How Are Broken Keys Extracted From Car Doors?

If you insert your car key into the lock and turn it to open your vehicle, you run the risk of the key breaking off and becoming stuck in the lock. If part of the key is partially hanging out, you may be able to grab a pair of pliers or tweezers and gently pull it from the lock. However, if nothing is hanging out, you won’t be able to remove it on your own and you will need the assistance of a locksmith or an automotive professional that offers lockout services. Until the key is removed, you will not be able to lock or unlock that door. If you have never broken a key in the door before, you may be wondering how it will be extracted. Here is some more information on that process.

A Key Extractor Tool

One of the fastest ways for a professional to remove the broken key in a car door is to use a key extractor tool. The extractor tool looks very similar to a long, thin pair of tweezers. The tool is inserted into the lock with the tool slightly open. When the key is found, the professional clamps down, closing the tweezer-like tool around the key. The key may then be wiggled or pulled straight out, removing it in one piece from your lock. All in all, this process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Removing and Replacing the Lock Cylinder

If the professional is unable to remove the key with the key extractor tool, if the lock is already in poor condition, if you don’t have a replacement key, or if the key breaks off into another piece while being extracted, a locksmith or automotive professional may decide to remove and replace the lock cylinder in order to remove the key. This is an extensive process and involves removing the interior portion of your door panel and disengaging the lock cylinder. This process also takes longer, though the amount of time varies based on the make and model of your car. It is also important to point out that once the lock cylinder is replaced on one door, it needs to be done on all your doors. Otherwise, the same key won’t work on all of your doors. As such, this method is only used when absolutely needed.

If your key breaks off in the door, you may be wondering what to do next. If you can’t see the key or can’t get it out yourself, contact a locksmith or an automotive professional that offers lockout services. They can use a key extractor tool to remove the key or remove and replace the lock cylinders to get the key out and allow your car door to lock or unlock correctly again. Contact a company like Jim’s Garage Inc for more info.