One of the most common problems encountered by vehicle owners worldwide is a broken key. Nothing can be more frustrating than to get into your car, turn the key in the ignition and then feel the end of the key come off. This can not only lead to frustration and panic, but if you do not know how to extract your key correctly, you could be faced with an even bigger problem, such as having to change out your ignition switch.
At this point it is best to call the professionals; your local locksmith has experience with automotive key extraction and can liberate your broken key quickly and without causing you any further damage or expense.
However, if you are for some reason unable to contact your locksmith, and if you have a spare key and an aptitude for D.I.Y., you may choose to get the key out yourself.
How To Free Your Broken Vehicle Key
This is a very delicate procedure and should be undertaken with the utmost care. Damage to your ignition will cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to replace it.
To begin with you will need a flash light to try to see the broken off piece in the ignition switch. It is best if you can see the broken piece but it is not necessary. You will also need a pair of bottle nosed pliers or a pair of tweezers.
If you can see the end of the key stump, insert the pliers into the ignition switch and just feel around with your pliers to find the broken off part of the key. It will help if you have someone to hold the flash light for you while you are attempting to get the key out. If you do not have someone to hold the flash light for you and it is difficult to see inside the ignition switch, simply feel around for the end of the key using the bottle nosed pliers.
Automotive key extraction can be tricky, but with some patience and a lot of luck you may be able to get the broken key fragment out of your ignition. You can then use a spare key to test the ignition to make sure that it is working properly.
In many cases, when the key breaks off, it does so in such a way that the pins and wafers of the locks fall back into place behind the broken fragment that has been lodged in the ignition slot. To access this piece you will have to push the pins out of the way to get to the remaining key fragment and to pull it out past them.
Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
Although at first glance your key breaking in your car or truck’s ignition may seem to be a minor inconvenience, this may be an indication of a more serious problem with your ignition. A car ignition can be very expensive to replace and may cost you a lot more than the value of a broken key. This being said, it might be wiser to call your local Locksmith in Dallas, who has experience in automotive key extraction, to remove the offending broken key fragment. Rather to be safe now, than to be sorry later when you are sitting with an unusable ignition.