Broke off Key in Door Lock

reekolaNovember 12, 2008

Turned key too hard in door lock and twisted off the part in the lock. It disappeared behind the little sliding piece that coveres up the interior of the lock. Any ideas on how I can get this out myself?

Thanks in advance................

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Over the years I've been lucky removing broken keys. I do it by drilling a small into the key, stop the drill while drilling, and slowly pull it out. A friend of mine removed one with compressed air and a blowgun. Removing the lock cylinder, would be another way, and tapping it on a hard surface. Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 12:17AM
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If the key broke flush with the outside edge of the cylinder, you might be able to extract it with a small needle nose pliers. Slide the key slot cover aside with something like a small screw driver and take a peek to see how much of the key is sticking out. Be very careful in moving the slide aside else you may push the key farther into the lock. If you can't grasp the key, then you'll have to get into the car through the opposite door, unlock the unruly door, and proceed to dismantle the interior of the door to gain access to the cylinder and remove it.

You do have spare keys, I hope.

After you get everything back in working order, lubricate the locks with a lock lubricant. Most lock lubricants have graphite.

One common cause of a jammed lock (on unlocking) is a sticking tumbler; Another is a worn key.

As an alternative, you could have a locksmith extract the key for you.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:18AM
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Thanks! I'll try your suggestions this weekend. I have spare keys and have been unlocking the passenger door to unlock all of the electronic locks. It's not a big problem, more of an inconvenience. The locks were getting a little stiff, so I turned a little too fast and hard - I'll try some graphite as well, to try an loosen things up a bit. I'll let you know how I fared. Thanks again for the advice - this is a great forum! Everyone have a good weekend!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 2:34PM
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Jem dandy is correct you can remove the key with a pair of needle nose pliers. Go to a hardware store by a cheap pair of the smallest slimest needle nose pliers you can find. Go someplace where there is an electric grinding wheel, grind the tips down to as finer point as possible, you can then slide these in and pull out the broken key. I had the same thing happen on a 2000 Grand Prix I was quoted all manner of high prices to remove key and fix the lock. A retired garage owner Marcel who ocassionaly posts here came to my rescue. I bought a 3 buck pair of needle noses he ground the tips down as thin as possible. The broken key came out first try, a liberal application of lock ease cured problem and I never had any further trouble with this lock. Good luck Iggie

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 4:31AM
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The key was way in there, so I went to local mom & pop hardware store (where they actually help solve your problems. I was going to buy the skinny pliers and file it down and try that. The guy there had a little kit with a thin corkscrew type wire that he threaded in next to the key and pulled it right out - No Charge! I love that place - they know how to do so many things and are always ready to help out. You don't see many stores like that anymore. It was like the one shown in this website:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:12PM
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There is a real good reason why you don't see service like that anymore. Its because that kind of service does not win all of the customers for the business like it needs to. He gave away his time and knowledge, in the losing effort of hoping you will make all of the hardware purchases that you need at his store, and of course at his prices which are usually higher for the most part than you will find the same items for at a place like Lowes, or another big box hardware store. While you can say you will now buy everything from him, all you need to do is look at just how many people are going to the other stores to see just how much his service really means to the public at large.

By him not charging for what he did, you got to have HIS cake, and you got to eat it too. Someday all too soon you will see his business close and you will be left to wonder why that happened, cause he was such a good guy. Running an honest business does not equal "free to me", in fact now when he finds himself in a situation where he has to charge for his time and the expectation has been set that he usually did something for free, he will now come across as looking as anything but honest in his business.

This should all sound real familiar, because its one of the biggest problems we face in this trade. While guys try and do something free once in a while to help build their businesses, they teach their customers that their time is worth less than it really is. They create an atmosphere where the commodity ( something like a tire ) is the important part of the transaction, not the training and the skill that is required to replace it safely and correctly. Meanwhile, by giving up an important revenue source they turn around one day and find that they cannot afford the tools and the schools their people require to stay up to date with the technology that is hitting the streets today.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:07AM
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John G - you are correct in your assessment. Even though I do buy many things from the big box stores, I still go to this place periodically when I just need one or two small items for a project and don't feel like driving farther to a big box and standing in a long checkout line. This guy has been in business for a loing time and seems to have a steady stream of customers - probably locals who like the personal attention and help they get and contractors working in the area. I did offer to pay him for his services but he refused. Unfortunately, you're right that many of these types of places are heading for the same fate as the dinosaurs. It's just so nice to have someone actually want to try and help you vs. running the other way when they see you coming down the aisle, like a lot of the "help" in the big boxes!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 2:22PM
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I would be lost with out the local hardware this economy I frequent them at least once or twice a weekend. sure I also use box stores for comparison..but as often as I can I use the " little guy". when they are gone....??? .

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:58PM
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john_g is so far out in left field with his comments that he is standing in the middle of the parking lot. I was an owner of a small business, max. 10 employees, and partner in another about the same on employees and we did stuff like that all the time. We called it liking and helping people. There was no thought of increasing our business or charging for something simple for someone in trouble. Small business tend to be like that. Dead battery? wait a minute and we'll give you a jump. Elderly person stuck at home? we'll drop off a couple of loaves of bread on our way.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 11:49PM
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hendricus. You have your opinion, and I have mine. The difference is I'm not insulting you for yours.

On one thing we will agree, small businesses do tend to give away the store right up to the very end of their existence. As you said "I was an owner of a small business, / and we did stuff like that all the time."

My perspective places a lot of emphasis on your "was".

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 5:48PM
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As you said "I was an owner of a small business, / and we did stuff like that all the time."

Sold it to my brother 16 yrs ago and he sold it again 5 yrs ago. The business was started at this location in 1966 and it still going strong. Still growing.

The "was" was personal. I took my money and started another business and the original kept right on going.

We never did try to get all the business. Routinely recommended big box stores and other competitors. The most common answer we got from the people was that they didn't like the other stores and or their attitudes.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:35PM
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What kind of a business was this?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Bakery, retail and wholesale. Heavy on the wholesale which has changed dramatically with all the big companies buying each other out and having a different slant on how they run their cafeterias.

Started another bakery that specialized in cookies at gas/convenience outlets. We gave the big boys a workout.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:45PM
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