What To Do If Your Key Broke In Your Ignition

If you were having difficulty getting the key out of your ignition, and the entire key is now stuck or part of it has broken off in the ignition, there are a few things you can do. Some of these methods work better when the entire key is stuck, while others can be done for half of a key that broke off when trying to dislodge it.

Loosen the Steering Wheel

The first way to get a key removed from the ignition when it is stuck is by loosening the steering wheel. To do this, you will first need to jack up the front part of your vehicle, allowing the wheels to leave the ground completely. This releases weight from the feels and allows the steering column to loosen and relax. Take hold of the steering wheel and use a wiggling motion to loosen it while you try to pull out the key.

Use a Dry Lubricant

A dry lubricant may also help you to get the key out of the ignition. This method also works well when your vehicle is jacked up, but if you don't have a jack, you can first try it with your wheels on the ground. Spray a dry lubricant in the ignition where the key is located, without getting it too wet. Be careful not to soak the key or you won't be able to grab it. Use a dental pick or similar device to fit into the ignition cylinder so you can wiggle the key out.

Try the Ice Method

If the last two methods have failed, you can try using ice. Grab a sandwich bag that has a zip closure and fill it about halfway with ice. You want either small cubes or crushed ice in the bag for this method. Take the bag of ice and wrap it around the head of the key, or the broken part that is sticking out of the ignition. Hold it on the key for several minutes to let it contract due to the cold temperature. Now grab hold of the key and see if it comes loose.

Grab Your Hair Dryer

If cold doesn't work, you can try using heat and cold combined. For this method, you need to have access to a hair dryer that does not need to be plugged in, or that can be plugged in nearby and reach the vehicle using an extension cord. With the hair dryer turned on, point it at the ignition where the key is stuck. At the same time, you should still be holding the bag of ice over the key. The ice will help contract the key while the ignition cylinder expands with the heat from the hair dryer. See if it can now be removed.

When all else fails, or if you don't have access to these items, call a company like Tri-County Locksmith. A professional locksmith can get the key removed and, if it is broken, get you a new one made right on the spot.