2002 Ford Explorer Fix a Sticking Ignition Key

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The ignition cylinder is a simple but essential feature on nearly every car. Depending on the make and model of your car, the cylinder may be positioned on either side of the steering column or on the steering column itself. The cylinder contains a keyhole that allows you to insert your key to start the car. If your ignition key is sticking in your 2002 Ford Explorer, you can take some quick steps to get the key turning again or to free the key if it is stuck in the cylinder.

Tools Used[edit]

Can of WD-40 or similar spray lubricant

Fix a Sticking Ignition Key[edit]

  • Make sure the shifter on your Explorer is set to the "Park: or "P" position. You may not be able to turn or remove the ignition key if the vehicle is not in park.
  • Turn the steering wheel in both directions to ensure the wheels are not stuck in an awkward position that could be preventing you from removing the key. Try again to remove the key.
  • Spray the key and cylinder with a WD-40 or a similar lubricant. This will allow you to turn and remove the ignition key with less friction and resistance.
  • Hold a bag of ice directly on the key for approximately 10 minutes. The key may have expanded slightly due to overuse and cold ice may shrink the metal just enough that the key can be removed from the ignition cylinder.
  • Remove the panels around the ignition cylinder and inspect for broken pieces or other bits of debris that may be restricting the key from being turned or removed.