Honda Accord key stuck in ignition – Possible causes & smart fixes

Honda Accord key stuck in ignition is a common complaint tendered by Honda Accord owners across several platforms. This is rampant among owners of old model Honda Accord since they feature a key ignition system. Yes, recent Accords like the 2022 models are fitted with a Push start button you only need to press when starting on stopping your engine.

So if you own a push start button-operated Honda Accord, you may need not worry about keys getting stuck in ignition. If, however, you own a key-operated ignition, chances are you are among the number of Honda Accord owners complaining of their Accord key stuck in ignition.

In this article, you will learn why your Honda key is stuck in ignition and how to resolve the issue. If you’re experiencing this issue on any other vehicle, check out this article that gives a general view on how to unstuck key from the ignition.

how to get key out of ignition honda accord

Why does my key get stuck in ignition Honda Accord

The Old Honda Accord features a key ignition system. So it’s not surprising that many drivers of such models are plagued with the Honda Accord key ignition problem. While this is true, it is caused by something. So here are reasons your Honda Accord suffers key stuck in ignition.

Wrong key

One of the most common reasons you can’t take key out of ignition Honda Accord is if you use the wrong key. Every Honda Accord has a key designated to fit into the ignition. If you, however, infuse the wrong key, it may get stuck in the ignition. More importantly, wrong key can cause the key won’t go into the ignition. How does one even use the wrong key?

If you own, say, two 2017 Honda Accords, chances are you’ve mistakenly switched keys. The chances of switching keys are high if there are possibilities that both keys can fit into each other’s ignition cylinder. It could also be that you have built a key for another model identical to the one you are currently using and somehow fit into the ignition slot.

Suppose you push in the key forcibly or use either key to start your Honda Accord, the keys may get stuck.  Is your 2005, 2006, or even 2017 Honda Accord key is stuck in ignition? Check to see if you used the correct key.

Locked parking activated due to improper parking

Vehicles with automatic transmissions lock their keys in the ignition when the vehicle is in gear so that no one can remove it. Thanks to their lock parking feature. The locked parking is a feature that helps to keep your ignition key locked in when the vehicle is not placed on “park or lock” to prevent it from rolling.

Most times, vehicle owners, in haste, forget to put their vehicles in park when the engine is off. In other cases, they may actually put it in park but not twist the key to the correct mark. So you may likely to see their Honda key stuck in 1 position since position 1 is close to the 0 or park position.

According to Honda, to be able to remove your key, it must be set to park; otherwise, the locked parking feature will be activated. Why is it a must to put your car in park when parking? Leaving your key in any drive mode other than park will cause your parking brake not to engage. With your parking brake not engaged, your vehicle will roll away.

Putting your car in park is the only way your parking brake will engage, prevent your car from rolling and also let you remove your key from ignition. So technically, the lock parking feature is a subtle way vehicle manufacturers remind drivers to always put their cars in park properly before leaving their vehicles.

Because if the key could be removed with your vehicle, not in park, your Honda Accord might roll off. So if your 2005 or even 2009 Honda Accord key is stuck in ignition, you may want to check if your car key is properly in “park” position.

Locked steering wheel

Generally, the steering wheel is supposed to be in a stable position, or the wheels should stop moving before shutting off the ignition. If, however, your wheels are still moving, your car steering wheel will be locked, trapping the key. Modern vehicles have a safety feature that helps lock the steering wheel if the wheel is still moving while turning off the ignition.

Issues of locked steering are common amongst recent key-ignited Honda Accords like the 2015-2017 model. So, if your 2015 or even 2017 Honda Accord key is stuck in ignition, an excellent place to start checks is the steering wheel. Why is this feature important?

If the wheels are still moving and you’re able to remove the key, you may lose control of your vehicle. To avoid this completely, this feature will lock the steering wheel. With the steering wheel lock, your key will remain stuck in the ignition.

Faulty ignition cylinder

Over time, your ignition lock cylinder might become faulty. While not a common cause of keys getting stuck in ignition, it is also possible. So if you can’t take key out of ignition for Honda Accord, check to see the condition of the ignition cylinder.

Dirty ignition hole

Your ignition hole houses other components your key must go through to turn on your car. If, however, the ignition slot or its internal components is dirty, the dirt might trap the key, keeping it stuck in the ignition. So if you can’t remove your key from your Honda Accord ignition, check if the ignition hole is dirty.

Dirt stuck in the ignition safety switch

The ignition safety switch ensures your keys remain in the ignition when your Accord is not in park or lock. But even if it helps keep the key in the ignition, you should be able to turn it effortlessly to any point, including the 0 or park position.

If, however, dirt or other foreign objects gets stuck in this switch, your key will remain stuck and won’t move at all. If the key doesn’t move, then you can’t turn the key to park to remove the key. Is your 2004, 2005, or even 2006 Honda Accord key stuck in ignition? You may want to check if the safety switch has accumulated dirt.

Low battery

Low battery is another reason you can’t take the key out of the ignition of your Honda Accord. A low battery can cause your key to remain stuck in the ignition since there isn’t much power to engage the car. A low battery can also cause a Subaru key to stuck in the ignition.

Damaged key

Your car key can become bent, rusted, or worn out. A bent key might somehow enter the ignition hole but cannot come out since the key is supposed to be pushed in and brought out straight. A rusted key on the hand may be straight, but its rust will cause a jam in the ignition hole since you may be unable to move it freely.

The funny thing about a damaged key is that it may allow you to start the engine, but coming out will be a big deal. To avoid Honda Accord key ignition problem caused by bad keys totally, you should change damaged keys timely.

