Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition: Quick Solutions for a Common Problem

If you own a Dodge Dart, you might have encountered the frustrating issue of the key getting stuck in the ignition. This can be quite inconvenient and bothersome, especially if you’re in a hurry or in an unfamiliar place.

In this article, we will discuss some possible causes and solutions to help you understand and resolve this problem when it arises.

There are several factors that can contribute to the key getting stuck in your Dodge Dart’s ignition. These include a low-voltage battery, malfunctioning lock cylinder, and general wear and tear.

Once you’re familiar with the causes, troubleshooting the issue becomes easier, and you’ll be better equipped to prevent future occurrences.

Rest assured that you don’t need to panic when your key gets stuck in your Dodge Dart’s ignition. With some knowledge of the common causes and easy-to-follow solutions, you can address the problem efficiently and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand and identify possible causes of a stuck key in a Dodge Dart ignition
  • Troubleshoot the issue with DIY remedies and advanced solutions when needed
  • Learn preventive measures to avoid future occurrences of stuck keys
Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition Quick Solutions for a Common Problem

Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition: Understanding the Problem

Sometimes you might find that your Dodge Dart key is stuck in the ignition. Don’t worry, this is a common issue that many car owners face.

There are several possible reasons for this issue. For example, a worn-out key, a low-voltage battery issue, or a malfunctioning ignition cylinder could be the culprits. Let’s take a closer look at these potential causes.

Worn Key: Over time, your key may become worn, making it difficult to turn in the ignition. Consider inspecting your key for any signs of wear and tear. If it looks worn out, it might be time to get a replacement.

Low-Voltage Battery: A low-voltage battery can make it difficult to remove the key from the ignition. You can use a multimeter to test the voltage on either side of the ignition switch. If the battery is indeed the issue, consider replacing it or having it checked by a professional mechanic.

Malfunctioning Ignition Cylinder: If the ignition cylinder itself is causing the problem, then replacing it might be necessary. However, this should be done by a skilled mechanic to ensure proper installation and compatibility with your Dodge Dart.

Should you encounter a key stuck in the ignition, try the following steps:

  1. Wiggle the steering wheel
  2. Check the battery voltage
  3. Inspect the key for wear and tear

Always remember to follow these precautions to prevent this issue:

  • Keep your key clean and avoid using a worn-out key
  • Regularly check your battery’s voltage and overall health
  • Ensure proper maintenance of your ignition system

Possible Causes

Faulty Ignition Cylinder

A common cause of a stuck key in the ignition of your Dodge Dart could be a faulty ignition cylinder.

The ignition cylinder may be worn or damaged, making it difficult for the key to turn and release. If you are experiencing this issue, consider replacing the ignition cylinder.

Stuck Shifter

Another possible cause is a stuck shifter. If your transmission shifter is not fully locked into the park position, it might prevent the key from turning all the way off.

Try moving the shifter and pressing the shifter button a few times to see if it releases the key.

Broken Springs

Faulty or broken springs within the ignition cylinder could cause your key to be stuck.

This may require dismantling the ignition cylinder to repair or replace the springs. Be cautious when attempting this fix on your own, as it may require specialized tools and knowledge.


Lastly, debris inside the keyhole or ignition cylinder could prevent the key from turning or releasing correctly.

If you suspect debris is the cause, try cleaning the keyhole with a compressed air canister. This can help dislodge any debris and potentially resolve the issue.

Troubleshooting the Issue

Examine the Ignition Switch

If your Dodge Dart’s key is stuck in the ignition, start by inspecting the ignition switch. Look for any signs of damage or wear to the lock cylinder.

A malfunctioning lock cylinder can prevent the key from turning or becoming stuck. If you suspect this is the issue, contact a car ignition expert to have the ignition cylinder replaced.

Check the Steering Wheel

Sometimes, the steering wheel may be causing the problem. If your steering wheel is locked in place, it could prevent the key from turning.

To solve this, try gently wiggling the steering wheel while turning the key. Make sure not to apply excessive force which might damage the steering column.

Assess the Key Fob

Examine your electronic key fob for any signs of damage. Additionally, check to see if the battery inside the key fob is still operational.

A dead battery can cause issues with starting your car or even prevent the key from being removed from the ignition. If necessary, replace the battery and attempt to start the car once more.

