stuck in the ignition.
  • I recommend accessing wires and then cleaning them off with a wire brush or sandpaper until they look shiny and new again.
  • If there are any fuses that need replacing – make sure you do so before reattaching them back into place.

With this last check completed, all that’s left now is to start up your engine and see if everything works properly!

Inspecting The Ignition Switch 

Now that I’ve examined the battery connections, it’s time to inspect the ignition switch. This is a common cause of keys becoming stuck in the ignition.

In order to properly inspect and possibly repair/replace the ignition switch, there are several steps you should take:

  • Steps for Inspecting Ignition Switch Information
    Step 1 Check that the vehicle is in the park or neutral with the parking brake engaged and the engine off.
    Step 2 Try wiggling the steering wheel back and forth while gently turning the key to see if the key will release.
    Step 3 Check that the battery is fully charged and that the connections to the battery are clean and tight.
    Step 4 If the key is still stuck, remove the steering column covers to access the ignition switch.
    Step 5 Check the electrical connections to the ignition switch to ensure that they are clean and tight.
    Step 6 Check the ignition switch for any signs of damage or wear, such as loose or damaged wires, or a worn-out key cylinder.
    Step 7 If the ignition switch is damaged or worn out, replace it with a new one.
    Step 8 Reassemble the steering column covers and test the new ignition switch to ensure that the key turns freely and does not get stuck.

Therefore always take extra caution when removing old units and installing replacements; taking care not only to protect yourself but also to prevent further issues down the line due to incorrect installations or wrong-sized parts used in their place.

Lubricating The Parts

Lubrication is an essential maintenance task that helps to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of mechanical parts.

Lubrication involves the application of a thin layer of oil, grease, or other lubricant to the surfaces of mechanical parts to reduce friction, prevent wear, and protect against corrosion. Here are some steps to follow when lubricating mechanical parts:

  1. Identify the parts to be lubricated: First, identify the mechanical parts that require lubrication. These could include bearings, gears, hinges, and other moving parts. Consult the manufacturer’s maintenance manual for specific guidance on the parts that need to be lubricated and the type of lubricant to use.
  2. Clean the parts: Before applying lubricant, the parts to be lubricated must be clean and free of dirt, debris, and old lubricant. Use a rag or a brush to remove any dirt or debris from the parts.
  3. Apply lubricant: Choose the appropriate lubricant for the part you are lubricating. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the part, being careful not to over-lubricate. Over-lubrication can cause excess buildup and attract dirt and debris, leading to wear and potential damage.
  4. Distribute the lubricant: Use a brush, cloth, or other applicator to distribute the lubricant evenly over the surface of the part. Be sure to get into all the crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
  5. Test the lubricated parts: Once you’ve applied the lubricant, test the parts to make sure they are working smoothly and efficiently. Look and listen for any signs of rubbing, binding, or other irregularities. If you notice any problems, re-check the part and lubrication application.
  6. Schedule regular maintenance: Lubrication is an ongoing process, and the parts will require regular lubrication over time. Consult the manufacturer’s maintenance manual for recommended lubrication intervals, and schedule regular lubrication as part of your maintenance routine.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your mechanical parts are properly lubricated, reducing friction, preventing wear, and protecting against corrosion, resulting in longer service life and better performance.

Troubleshooting Tips Subaru Key Stuck In Ignition

If you find that your Subaru key is stuck in the ignition, there are several troubleshooting tips you can try to fix the issue.

Here are some steps to follow:

1. Wiggle the Steering wheel:

If your Subaru key is stuck in the ignition, one of the first troubleshooting steps to try is to wiggle the steering wheel. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the engine: Make sure the engine is turned off and the keys are removed from the ignition.
  2. Place your hands on the steering wheel: Grasp the steering wheel with both hands and try to turn it slightly to the left or right. You don’t need to apply a lot of force, just enough to see if the steering wheel is locked.
  3. Turn the key: While continuing to hold the steering wheel, try to turn the key in the ignition. If the key is stuck because the steering wheel is locked, this step may release it.
  4. Repeat: If the key doesn’t release on the first try, try wiggling the steering wheel back and forth a few more times while turning the key.

It’s important to note that modern vehicles have a steering wheel lock mechanism that engages automatically when the key is removed from the ignition.

This is a security feature designed to prevent theft.

However, if the mechanism gets jammed, it can prevent the key from turning in the ignition.

By wiggling the steering wheel, you may be able to release the lock mechanism and free the key.

2. Check the shifter position:

Ensure that the shifter is in the park position or the neutral position for a manual transmission.

The key may not release if the transmission is in gear or if the vehicle is not fully engaged in the park.

Steps to Check the Shifter Position
1. Turn off the engine: Make sure the engine is turned off and the keys are removed from the ignition.
2. Check the shifter: Ensure that the shifter is in the park position or the neutral position for a manual transmission.
3. Apply the parking brake: Apply the parking brake to prevent the vehicle from moving while you check the shifter position.
4. Move the shifter: Gently wiggle the shifter back and forth to make sure it is fully engaged in parking or neutral.
5. Test the key: Attempt to remove the key from the ignition. If the key releases, the issue was likely caused by an improper shifter position. If the key doesn’t release, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Check the Other Electrical Components:

If you’re experiencing an issue with a Subaru key stuck in the ignition, it’s also important to check the other electrical components in the vehicle.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Check the fuses: A blown fuse can cause electrical components to stop working, including the ignition. Use the vehicle’s owner’s manual to locate the fuse box and check the fuses related to the ignition system. Replace any blown fuses with a new one of the same rating.
  • Check the starter motor: If the battery and fuses are in good condition, the issue may be with the starter motor. Try turning on the headlights and then turning the key to the start position. If the headlights dim significantly or turn off completely, this may indicate a faulty starter motor.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you may be able to fix a Subaru key stuck in the ignition.

However, if you’re unsure about any of these steps, it’s best to consult a certified mechanic or automotive professional for further assistance.

Preventative Measures To Take

To prevent a Subaru key from getting stuck in the ignition, here are some preventative measures you can take:

Steps Description
1. Avoid using excessive force When inserting or removing the key from the ignition, be gentle and avoid using too much force. This can damage the key or the ignition mechanism, leading to issues like a stuck key.
2. Keep the key and ignition clean Dirt and debris can accumulate in the keyway and prevent the key from turning properly. Regularly clean the key and the ignition mechanism with a soft cloth to prevent buildup.
3. Lubricate the key and ignition Regularly lubricate the key and ignition mechanism with a small amount of graphite powder or a silicone-based lubricant. This can help the key turn more smoothly and prevent it from getting stuck.
4. Replace the key if damaged If the key becomes damaged or worn, replace it with a new one as soon as possible. A damaged key can cause issues with the ignition mechanism and potentially get stuck.
5. Have the ignition mechanism inspected regularly If you notice any issues with the ignition mechanism, such as difficulty turning the key, have it inspected by a certified mechanic or automotive professional? Regular inspections can help identify potential issues before they become more serious and prevent the key from getting stuck in the ignition.

By taking these preventative measures, you can help prevent a Subaru key from getting stuck in the ignition and potentially causing other issues with the vehicle’s ignition system.


As an experienced car ignition expert, I can tell you that fixing a stuck Subaru key in the ignition isn’t as hard as it may seem.

With just a few simple steps and some lubrication, you’ll be back on the road in no time – almost like magic!

The process is fast enough that it will feel like your key was never stuck, to begin with.

So don’t worry; if you ever find yourself struggling with this common issue, know that help is only a few clicks away.

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