How to Get a Key Out of a Pontiac

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Pontiac vehicles, more specifically the Grand Prix and Sunfire line of cars, have a history of holding customer keys in the ignition. Just about all of the methods for removing stuck Pontiac keys can be completed by the average person with no automotive experience. If your keys are stuck, you can usually get them out without an expensive trip to the mechanic and with just a few tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Air in a can
  • WD-40 lubricant
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Put the car in "park" and turn off the ignition. If you have turned off the car while it's in drive, in most automatic transmission models of Pontiacs you will not be able to remove the key from the ignition. This is a safety mechanism to keep people from pulling the keys out while they are driving.

  • Turn the steering wheel back and forth while the car is off and in "park." This small back and forth movement will engage the safety mechanism that holds the key in the ignition, freeing it from the key slot.

  • Turn the key counter-clockwise as far as you can without forcing it. Many Pontiac models have a multi-position ignition switch that turns on the accessories and starts the car in different positions. The last position, closest to the driver, frees the key.

  • Press the key release button. Some models of Pontiac vehicles are equipped with a key release button that must be depressed in order to free the key from the ignition. This button is located on the steering column, next to the ignition/keyhole.

  • Clean the ignition keyhole. Using a can of pressurized air followed by a spray lubricant, such as WD-40, you can remove dirt and debris that have built up inside the ignition, causing the key to stick in the slot.

  • Insert the wire from a coat hanger in the small hole located on the steering column, under the ignition. Pontiac has added this hole as an access point to release stuck keys. Insert the wire into the hole and jiggle your key a little until it comes out.

Tips & Warnings

  • If after trying all of the different methods, you are still unable to remove the key from the ignition, you may have a more serious problem and will require the assistance of a qualified mechanic.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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