When you’re rushing around town, the last thing you need is to find out your car key isn’t working. Maybe you’re at the grocery store with a cart full of melting ice cream and other perishables. Maybe you’re in a hurry to pick up your kids from school. Suddenly, for no reason, your key gets stuck in the ignition or breaks off in the door, leaving you stranded.


Thankfully, rescue is right around the corner thanks to Minnesota’s most trusted residential locksmithing company. At Minneapolis Lock & Key, we have decades of experience rescuing drivers from car key emergencies with our professional lock rekey services. In this post, we’re breaking down some of the reasons your car key may not be working. Give us a call to schedule your lock rekey services today!

Different Types of Automotive Keys

Diagnosing automotive car key problems begins with a complete understanding of how different types of locks and keys work. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1995 tend to use a traditional car key that works on both the vehicle’s ignition and locks.


Around that time, many manufacturers began switching to transponder keys, a far more secure solution than traditional locks and keys. Transponder keys contain an embedded transmitter that connects to a receiver within the vehicle. These keys will not work without signal verification. Modern vehicles have expanded upon the transponder key concept by adding remote entry.

Common Car Key Issues

If you’re having trouble with your car key, these are a few possible issues that may be affecting its functionality:

1.    Your key is broken.

If your key has broken off in the lock or ignition of your vehicle, our residential locksmithing services team can remove it for you. We’re fast, friendly, and less expensive than most dealerships!

2.    Your key is damaged.

Just like a residential door key, a traditional car key is a mechanical device with grooves that fit into a lock. Those grooves can gradually wear down over the years until they don’t fit into the locking mechanism of your car.


A damaged key is one of the most common issues you’ll encounter. Key damage isn’t always readily visible, but it can become cumulative and worsen over time. In many cases, a key is damaged long before it stops turning in the lock, but that damage may be difficult to notice until it no longer works at all. Years of heavy use can eventually take their toll on your keys.

3.    The key is bent.

In a perfect world, car keys would only ever be used as car keys. But we’ve seen our share of keys that have been used as bottle openers and mini crowbars alike. If your key is bent, it won’t work for you. Fortunately, we can often tap the key back to its original shape and get it working again so you don’t have to shell out $150 for a dealer replacement.

4.    The lock is damaged.

Just as the key can become damaged over the years, so can your car’s locking mechanism. The locks inside many older vehicles with traditional keys can end up wearing down or becoming damaged over time. Door locks can also become clogged with particles and debris if they’ve never been cleaned. They can also become damaged from an attempted theft or a traffic accident that impacts your door.

5.    There’s an ignition cylinder issue.

If your car key turns in your door lock but not in your ignition, you may not have a faulty key at all. You may instead be experiencing a fault with your ignition cylinder that requires a professional mechanic.

6.    You have a bad copy.

If you share your car with another family member or you’re just responsible enough to keep a spare key at all times, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually use key duplication services to have a copy made. Knowing you’ve got a spare can be reassuring, but it doesn’t do you much good if that spare is not a good copy. It’s best to have your key cut by a professional locksmith to ensure its security and functionality.

Other Common Car Key Issues

In addition to the above issues, we can also help with a number of other lock rekey problems. Lost your car keys? No problem. If you’ve lost your keys, we can make a new set in as little as a half-hour. If you’ve got a problem with your car’s lock or key, give us a call!


In addition to our key removal, key duplication, and key creation services, we offer a complete range of residential locksmithing services, including:


●        Antique key services

●        Lockout support

●        Lock installation and repair

●        Mortise Locks

Contact Our Minnesota Key Duplication Services

The best way to prevent a lock emergency is to plan ahead. Stop by our showroom and get your professional key duplication services so you’re ready when you lose your car keys. And don’t forget to program our number into your phone when you need emergency lockout services!


Connect with our automotive key creation services by calling 612.823.8148 or contact us on the web to find out more about our locksmithing services. We look forward to working with you!