Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key – 9 Easy Steps

The ignition lock cylinder is an essential part of your car. Sometimes it fails to give you no other option rather than removing and replacing it.

With a key, removing the ignition is easy. But when you lose your key, you can also use simple tools such as screwdrivers and remove the ignition lock.

In this article, we will share with you a simple to follow the procedure that you can use to remove the ignition lock from its place.

Let’s get started.

How To Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key

To remove an ignition lock cylinder without a key, you will need to use a lock cylinder removal tool or gently tap it out with a hammer and screwdriver. Be aware that attempting to remove an ignition lock cylinder without a key may be illegal. Use caution and consider consulting a mechanic for assistance.

original ignition key
Source: reddit@that_one_erik

Required Tools to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key

How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key

To successfully remove the ignition lock cylinder without a key, you will need to have the following critical tools. All of these tools are available on Amazon. You can order them now.

Step 1: Disconnect The Battery

The first thing you need to do is to disconnect your battery. This will ensure that you don’t get electrocuted or short anything in the car.

Remove negative cable terminal to disconnect the battery. With the negative terminal removed, you will be safe to work on your car.

Step 2: Remove The Steering Wheel

The next thing you will need to do is to remove the steering wheel from its place so that you can access the ignition lock cylinder.

Remove the screws to remove the lower and upper cover from the steering wheel column.

After you have removed the covers, lift the wheel up – pull at the center cover. Disconnect the horn wires.

Retain the washers and nuts as you remove the steering wheel.

Finally, pull the steering wheel from its shaft.

ruined ignition cylinder lock
Source: reddit@Ramonn27

Step 3: Remove Indicator and Wipers Switches

Locate these two switches and pull them away from their place.

Step 4: Remove Sleeves From Steering Column

In the steering wheel column, you will find spacer columns. Locate and slide it up after you have removed the indicator and wiper switches.

Step 5: Disconnect All Electrical Connection Leading To Ignition Switch

Locate the mounting screws on the ignition switch. Unscrew them and pull the ignition switch out.

Carefully disconnect wires from the connector on the rear side of the ignition switch.

To pull the switch out, you will need to loosen the tabs and pull them out.

Step 6: Remove The Mounting Bolts

Get a socket wrench or screwdriver to unscrew the mounting screws or bolts on the ignition switch. Unbolt the switch assembly and housing that contains the lock cylinder.

Most of the car models have an interchangeable lock cylinder. These cylinders can easily be removed by inserting a pin into a pinhole using the release mechanism. Alternatively, you can turn an ignition key in the accessories position.

Step 7: Inspect The Mounting Bolts On The Ignition Switch Housing

Some car models have safety snap-off bolt heads. The main role of this component is to prevent thieves from replacing your can ignition lock and driving it off without a key.

So, in this case, you will need a power-drill with extractors to remove the bolts that mount the ignition switch to the steering column.

Step 8: Lock the Key Cylinder

Insert a straightened paperclip into the slot and turn to the left. This will lock the cylinder and prevent the ignition from starting.

Step 9: Use A Screwdriver

Insert the screwdriver into the cylinder and turn it on the right as far as you can.

After that, pull the paperclip on the far right as much as possible. Gently slide the switch out of its place.

Parting Shot

As simple as that, you will have removed your ignition lock from its place. 


Is It Possible To Drill Out A Lock Cylinder?

You may now drill a hole in the lock’s cylinder to destroy the pins contained within the cylinder. Whenever the drill bit comes into contact with each pin, you will experience resistance. 

Locks typically feature five tumblers, although some have six or even more. If the drill becomes stuck due to metal filings, you should put the drill in reverse and then pull the drill out.

Is It Possible To Start My Automobile With A Screwdriver?

It is dependent on the type of vehicle, its manufacturer, and its model. If the vehicle was manufactured before 1990, it is possible to start it using a screwdriver. However, with current automobiles equipped with more complex technologies, using a screwdriver to start the vehicle may not be effective.

In truth, even modern automobiles over a decade old are not always easy to start with a screwdriver. As a result, it would be beneficial to avoid getting into a position where you would be forced to start your car with anything other than your car key in hand.

Is it Possible to Choose the Ignition of a Car?

Yes, it is possible to select the ignition of an automobile. However, the process may be more difficult, particularly if the vehicle has a recent key pattern. It is exceedingly difficult to pick the ignition of a lever lock, and as a result, you would need to use a specific pick to open them.

A wafer-tumbler-based lock is used in a large number of automobiles. It is perfectly feasible to pick the ignition, or the door locks conventionally in that circumstances. In any event, make every effort to be cautious when choosing the ignition or door locks to avoid any harm.

What is the best way to Break an Ignition with a Screwdriver?

The use of a wrecking screwdriver & hammer to pound through the lock and aggressively break it is popular among those who want to do so. This procedure does not sit well with me since the power of the impact might cause random wire connections to detach or the ignition assembly screws to bend.

By wedging and pressing the screwdriver into the lock, you can attempt to pry it open. If you cannot get into the space, drilling through is preferable to hammering the screwdriver into place.


Now, you must know that removing the ignition lock cylinder is possible when you have the right tools and knowledge. We hope that this article helped with the detailed step guide on how you can easily remove the ignition cylinder whenever needed.

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