How to get a broken key out of a car lock?
A broken key in a lock can not only be annoying, but also an emergency that needs to be dealt with quickly. Surely your first instinct will be to call a locksmith in a panic right?
10 Tips offers you some practical tips and tricks for removing a broken key in a door lock or in a neiman.
1. Remove a broken key from a lock with pliers
If by chance a piece of key is still visible outside the lock, try to remove it using a small pair of flat pliers or even tweezers.
Go slowly, being careful not to push the end of the broken key further into the lock, otherwise the key will be much more difficult to remove.
If the key seems to be stuck in the lock (if it does not move when you pull with the pliers), generously spray a WD-40 type lubricant into the lock before trying to extract the broken key again using of the tool.
You can also use WD-40 to reduce the squeaking of a door as you will discover in this article: Squeaky door.
If you are looking for a tool specially designed to pull out a broken key in a door lock or even in a neiman then the key extractor is the solution.
Indeed, this specialized tool for extracting broken keys is generally offered in a kit including tools of various thicknesses to allow the removal of any key in any door lock, ignition and car neiman.
10 Tips offers you below a set of key extractors and hooks for different locks:
broken key extractor
- Set of 12 tools to extract broken keys.
- For all types of door and car locks.
- TOP quality price!
3. Pop out a broken key with a magnet
In many cases, a strong (very strong) magnet will suffice to quickly remove a broken key from a lock. Apply the magnet to the lock opening (car lock or house lock) and gently pull towards you to extract the key.
To succeed in this trick you must of course use a very powerful magnet, but also that the key is made of iron!
If the magnet does not work then it will be necessary to use the tip of the flat pliers or better still the key extractor as proposed in tip #1 or #2 above.
4. Metal glue to remove a broken key
Here’s how to use metal glue, extra-strength glue, or super glue, to get the broken key out of the lock:
- Apply a few drops of glue to the broken end of the key.
- Insert the glue-coated key into the lock, until it touches the stuck piece.
- Let the glue dry for a few minutes, while holding the broken key in position.
- Pull gently to extract the key from the door lock.
Be careful not to apply too much glue otherwise you risk damaging the lock and also having to remove glue stuck in the lock, you have been warned!
Personally, I recommend the magnet trick first and then the key extractor!
5. Remove a broken key from a lock with a paperclip
You can also use a paper clip to remove a broken key from a lock. Just unfold it and give it the shape of a hook. Next, insert the paper clip into the lock at an angle that will allow you to catch the end of the broken key. Gently pull towards you.
Use a bobby pin!
The same technique can be used with a bobby pin. Start by removing the small plastic cap at the end of the pin and form a hook with the end. Slide the pin gently into the lock, hook the end of the broken key and pull slowly towards you.
6. Remove the cylinder from the lock to remove the key
As a last resort, you can dismantle the cylinder of the lock to remove the broken key, but only if the lock is unlocked.
Here is how to remove the cylinder from the lock:
- Start by unscrewing the screw that holds the cylinder and gently pull it out. You may need to spray some metal lubricant on it to help it come out.
- Turn the cylinder so that the keyhole is underneath. Tap the cylinder lightly to get the end of the broken key out.
You will need to spray some WD-40 type lubricant inside the lock again to help the stuck key end slide out and eventually come out.
7. Broken key in car ignition and neiman
If your car key has broken in the ignition and the neiman, start by making sure the engine is off. Then, refer to one of our tips above to try to remove the key yourself.
Here is a video that shows how to recover a broken key in a neiman:
If nothing works or you don’t have the equipment to disassemble everything, then you can contact a locksmith in your area or even an automobile garage.
8. What is the locksmith charge for a broken key?
If none of these tricks work, you will have no choice but to call a locksmith. This expert has all the tools needed to remove a broken key from a car or house lock. It’s actually the safest and most effective solution… But at a price!
The price for a locksmith to remove a broken key stuck in a lock can vary between 50 and 100 Euros (for our visitors from France), or between 75$ and 250$ CAN (for our visitors from Canada).
The price of a locksmith can vary a lot, because each situation is different:
- Will it be necessary to change the lock or simply extract the broken key?
- What type of key and lock is it?
- Are you calling in broad daylight, in the evening or at night?
- Is it an emergency?
- For a car or house lock?
Nothing prevents you from getting a quote by phone or online and then comparing prices.
A question now for you: Do you sometimes not know where your keys are? If so, come and read our tips and tricks on this subject right here: How not to lose your keys?