It’s happened to someone you know. You’ve probably heard the horror stories. And someday it will happen to you. A broken car key. Now, friends and family may have shared their own tips and tricks for rescuing that broken stump of a key, but your best bet is always an automotive locksmith. Keep reading to learn more.

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Superglue to the Rescue?

You’re finished with work for the week, and you can’t wait to get out of the office. You gather your things, phone home to let your family know you’re on the way, and head out to the car, eager to start the weekend, only to come screeching back to reality as the key snaps off in your hand, the remainder in the lock of your car door. Now what?

Luckily, an office-mate says he has superglue at his desk. Just tap a dab of glue on the part of the key you hold and put it back in the lock. Wait a few minutes and the two parts will fuse together and you can pull out the snapped piece. Problem solved? No. Not even close.

Do not try using superglue to fasten the pieces of a broken key together. You run a real risk of any bit of glue oozing out of the seam and ruining the lock, and that’s if you can manage to get the key out after all! Call an automotive locksmith. A professionally trained technician can remove the broken car key from your door lock quickly and efficiently. An automotive locksmith can often perform a repair on the spot, too, getting you back on your way, instead of tying up precious free time at the car dealership getting a replacement key or arranging for a new barrel and key set.

Tiny Pliers

You’re visiting with your brother-in-law and as the two of you head out for a quick meal, you offer to drive. Get behind the wheel, attempt to start the car, and the key snaps. ëA car key broken?í, he says. ëNo problem. I’ve got just the thing.í Ten minutes later, he comes back with a set of tiny pliers. Clearly he intends for you to use these to pry the key out of the ignition. Just say no.

Avoid trying to rescue the key stub from a lock with tiny pliers. The same goes for any other tiny tools that come in a do-it-yourself locksmithing kit. It’s very easy to damage the inside of the barrel of a lock with those metal tools. You don’t want to have to replace the barrel and the key, too, right? And all of this is assuming there’s enough wiggle room to even slide a slim metal tool into the barrel to try and free the key! In many cases, wedging a metal tool into a lock next to the key will damage them both. Call an automotive locksmith. A specialized locksmith has specialized tools to get the job done with a minimum of additional damage.


What’s the worst thing that could happen when you’re driving around in an unfamiliar part of town? Getting stranded. A dead battery or a flat tire are one thing – those are problems that have relatively easy repairs. But stopped by a broken key? That’s another story. There isn’t much in the way of a do-it-yourself solution. It’s tempting to think that maybe a big box store might sell a magnet powerful enough to pull the key right out of the lock, but keys aren’t typically steel, but rather stainless steel.

Call an automotive locksmith. Save yourself time and energy. Rather than run around and burn through trial-and-error solutions, call a locksmith who can come prepared to extract the key and fashion a replacement key on the spot.

Why Call an Automotive Locksmith?

An automotive locksmith is a professional. He or she has an array of specialty tools that can free the key while maintaining the integrity of the lock. This can avoid a more expensive repair where you’d need to replace the barrel of the lock as well. Calling a locksmith is also safer. No one wants to wander an unfamiliar neighborhood in search of help. A good locksmith who provides 24-hour service will come to you. He or she is also qualified to provide a full-service solution to the problem. What happens when you free the key? You still have to lock the car again, or get home. A locksmith means solving the problem the right way, the first time.