Also Read: Rivet Stuck in Gun

Advanced Solutions

Replacing an Ignition Cylinder

One of the reasons why your key gets stuck in the ignition is a bad ignition cylinder, as noted earlier.

In such cases, the only option is to replace the cylinder.

Replacing an ignition cylinder can be a detailed and technical process. It’s important to note that the process can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

However, I can provide you with a general guide on how to replace an ignition cylinder. If you’re not comfortable with this kind of mechanical work, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional mechanic.

Here’s a basic outline of the steps involved in replacing an ignition cylinder:

Tools and Materials Needed

  1. New ignition cylinder (specific to your vehicle model).
  2. Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips).
  3. Socket set.
  4. Steering wheel puller (if necessary).
  5. Code for the new cylinder (if it needs to be keyed to match your existing keys).

Steps to Replace an Ignition Cylinder

1. Disconnect the Battery

  • Ensure safety by disconnecting the negative terminal of the car’s battery.

2. Remove Steering Wheel (if necessary)

  • In some vehicles, you may need to remove the steering wheel to access the ignition cylinder.
  • Use a steering wheel puller if required.

3. Remove Trim and Covers

  • Remove any trim pieces or covers that are around the steering column and ignition cylinder.

4. Access the Ignition Cylinder

  • Locate the ignition cylinder. It’s typically on the right side of the steering column.

5. Release the Cylinder

  • Many ignition cylinders have a pin or button that needs to be pressed to release the cylinder from its position.
  • You may need to turn the key to the “ACC” position to press this release.

6. Remove the Old Cylinder

  • Once released, pull the cylinder out of its housing.

7. Install the New Cylinder

  • Insert the new ignition cylinder into the housing.
  • Make sure it’s fully seated and locked in place.

8. Reassemble the Steering Column

  • Replace any covers or trim pieces that were removed.
  • If the steering wheel was removed, reinstall it ensuring it’s properly aligned.

9. Reconnect the Battery

  • Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

10. Test the New Cylinder

  • Test the new ignition cylinder with the key to ensure it turns smoothly and starts the vehicle.

11. Key Coding (if necessary)

  • If the new cylinder needs to be coded to your existing keys, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do it.

Safety and Precautions

  • Always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • If airbags are present, be cautious when working around the steering column.
  • Ensure the new ignition cylinder is compatible with your vehicle model.

Final Note

If at any point you feel unsure or the process seems too complex, it’s advisable to consult with or hire a professional mechanic. Incorrect installation can lead to further issues or even compromise your vehicle’s safety.

Consultation with a Dealership

In some cases, your Dodge Dart key may remain stuck in the ignition even after trying simple solutions like wiggling the steering wheel or checking the battery. In these situations, it’s best to consult a dealership or a professional mechanic.

They have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose and fix the problem accurately. For example, they might identify issues with the ACC position and repair or replace the damaged components.

Remember, it’s essential to have this issue resolved as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your car’s ignition system.

Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition Quick Solutions for a Common Problem

NFL Methods

In rare cases, you might encounter issues with key extraction where the common methods don’t work.

During these times, you can apply the so-called NFL methods (No Force Lockout) to safely remove the key from the ignition.

These techniques are usually used by locksmith professionals and might require specific tools or knowledge to perform correctly. Here are two main methods:

  • Non-destructive:
    • Involves properly manipulating the lock to open without the need for force.
    • Examples: Pick guns, lock picks, tension tools.
  • Destructive:
    • Force is used on the lock, which might damage the lock or the vehicle.
    • Examples: Drilling the lock, using bolt cutters.

Keep in mind that using any of these methods might void your car’s warranty, and professional help is still recommended.

So, if you’re unsure about these advanced solutions, it’s best to consult a certified dealer or mechanic to help you resolve your Dodge Dart key stuck in ignition issue.

Preventing Future Issues

In order to prevent future problems with your Dodge Dart key getting stuck in the ignition, consider some of the following measures:

Remote Options

Nowadays, many modern vehicles offer remote start options. Investing in a remote start system for your Dodge Dart can help you avoid ignition issues in the long run.

This system enables you to start your car from a distance, without inserting the key into the ignition. Some benefits of using remote start options include:

  • Convenient: You don’t need to worry about inserting your key in the ignition, simplifying the process.
  • Locking/Unlocking options: Many remote start systems come with locking and unlocking features as well, allowing you to manage vehicle access more effectively.
  • Reduces key/ignition wear: As you’re using the remote start more frequently, you’ll experience less wear on your key and the ignition system.

