How to Clean a Car's Ignition System


After a while, your vehicle's ignition may get dirty and gummed up. This will make it hard to turn your vehicle on and could break your key as you have to apply more and more pressure. The ignition itself has a cover to keep dirt and debris out, but dust particles can find their way in. Also, the dirt and grime on your key can be transferred to the ignition.

Things You'll Need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Mild detergent
  • Lock lubricant
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Extend the wand on the can of compressed air. Gently place the end of the wand into the ignition and spray the compressed air. Move the wand around inside the ignition while spraying the air to clean it entirely. Pull the wand from the ignition.

  • Clean the key with the detergent and brush. Clean inside all the grooves and get all the dirt and grime off the key. Dry the key completely and let it sit for one hour.

  • Spray the lock lubricant onto the key and insert the key into the lock. Turn the key on and off a few times and pull the key in and out of the ignition, so as to make sure that you have spread the lubricant evenly throughout the lock.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can spray a little lubricant into the ignition but do not spray much. Just a little goes a long way.
  • Be careful not to break the wand of the compressed air in the ignition.

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  • Photo Credit Microchiped Car Key image by Christopher Meder from
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