How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock or Ignition

Written By Alla Levin
June 30, 2021
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How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock or Ignition

You count on your car to get you from place to place daily. Therefore, you invest in routine maintenance. You have to get the oil changed regularly, take a look at the tires, and even replace a few belts from time to time. If there is one part of your car that you do not expect to fail you, it is your lock or ignition.

Unfortunately, there are situations where keys can get stuck in the lock or ignition. For example, the key may break off right in the pathway. When this happens, you may feel like there’s nothing you can do. Fortunately, there is a way for you to remove a broken key from a lock ignition. What do you have to do? There are a few important points to note.

Use a Broken Key Extractor Tool

The first option you have at your disposal is to use something called a broken key extractor tool. As the name suggests, this is a tool that has been specifically designed to remove broken keys from locks and ignitions. You will need a broken key extractor tool, some lubricant, and needle-nose pliers to use this method.

To remove your broken key, the steps you need to follow include:

  • First, you have to turn off your engine and make sure your car is in the park. Immediately after your key breaks off, you need to make sure the engine is off. Then, put on the emergency brake and shift the car to park;
  • After this, you could spray some lubricant end to the lock. That way, you will grease the key, making it easier to remove;
  • Next, take out your key extractor and slide this into the lock. The broken key extractor should be inside the cylinder of the lock. If there is a hook end, make sure this is pointed up;
  • Once this is done, you should turn in the extractor tool. Once you feel the extractor tool come to a stop, you have reached the end of the lock cylinder;
  • After this, you need to pull the extractor to allow. It would help if you did this slowly. Attempt to catch the hook of the key extractor on the teeth of the key. After you have hooked the key, you should continue pulling until a small part of the broken key has been removed from the cylinder. It may take you a couple of tries to do this successfully;
  • After the broken key is sticking out from the cylinder, you can use needle-nose pliers to pull it out; however, you need to do this carefully to keep yourself from damaging the lock itself. That is why you should reach out to a professional team from Express Locksmith to help you with this task.

If you can follow these steps successfully, you should be able to remove a broken key from your lock or ignition.

Use a Jigsaw Blade

Another option you may want to use is called a jigsaw blade. To use this method, you will only need two tools. You will need some lubricant and the jigsaw blade itself. To remove the key using a jigsaw blade, the steps you need to follow include:

  • First, you have to lubricate the lock. Take some lubricant and spray it into the lock cylinder. This will make it much easier for you to remove the key from the lock.
  • Next, you should take your blade and slide it into the lock. You need to do this carefully to make sure you do not cut yourself during the process. Make sure the blade is nice and sharp. You do not want to use a dull blade. When the jigsaw blade stops sliding, you have reached the end of the cylinder. It would help if you stopped at this point.
  • The next thing you have to do is pull the blade out of the lock. You should carefully turn the jigsaw blade toward the key. Then, catch the blade on several teeth from the key. Once you have caught the jigsaw blade on the key, you should be able to pull it slowly out of the lock.

Again, it would be best to make sure you are careful as you remove the key from the lock. If you do not do this correctly, you risk damaging the lock. If you would like to prevent this from happening, you should reach out to a professional who can help you.

Use a Thin Wire

Finally, if you do not have a jigsaw blade or a broken key extractor tool, you may be able to use a thin wire as long as you can slide it into the cylinder of the lock. Remember that the wire must be strong enough to maintain its shape going in and coming out of the lock cylinder. Otherwise, you will not be able to use this to remove a broken key.

To perform this method, you will need some lubricant, needle nose pliers, and your wire. Like other methods, you should lubricate the lock with plenty of lubricants before you try to do anything else.

After this, you need to take your needle nose pliers and use them to create a small hook at the end of the wire. It would help if you slid the hook end of the wire into the lock cylinder. If you feel the wire stop moving, you are at the back of the cylinder. Then, you have to pull the wire out slowly, trying to catch the wire on the teeth of the key. That way, you will hook the key and pull it out of the lock using the wire.

Again, this is a challenging option, so it is always better to reach out to a professional locksmith who can make sure this is done properly on the first attempt. That way, you do not run the risk of breaking your lock.

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