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Removing Broken Door Key?

I drive a 1992 Nissan Primera wagon. Apart from a loom problem with rust it’s a great car.

A few days ago the door key broke off as I was opening the driver’s side door. The mechanic wants $75 to get it out. Are there any “folk remedies” I might use to get it out myself? (Note: I don’t know if it’s relevant but the car has power door locks) Suggestions welcome! Thanks!

Really depends on how much key is sticking out. How much is there?

Great car apart from a “loom problem with rust” I don’t know what this problem is but it doesn’t sound good.

Needle nose pliers? Locksmith?

Aquire a coping saw blade. Slip the blade under the broken key so that the teeth of the coping saw blade point outwards. Pull the coping saw blade out and the broken key should come with it.


Nice one Tester.

I’ll try it. Thanks!

The broken bit is deep within the lock. I’ll try Tester’s suggestion with the coping saw blade. Thanks!

If that doesn’t work, try grinding off the coping saw teeth on ONE side of the saw blade and going in BESIDE the broken key. Of course that requires a grinder or file. It’s too wide with teeth on both sides, and won’t fit that way. I’ve had success with both methods. Coping saw blades are cheap. You may be able to experiment.

That is the standard trick and usually works.  If you can't get it to work, take the car to a locksmith or have them come to you and they will be less expensive than the dealer, who will likely call the same locksmith and tack on a nice profit for his phone call to the locksmith.

OK. I’ll try it. Thanks!

Another option that I’ve had success with and fits into a very tight spot is a fishing hook. Use a new one for the sharpest point.

If the key remnant is deep in the lock, I straighten out the hook and use the barb to catch on the key ridges.

When you can see the key, I try to pry it out using the hook point against the side of the key.

That’s a great idea! Thanks.

Tried it. Needle nose pliers are too fat and the key bit is too deep. Thanks anyway.

What’s a “loom problem with rust”? Typo? So far as the broken key . . could you describe how much of the key is still in the lock? The whole thing? The more the better . . . it makes it easier to remove. If you can see the part still in the lock, a small pliers . . . maybe for jewelery or model trains . . might work. Rocketman

sorry, I had meant to say “looming.” I’ve tried needle nose pliers. Too big. The broken bit of the key is deep within the lock. I’m going to try TwinTurbo’s suggestion to use a fish hook. We’ll see. Thanks!