Subaru Forester Key Stuck in Ignition: A Growing Issue Among Forester Owners

Do you know why the Subaru Forester key stuck in ignition? Are you weary of this irritating issue? Well, you can try wiggling or jiggling the key. Still facing the problem?

Don’t worry; getting rid of this problem doesn’t need any rocket science. So, you can easily unstick your Subaru Forester key by following some simple tricks. 

All you need is just a proper guideline. Guess what? We’re here to help you with possible fixes. 

Why is Your Subaru Forester Key Stuck in Ignition?

To solve any problem, the first and foremost duty is to find out the reason. As we mentioned earlier, several things can cause sticking the Subaru Forester key in the ignition. 

ReasonsPossible Solutions
Debris on the KeyUse a small pair of pliers to remove the debris
Parking Gear is Not SetGently shake the gear selector or try to reset the gear
Steering Wheel LockWiggle the steering wheel around while turning the key
Your Car is In Extremely Cold WeatherSpray with WD40
Dead BatteryCharge your car battery or replace it
Damaged KeyApply Pressure Using Tool

Now, we’ll discuss the causes of a stuck key in the ignition and their possible solutions elaborately.

Debris on the Key

Over time, debris can build up on the key and cause it to become stuck in the ignition. This problem is most commonly seen with Subaru Foresters, as the car’s design makes it difficult to remove and clean the key. 

Solution: The first thing you should do is try to wiggle the key back and forth. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a magnet to try to remove the debris from the key. 

If that still doesn’t work, you can try using a small pair of pliers to remove the debris from the key. 

When none of these methods work, you may need to take your car to a mechanic to have them remove the debris from the key. 

Parking Gear is Not Set

If you’re experiencing trouble starting your Subaru Forester, it might be because the parking gear hasn’t been properly set. This problem can often occur when the car has been in the park for an extended period of time. 

The gearshift can become stuck in the park position, which will prevent you from being able to remove the key from the ignition. In this situation, you’ll need to take some steps to free the gearshift and get yourself back on the road. 

Solution: First, make sure that the gear is actually in the park.  It’s easy to think that it’s in the park when it’s not, so you have to keep the gear in parking mode. 

In case the car is still running, turn it off and try to remove the key by wiggling it back and forth until it comes out.

Steering Wheel Lock

In some cases, there’s a chance that the steering wheel lock may be the cause. The lock is a metal bar that slides into a groove on the side of the steering wheel. When you turn the wheel, it pushes against the bar, locking it in place.

If the lock becomes worn or damaged, it can become loose and fall out of the groove, interfering with the key’s ability to turn in the ignition.

Solution: Try to rock the car back and forth a few times to see if that will free the key. However, if that doesn’t work, take a look at the gear shift. It may be in the park or neutral. If it is, put it in reverse or drive and try to turn the key again. 

If all of those fail, you can try jiggling the key while pulling on the steering wheel. If none of that works, make a call for help. 

Damaged Key

If you can’t make the key to turn in the ignition, it’s probably because one of the pins that hold the key in place has become damaged.

Solution: In this scenario, you can use a screwdriver or pliers to apply pressure to the key and twist it until it turns. 

However, you can also use a jimmy bar tool to pry up on one side of the key while another person pushes down on the other side. Otherwise, you can try using a mechanic’s screwdriver, which has extra-long blades.

Your Car is In Extremely Cold Weather

Many drivers found that their Subaru Forester key has been stuck in ignition when they’re in cold weather.  It won’t be surprising, as cold weather causes the rubber seal around the keyhole to shrink, preventing the key from being removed. 

Sometimes, cold weather creates a moisture barrier around the key and the ignition. The key can be frozen in the ignition in an area where the temperature is below freezing point.

Solution: Suppose your key doesn’t budge when trying to remove it with a screwdriver in extremely cold weather. In that case, you can try using WD-40, lubricant, or petroleum jelly. Be careful not to use lubricants that contain oil. 

These will cause your key to stick even more! You can also spray a bit of WD-40 or other lubricants on the key, then run it underwater so that any excess can run off and dry.

Dead Battery

This is one of the most common reasons why Subaru key stuck in the ignition. When your car’s battery is dead, there will be no electricity. Consequently, the whole system will be locked down. 

Solution: If you find yourself in a position where the key is stuck in the ignition and the battery is dead, don’t panic. You can do some simple things to try and get the key out.

First, check if the car has power. If it does, try turning on the headlights or radio. Otherwise, you’ll need to jump-start the car.

Also Read: Subaru No Crank No Start: 4 Reasons And Fixes Explained

To do this, you’ll need someone else to help you. Have that person sit in the car while you stand outside it. Then, take two metal objects like jumper cables, and connect them together. 

This will ignite a spark that will jump-start the car. Once the car is started, have the other person get out of the car and remove the cables. 

Safety Cautions to Approach the Ignition Process

Here are some tips you must remember before approaching the ignition investigation or repairing process:

  • Be cautious when working with electrical systems in any vehicle, but especially when it comes to the ignition system. There’s a high potential for serious injury or even death if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary tools and supplies before beginning any repair work on your car’s ignition system.
  • If you’re unsure about doing a repair yourself, make sure to find a qualified professional to do the work for you.

This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my key get stuck in the ignition Subaru Forester?

There are a few reasons why your Subaru Forester key gets stuck in ignition. One possibility is that the key isn’t making a good connection with the ignition. If the key is dirty or corroded, it might not be able to make a good connection with the ignition. Another possibility is that there’s something blocking the key from going all the way into the ignition.

Why are my keys not coming out of my ignition?

There are a few potential reasons why your keys might not be coming out of your ignition. One possibility is that the key is stuck. If the key is stuck, try gently wiggling it back and forth to see if you can free it. Otherwise, you might need to use some force to get it out.

How do you take the key out of a Subaru Forester?

You take the key out of the Subaru Forester’s ignition. Turn the key to the “off” position and then pull it out. Another way is to turn the key to the “lock” position and then pull it out.


Whenever you notice your Subaru Forester key stuck in ignition, follow the above-mentioned tips to get it out safely. When you’re driving, always keep your hands on the wheel and stay focused on the road. 

If you’re unable to remove the key on your own, pull over to a safe location and call for help.

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Ronald Berit

Our chief editor, working 24/7 to ensure the precise and only quality data regarding different trucks.He is mastered with the ins and outs of cargo to off-road trucks of Dodge, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, GMC and more. This truck geek graduatedwitha Bachelor of automobile engineeringdegree and practiced through his own automotive parts repair center.

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