Over three years ago we spotted this unusual Nissan key stuck in ignition problem. I was at our shop in Lincoln, cut a new key for a Nissan Qashqai and started to programme it. However half way through key programming, the new key wouldn’t come out of the lock!

Three years on we fix over thirty Nissan locks every month and hear from hundreds of frustrated owners. We also hear about how customers plan to fix the problem on the cheap. Sometimes it turns out ok, other times not so well.

This is all about what NOT to do when you have this unusual Nissan problem.

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What causes the Nissan Key Stuck in ignition problem?

There’s an important part in the ignition that develops a sharp edge. When the key is pulled out of the lock, this sharp edge grabs the key, scratching and marking it.

nissan key stuck in ignition

This is similar to a fish barb on a hook. The sharper the edge gets, the more difficult it becomes to pull the key out.

Here are five tips to save you lots of pain, time and money.

Our Top 5 Tips of what NOT to do.

Things to Avoid Number One – ‘File away the problem’

About two years ago we got a lock in the mail. We’d already been fixing them by post for over a year, so this was nothing unusual, However, this lock had a needle file stuck inside the lock!

The owner had been reading on a forum about a fix for this tricky Nissan key stuck in ignition problem. The advice was to ‘gently file away the sharp edge with a small needle file’

There are a couple of problems with doing this.

Firstly, the part that develops the problem, the ‘dust cover’ as it’s known, is a really important part of the lock. When it’s working correctly, it does two things. Firstly it lets the car know when the key is in the ignition, which then tells the car whether the car key buttons  are allowed to work.

When the dust cover is filed away (as the suggested on the forum), the car can no longer tell if the key has been pulled out of the lock. It thinks it’s still inside, so won’t let the buttons on the key work.

The other problem is that the file is very sharp, and the worn edge is also sharp. When they meet, the file gets stuck! No amount of pulling will get the file out.

This now means you have a car you can’t drive anymore, because a file is inside the lock. You can’t even drive the car to a local garage to get it fixed.  Here’s a video we made about one had sent to us.

 Things to avoid Number Two – Fit a second-hand lock.

Now I’m all for saving money. Second-hand parts can be a big saving, especially when they are in good condition. However, we’ve had several customers visit us that had fitted a used lock, just months before they came to us.

On both occasions the replacement lock was fine for a few months and then the key started sticking again, just like the original lock that came with the car.

In fact, fitting a used lock from another car introduces another big problem for you. If you lose your car keys, how are you going to get a key made for the random ignition lock that is now on your car?

When the car is in its original state, as from new, all the locks match and it’s easy to replace lost keys. However, when a different lock is fitted, then it becomes a problem and when you get a key cut to the door lock, it won’t fit the ignition. It’s a problem you want to avoid.

ebay logo

Lastly, we often order locks off the internet, from scrap yards or on-line breakers. We use them as part of our Nissan key suck in ignition exchange service, refurbishing then so the work like new. Sometimes when they arrive, the key that comes with it is already stuck in the lock! So careful what you buy, as they’re are not cheap at all. If you want to find out more about this service we offer call us on 01522 514141. 

Things to Avoid Number three – Try a new key blade.

In any normal car key lock problem, with just wear and tear, then a new key, cut to original shape is a great idea. We see this problem on Ford car keys, with the blade wearing down and it no longer working the lock anymore.

With Ford cars, a new car key will often fix the problem.

However, if you put a nice new key into your worn out old Nissan lock, it will get stuck for good. When you see how thin and worn out the old keys are, you can understand what is going on.

The sharp edge inside the lock shaves a tiny part of the key blade away when it’s pulled out and gradually the key gets thinner and thinner. However, when you put in a new, full sized key in the lock, it grabs the key tight and there it will most probably stay.

On top of this, we’ve heard stories about Nissan selling replacement blades at between £40 and £60 a time! For a key blade….that’s just going to get even more stuck! Don’t do this.

Things to Avoid Number 4 – Have the problem diagnosed at the dealer.

I’ts a good idea to use the dealer for many of the the more technical problems on all cars for you. Need an ECU programming, or a software update, or a faulty airbag module changing? The dealers have the latest software and it’s understandable for them to diagnose the fault first and then take care of it.

But this is a key stuck in the lock, I mean what else can it be? You have a Nissan key stuck in ignition problem, what is there to diagnose?

You see dealers need to charge to diagnose the problem, I understand that. So before Nissan fix your problem they will want to diagnose it, at £60 an hour, or more. It’s stuck, the lock is faulty, this diagnostic session is over. Treat yourself to something nice with the £60, or put it away for a rainy day, but don’t waste it on ‘dealer diagnostics’.

Rant over

Lastly, Tips to Avoid Number 5 – Ignore the problem.

I get it. It’s like having toothache. You know there’s something not quite right. It hurts every now and then when you brush your teeth, or chew on a nice crispy roast potato. So you start to use the other side of your mouth, not wanting to spend money on a problem that isn’t stopping you from living.

Your Nissan key stuck in ignition problem is the same as your toothache. You have a problem because something is wrong. You can ignore it for sure, but the problem hasn’t cured itself, it just slowly gets worse and worse. Eventually you wake up one Sunday morning when there’s no a dentist open for miles and it’s agony.

Why did I ignore it? All you can think about is the pain, and it messes up everything. This is the same as your Nissan problem. You can ignore it. You may get away with it for weeks, maybe a month, but eventually it will get you.

One day you’ll need to lock the car, parked in some dodgy public car park, and the key won’t come out anymore.

So whoever fixes your Nissan car, don’t avoid it for too long. You’ll get stuck somewhere for good and wish you got it sorted! If you have any questions, either leave them below in the comments or call us on 01522 514141 and we’ll be happy to help.






4 replies
  1. Stephanie Lynskey
    Stephanie Lynskey says:

    I have a qashqai and can’t get it to lock tonight because of the dust cover issue presumably. How much would this cost please I am in Scunthorpe so not too far away


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