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How to Remove a Broken Key From a Car Door Lock

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Have you ever broken a car key in the door? It’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a person. Either without fail or when you need it most, your key breaks off in the ignition. You try turning it just to make sure, only to realize that your troubles are worse than you thought. You’re locked out and need help fast. If you are not at home, your only recourse may be to call a locksmith for a car key replacement. YH Locksmith can respond to your crisis quickly. If you are at home with time and supplies on hand, there are several strategies you can try before contacting a locksmith.

Align the Cylinders With Needle Nose Pliers

If you have a flat head screwdriver or any other tool that can help align the cylinders, use it to open the door slightly and slide it between the two parts of the lock (one part being where they meet). Once they are correctly aligned, you should be able to pry out the fragment with needle nose pliers or even your fingernail. Make sure you do not push too hard on any key part because this could cause damage.

Apply Oil

To remove a broken key from a car door lock with oil, place a few drops of lubricating oil — like WD-40 — on top of the key lodged inside or underneath the lock cylinder. Then turn the key back and forth until it frees itself from the tumblers inside. If it doesn’t work on its own, try gently using needle nose pliers or tweezers to pull out any pieces remaining in the lock cylinder.

Use Tweezers

If neither of these methods works, then you can use tweezers to pull out any fragments that might be stuck inside your lock. Tweezers are especially useful if there are multiple broken key pieces inside your car door lock because they allow you to grab onto multiple pieces at once. This makes it much easier for you to remove all pieces of broken key from your car door lock without damaging anything else inside your vehicle’s door lock or ignition system.

Probe and Pull Method

This method is not always effective, but it can work if you are lucky enough to find a small opening in your lock where you can insert the probe. Start by inserting your probe into the lock as far as possible (without damaging anything). Then gently rock back and forth while applying pressure on both sides of the probe with your fingers. If you are lucky, this will push enough debris out of the way so that you can grab hold of your broken key and pull it out from behind the door panel.

Extract With a Paperclip

Insert the paper clip into the hole of the lock cylinder and push gently until the tip of the paper clip fits over the top of the key’s shaft. Pull up on the paper clip while holding down on it with your thumb. This will release the tension on the tumblers inside the lock cylinder and help dislodge the key from its position. Repeat as many times as necessary until you successfully remove the key from its position in the door lock cylinder.

Use Sticky Putty

Sticky putty is adhesive that can remove small pieces of debris from your lock’s mechanism. Stick putty onto your key, then insert it into your lock, so it sticks to the debris inside. If so, repeat until all debris is removed.

Call YH Lock and Security LLC

It is always recommended to call a locksmith for broken keys but this guide has given you some good insight into the dos and don’ts of removing a broken key from a lock. Call YH Lock and Security LLC to assist if you are not able to do it yourself.