Note: Remote start systems are usually an aftermarket option; make sure to choose a reputable installer to maintain your vehicle’s warranty and integrity.

Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition Quick Solutions for a Common Problem

To help prevent issues with your ignition, always make sure to park your Dodge Dart properly. Engaging your parking brake and ensuring the vehicle is in the park position can prevent the lock cylinder from getting stuck.

Moreover, avoid heavy keychains that put strain on the ignition lock, potentially damaging it over time.

By implementing these practices, you’ll reduce the chances of your key getting stuck in the ignition and enjoy a hassle-free ownership experience with your Dodge Dart.

Special Cases: 2015 & 2016 Dodge Dart

2015 Dodge Dart and 2016 Dodge Dart models have a common issue with the key getting stuck in the ignition. Often, this problem is related to the shifter assembly in the console. There may be a micro switch that needs adjustment or replacement. Here are some steps you can try to resolve the issue:

  1. Check the steering wheel lock system: Ensure the steering wheel is correctly aligned and not binding the ignition switch. Adjust the steering wheel if necessary.
  2. Inspect the shifter assembly: If adjusting the steering wheel doesn’t resolve the issue, check the micro switch in the shifter assembly. For both 2015 and 2016 Dodge Dart models, consider tweaking the micro switch or soldering its wires together if needed.

  3. Seek professional help: If the DIY solutions mentioned above don’t work, consult a professional mechanic for assistance in solving the problem. They may identify an issue that requires more extensive repair or replacement parts.

In many cases, following these steps should help you resolve a stuck key issue in 2015 and 2016 Dodge Dart models. Remember to be patient and ensure your safety throughout the process.

Dodge Dart Key Stuck in Ignition Quick Solutions for a Common Problem

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my key stuck in the ignition of my Dodge Dart?

There are several reasons why your key could be stuck in the ignition of your Dodge Dart. Some common causes include a worn key, a faulty ignition cylinder, or issues with the shifter or transmission. It’s essential to diagnose the problem correctly to address it effectively.

How can I remove a stuck key from a 2016 Dodge Dart?

To remove a stuck key from your 2016 Dodge Dart, try gently jiggling the key while applying slight pressure. Move it back and forth cautiously, ensuring not to forcefully twist or bend it. Alternatively, you can adjust the steering wheel as some Dodge Darts are equipped with a steering lock system.

What should I do if my key fob is stuck in ignition and the battery is dead?

If your key fob is stuck in the ignition, and your Dodge Dart’s battery is dead, you should first try jump-starting the car or replacing the battery. A charged battery may help release the key fob from the ignition. If this doesn’t work, you may need to seek assistance from a professional technician.

How to fix a key fob stuck in ignition in a Dodge Ram?

For a Dodge Ram with a key fob stuck in the ignition, first, check for possible issues with the shifter or transmission. A malfunctioning microswitch in the shifter assembly can cause this problem. You can try tweaking the switch or soldering the wires together to fix the issue. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Is there a Dodge Dart recall that involves stuck keys in ignition?

There is no specific Dodge Dart recall related to stuck keys in the ignition. However, you should check for any new recalls or issues, as manufacturers may issue a recall if a particular problem becomes widespread.

What are the common causes of jammed keys in Dodge Dart ignitions?

Common causes of jammed keys in Dodge Dart ignitions include:

  • Malfunctioning lock cylinder
  • Worn keys
  • Faulty ignition switch
  • Issues with the shifter or transmission mechanism
  • Dead battery

It’s essential to identify the exact cause of the problem and address it accordingly to prevent further issues or damage to your vehicle.


In conclusion, dealing with a key stuck in the ignition of your Dodge Dart can be a challenging experience, but understanding the common causes and solutions can make it manageable.

From worn keys and low-voltage batteries to malfunctioning ignition cylinders, the reasons vary. Simple DIY remedies like wiggling the steering wheel, checking the battery, and inspecting the key can often resolve the issue.

However, for more complex problems, consulting a professional mechanic or dealership is advisable. Regular maintenance and preventive measures, such as using a remote start system, can help avoid future occurrences.

Remember, patience and the right approach can effectively solve this common automotive problem.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.