How to Remove a Broken Key from a Car Door Lock

Knowing how to remove a broken key from a car door lock can save time and money and even prevent you from having to call a locksmith. If you’re out in the suburbs or the countryside, you might have to call one anyway. If you need a locksmith in Tucker, you’re in luck. To help you if that ever happens to you, QuickPro Locksmith can help, and we’ve put together this quick primer on removing a broken key from a car door lock.

If you’re the kind of person who carries a spare car key on your keychain, you’ll appreciate the fact that most modern vehicles use a standardized ignition system. This means you can use any keys to open and start your vehicle as long as they match the lock cylinder.

Some older cars had unique door locks made specifically for each model. If one of these locks breaks or goes missing, you can get yourself out of a pinch using another key from your collection. The same goes for other types of locks — such as those used on filing cabinets, computers, or doors at home.

Use Needle Nose Pliers to Extract the Key

If you can see the key in the lock, use needle nose pliers to pull it out. This method usually works best if you have a small key that’s broken off in a lock. It may not work for larger keys because there’s no room for the needle nose plier to fit in between the key and the lock.

If you don’t have needle nose pliers or don’t want to use them, try using a magnet instead. Attach a magnet to one end of a wire and stick it into your car door lock, where your broken key is stuck. The magnet should grab onto your key and pull it out easily.

Use a Screwdriver to Unlock the Door

If you have access to a screwdriver, use it to unlock the door. First, insert the end of the screwdriver into where you see the keyhole on top of your car door handle. Then gently turn it until you hear a click sound. This will release your door lock so that you can open and close it easily with your hand.

Try Pulling the Key Out with a Gum Eraser

This is probably the easiest method if you have no tools or access to them. The idea is that erasers are made of rubber, which grips things well — like metal keys stuck in locks. Just wedge one end under one side of the broken key and twist at an angle until it pops out!


Use a Key Extractor

This is the easiest method of removing a broken key from your car door lock. You can buy them at most hardware or auto parts stores, which are inexpensive. The tool looks like a pair of pliers with one end having an angled tip that fits inside the hole on the side of your ignition switch or ignition cylinder. With the other end, you turn to open the lock manually.

Use a Paperclip

If you don’t have access to an easy-out tool and don’t want to spend money on one, try this method: insert one end of a straightened-out paperclip into the hole on the side of your ignition switch or ignition cylinder (where your key goes in). Then insert the other end into one of the grooves in your broken key; twist in both directions until the key turns freely and comes out of its slot in the lock mechanism.

QuickPro Locksmith

These methods are fairly successful if the circumstances are correct, though some are more time-consuming than others. Try an Atlanta locksmith if all else fails, and you must get into your car as soon as possible. At least that way, you can save yourself plenty of headaches in the future.

Russell Brooks

Russell Brooks is a security systems expert with a degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His 17 years in home security and automation inform his comprehensive safety and smart home integration guides. His articles offer practical and cutting-edge solutions for home protection. He is a DIY enthusiast and enjoys building custom automation systems. He sometimes enjoys outdoor activities and is a volunteer in neighborhood watch programs.

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