Guide: How to Remove a Broken Car Key from the Ignition

car key

If you’re one of the one billion people in the world who own a car, there’s a chance you’ll need to remove a broken car key from your ignition.

Sadly, this has happened to the best of us, but not to worry because this is where we come in. Throughout this blog post, we’ll instruct you on how to free your key so you can carry on with your typical day. Sound good?

Let’s dive in!

1. Turn Your Car Off Properly

This may sound obvious, but you won’t be able to get the key from the ignition unless your car is entirely switched off. So, always check this first.

Without realizing it, you might not have fully rotated the ignition cylinder while trying to switch off your car. This means the vehicles still on, even though it might not look like it.

Making sure the cars completely switched off is essential for minimizing the damage caused to both the key and the ignition cylinder.

2. Wiggle the Steering Wheel

Slowly move the wheel both left and right, and gently rotate the key. If this is the issue, this action should unlock the ignition, freeing your key.

3. Is The Car Key Broken?

If the key’s managed to break inside the ignition, there are a few things you can try.

Call a Professional Locksmith

Although extracting a broken car key from the vehicle isn’t overly complicated, it can cause further damage if not handled with care. For this reason, we suggest calling a professional locksmith to help you out.

The Diy Approach

If you decide to extract the key yourself, you’ll need a broken key extractor tool. This will remove not only the key but also any other pieces stuck inside.

Slide the key extractor tool inside the lock, and turn it. When it doesn’t turn any further, you’ll know you’ve reached the end of the lock cylinder. Then gently pull the tool towards you until you see the broken key.

Keep doing this until you’ve got all the pieces out.

You can also try lubricating the car key with some WD-40. Hopefully, this will help the key slide out. This method typically works when the key gets stuck as a result of an obstruction in the ignition.

If this works, we suggest fixing your key and clearing your ignition, to avoid this from happening again.


The most important thing to remember is to never force the key out of the ignition. This won’t have the desired effect and you’ll likely cause further damage.

Was This Blog Post Useful?

If you liked this article on how to remove a broken car key from the ignition, then we’re confident you’ll love the other features published on our blog.

Over there we discuss everything from signs your car needs a tune-up, to the top ten sports cars of 2018. Enjoy!

One thought on “Guide: How to Remove a Broken Car Key from the Ignition

Comments are closed.