Gear shift lever is not in park

Recent cars with automatic transmissions let the engine start or stop only when the shift lever is placed on park. If, after switching off your engine, you don’t put this lever in park, the Honda key may get stuck in 1 position also called the ACC position. With the Honda key stuck in 1 position, you would not be able to move the key and take it to the park, lock, or 0 position.

As stated above, Honda notes that you can only remove your key from ignition when it’s in the lock or park position. So long you can’t move the key from the ACC position, you invariably can’t move it to the lock position to remove your key. To completely avoid this situation, it is recommended to put your shift lever in park even before switching off the engine.

Damaged shift lever or dirt stuck under the gear shift lever cover

We stated above that not putting your shift lever in park after shutting the engine causes your ignition key to lock in. In some cases, it might not be the driver’s fault. Sometimes, your shift lever might be in park. But because your gear sensor is faulty, it can’t recognize that the lever is already in park. Hence, locking in your key.

In other cases, it could be that debris and other foreign objects have accumulated under the lever. Here, the gear position sensor will also assume that the lever is not in park, locking in your key. Is your 2013 Honda Accord key stuck in ignition? Check the shift lever for damage or dirt underneath. It could also be the issue for other models.

honda accord key ignition stuck

How do you get the key out of the ignition Honda Accord

If your Honda key is stuck in the ignition, here is how to get key out of ignition Honda Accord. But understand that not all solutions highlighted here will work for you since there are several reasons the key is stuck. Which applies to you depends on why the key is locked in the ignition.

Get a dealer or locksmith

If you used the wrong keys, there is a high chance that your key had damaged the ignition lock cylinder. In these cases, removing the key using all the methods listed here will be impossible. Aside from using the wrong key, the ignition cylinder may become faulty over time.

Hence, you would need the services of a locksmith or Honda dealer to remove the key and fix the ignition cylinder. Understand that the ignition cylinder is quite tricky to replace. Hence, best left to experts to handle

Put your key in park (lock or 0 position)

If, while parking, you fail to set your car to “park or lock” correctly, your key will remain stuck. Manufacturer placed a safety feature called locked parking that lets your key stay stuck in the ignition if put in any gear other than park. So to pull out the key from the ignition hole, ensure your car is completely in park.

But first, move your gear to a different setting before correctly returning it to park. With your key in park, you can safely remove the key. Thankfully, this can work for any model. So, can I use this method for my 2015 Honda Accord key stuck in ignition? Yes, you can, so long as not putting your car in park is why your key is stuck.

Unlock your steering wheel

If you find the key stuck due to a locked steering wheel, all you need to do is unlock the steering wheel. To do this, press down the brake pedal and turn your steering wheel while pushing in the key lightly and twisting the key to the On or AC position. This might take a few tries, but it will eventually unlock the steering wheel.

With the steering wheel of the car unlocked, you should be able to turn the key. Now twist it to the park position and remove the key.  Lastly, on no account should you try to pull out a stuck key. Even if you can remove it by force, your steering wheels will lock and can make you lose control of your car.

Charge low battery

Because a low battery will not let your engine engage properly, your key will remain stuck. So to remove Honda accord key ignition stuck here, you may need to charge the battery, so your engine gets enough power to start. With the engine working well, try turning the key and then put it in park properly. You should be able to remove it now.

Jiggle the key

To remove a damaged key stuck in Honda ignition, push in the key slightly with your left index finger while jiggling the keys at the same time with your right hand. This can let the pin and springs inside the ignition cylinder lose their grasp on the stuck key.

This can allow you to twist the key and turn it to the Park position, after which you can remove it. This can work for any model, so for those asking, can I use this method to remove my 2004 Honda key stuck in ignition? Yes, so long you’re dealing with a damaged key.

Wiggle your ignition safety switch

Your ignition safety switch responsible for keeping the key in the ignition may get stuck with dirt. Hence will remain engaged, so you need to disengage it.

To disengage this switch, push in the key slightly toward the steering column several times. This should help loosen the switch. With the switch loosened up, the key should be able to move and allow you to move it to the lock or park position. Once in the lock position, pull it out.

Put the shift lever in park

If your shift lever is not in park, try prodding the shift lever forward a bit. After a few tries, turn the key to the park position. With your key in park or lock position, you should be able to remove your key from the ignition.

Can this work for my 2007 Honda Accord key stuck in ignition? Yes. But understand that this method will work if the reason your key got stuck is due to not shifting the lever into park or neutral position.

Clean dirty ignition keyhole

For a dirty ignition hole, all you need is to clean the ignition slot. Here, lubricants such as WD-40 may suffice. With the dirt out, the key can move freely for you to turn into park position.

With the key in park or lock, remove the key. Can this work for my Honda Accord 2005 key stuck in ignition? Yes, it can work for 2005 and other models, so long as your key is stuck due to a dirty ignition hole.

Final Words

Honda Accord key stuck in ignition is a problem that has plagued the owners of old Honda Accord models. While this might be a problem, it can be fixed. However, the first place to start is knowing why the key is stuck. It could be due to using a damaged key, improper parking, locked steering wheel, etc.

So how do you get a stuck key out of a Honda ignition? Unlock the steering wheel, wiggle the key, etc. Or better still, scroll up as we’ve already explained how to remove a stuck Honda Accord key from ignition. But understand that the method you choose should depend on the cause of the key locking in. You can’t apply the steps of dealing with a dirty ignition hole for fixing a locked steering wheel.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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