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Putting the car key into the keyhole to ignite the engine

You are in a rush to go to the office or a function. Or you got out of the office and want to come back home as quickly as possible. You go to your car and are about to start the engine. And CRACK! The moment you put the car key in the ignition keyhole, it breaks. This is frustrating but trusts me; you are not the first one who has fallen into this situation.

A broken car key is one of the most annoying issues to happen to any car owner. And unfortunately, the broken key issue also happens quite a lot. You get stuck in the car, and without waiting, you don’t have many options. But you can apply some tricks in this situation to get you out of the trouble, at least for now. A broken key extractor tool or experienced locksmith may still be needed, but trying these tricks while you are waiting frustrated won’t hurt.

In this article, you will get some DIY instructions to apply while you get stuck in a car or motor vehicle. These steps are not complicated, and some regular household tools will be enough to get you going. So, without further ado, let’s start.

How To Remove A Broken Key Out Of Ignition Lock

Putting the car key into the keyhole to ignite the engine

Before you apply the following methods to remove a broken key, make sure your ignition lock is turned off. This will help you to slide out your broken key from an ignition.

Now, let’s dive into the detailed process-

Method 1: Grab Needle Nose Pliers To Remove A Broken Key

To apply this service, the broken key needs to have some of its parts out of the ignition. Pliers will be used to pull this small key fragment and ultimately pull the key out from the ignition. Sometimes the pliers do not grip well with the broken pieces of the key. In this case, you can use some super glue or glue gun with the pliers to pull out the broken keys easily. You can not pull out your key in this way if the key gets stuck too deep.

Method 2: Get Car Key From Ignition Lock By Using Thin Metal Wire

You can also use metal wire to remove the key from the ignition lock. The wire needs to be thin to slide it into the lock cylinder. It can get bent while you pull it in and out from the lock cylinder. That’s why it also needs to be strong enough.

Grab one long stainless steel wire. Make a small hook at one end of the wire by using the needle-nose pliers. Now, start to insert the wire into the ignition lock cylinder. Insert it until the wire stops moving or going forward. This means it reaches the end of the ignition cylinder.

Start pulling the wire slowly and carefully. You need to slowly pull the wire; otherwise, the key can fall into the cylinder. The wire will pull out with the broken piece of the key. Whenever a small key fragment comes out, hold it with the needle-nose pliers.

Method 3: Use A Hacksaw Blade To Remove Broken Car Keys

Sometimes the needle nose pliers and thin wire process does not work. That’s when you need to find the right tools to remove a broken key.

A small hacksaw blade can be handy to remove the broken key. Take the hacksaw blade tool and carefully slide the tool into the ignition key cylinder. To make sure it reaches the end of the ignition lock cylinder, push the hacksaw blade until it stops going any forward. In most cases, keys have a pattern of grooves on them. Hacksaw blade can grab these grooves. So, move the hacksaw blade around and look to connect with the key blade.

Whenever you feel like the blades got the key from the ignition, slowly pull out the hacksaw blade from the ignition cylinder. You can use needle-nose pliers to pull out the broken piece of the key.

Method 4: Use A Wire Hanger To Remove The Broken Key

Hand with car key and ignition lock

Sometimes it’s hard to find a stiff and strong metal wire. If you are facing the same issue, you can use a wire hanger that is coated. This will do the work.

Similar to the metal wire, make a small hook at any end of the wire hanger. Use pliers to make the hook shape. Now slip the metal wire into the end side of the box’s ignition cylinder and move around. By swiping the wire into the cylinder, there is a good chance that you will knock over the broken piece of the key.

Method 5: Use A Broken Key Extractor Tool To Pull Broken Key From An Ignition

Removing a broken key can be trickier than you think. Key breaks for various kinds of reasons, and sometimes your working key can also get a break like this. Many tools are there to help you in these situations, but you have to know how to use them accordingly.

If any of the above-mentioned tools could not help you to get your broken key out, then this tool might save you. An extractor tool for broken keys is a specially designed tool to remove stuck keys. Take this specially designed extractor tool and slip it inside the ignition cylinder. While sliding the tool, make sure the hook end is in an upward direction. Now carefully move the extractor towards the broken piece of the key.

The moment you have hooked the piece, gently pull out the tool from the ignition cylinder. It should come out with the broken key. Do not stop the process if only a small piece of the key comes out. Repeat the steps in the same way till the entire key pops out from the ignition cylinder.

Method 6: Call A Locksmith To Bring Out Your Key

Sometimes you simply do not have the necessary tools to apply the above steps. Or, if the steps mentioned above do not solve your problem, then you should look for a local locksmith.

Frustrating things can happen to you if you can not get any success in key broke removing. One Of the most frustrating things will be if you need to replace the key altogether. Call a local locksmith before any of these things happen and make you more frustrated. Locksmith service has the necessary tools and expertise to extract the broken key smoothly.

Try to get the best locksmith service in your local area. There can be many locksmith services, but not everyone has the same expertise and experience in this field. Fast Locksmith Seattle WA can be your best pick in this situation.

Final Thoughts

A broken key is a total disaster that can happen to anyone at any time. In these frustrating situations, the above-mentioned tips can help you to remove the broken key by yourself. But if things do not go well according to the plan, you can always for locksmith services.

Fast Locksmith Seattle WA has been serving for years. In repairing car doors, door lock systems, and car key functions, Fast Locksmith Seattle WA has great expertise. You can contact Fast Locksmith Seattle WA to remove your broken key or for any key-related issues. The phone number is 206-201-1081, or you can also email at

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Some questions frequently pop into our minds when the key gets broken. Some of the most common queries are-

What Happens If My Key Broke In The Ignition?

A car locksmith will come to check your ignition cylinder. The locksmith will make sure that your cylinder does not face any damage because of the broken key. They will also look for other issues that can be connected with the key broke situation.

Can A Magnet Remove A Broken Key?

The magnet can be used as a great tool to retrieve keys. But only a simple magnet won’t do the work. Magnets do not work with key bumps.

Is It Possible To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Ignition Lock Without Tools?

Sometimes you can simply place paper clips through the hole and release the broken piece of the key. You need to remove the screw of the front door to reach the other door sometimes.

What Can You Do If Your Keys Break In The Ignition?

Some tips you can apply while your key breaks in the ignition lock. Get a plier and add some glue gun or hot wax with it to catch the keyhole. If you are using super glue or glue gun, give the plier some time to set the adhesive and then pull the keys out.

Can You Start The Car With A Broken Key?

If your car has been installed without any faulty ignition codes, more likely the car will not start. A broken key has a damaged structure that a car might fail to recognize this information, and it can lead to losing your key.

Elmer Harrison
Article Written By Elmer Harrison
I'm Elmer Harrison, and I'm the owner of Fast Locksmith in Seattle. My company is a family business that provides locksmith services to residential, commercial, and automotive customers. Since 1990, I've worked as a locksmith. Before establishing my own company, I worked for another locksmith company for a few years. My father eventually became a partner in this business, which made him happy to assist his son in succeeding at anything he loved doing!
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