“During the winter last year there was a lot of snow. I didn’t drive for close to a week, which allowed my car doors to become frozen shut. Near the end of the snow season, I decided to drive to the store with my daughter. I used the key to unlock my driver side door, but it didn’t open without a fight. I noticed that my key was a little bit too flexible, but I didn’t give it much thought. I used the same key to start my car and when I tried to remove it, it broke, leaving a piece of the key jammed into the ignition. I tried to remove it with a paperclip and tweezers. Nothing worked, so I called a locksmith. Apparently, this can be a common issue during winter seasons! My advice is to replace your keys if they are bendy or weak.” – Anonymous, young mother
How much should someone expect to pay a locksmith in order to remove a broken key from their ignition?
Costs will vary depending on the type of key someone has, whether it’s a transponder key or a regular key. In the case that a regular key has been broken inside the ignition, someone should expect to pay right around $100, to $150 for the service. The service includes the extraction of the key, as well the remaking of the key.
In the case that a transponder key is broken inside the ignition, someone should expect to pay right around $200 to $250 for the service. The service includes the extraction of the key, the remaking of the key, and the programming of the key.
Is it necessary to call a locksmith in order to remove a broken key, or can someone remove it on their own?
In some situations, the key will be sticking out of the ignition. In this case, it’s usually safe to try and pry the key out using needle nose pliers. In most cases, a locksmith will still need to come out and remake the key, but it will lower the service cost significantly if the person is able to remove the key on their own. If the key is not sticking out enough, call a locksmith before trying to remove it. Without the proper tools, the ignition cylinder could be damaged and will need to be replaced. Calling a locksmith will save time and money. LPI locksmiths are equipt with all the right tools and will get the job done without damaging the vehicle.
How can this problem be avoided?
- If the key is at all bending, call a locksmith before trying to unlock a door or start a vehicle.
- If the key is noticeably thinning, visit LPI and have the key replaced.
- If it’s cold outside and the key is sticking, it’s likely that the key is becoming worn down. Visit a locksmith.
“My advice is if you notice your key becoming weak, get out of the game and go get it replaced while you can. It’s far cheaper than being stuck in a situation where your key breaks inside the ignition. Be smart, and pay attention. It’s better to avoid the inconvenience when possible.” -LPI locksmith
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