Sometimes it can be frustrating to manage a worn-out or faulty ignition lock cylinder, especially when an auto mechanic can’t be accessed within reach.
In that case, understanding how to remove an ignition lock cylinder without a key becomes a necessity.
The ignition lock cylinder is a vital component in a vehicle’s starter system, and the car key is designed to work hand-in-hand with the ignition lock cylinder in the engine starting process.
Therefore, a faulty or worn-out ignition lock cylinder would leave you with no other choice other than to remove and replace the ignition lock cylinder.
This is not very difficult, as it requires a screwdriver and a few other tools.
Table of Contents
How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder without Key: Step-by-step Procedure
Removing an ignition lock cylinder is not an overly tedious task. It requires a power drill, drill bit, and a flathead screwdriver.
After getting these pieces of equipment in place, follow this step-by-step procedure to remove your car’s ignition lock cylinder in the absence of the car key.
Step 1: Disconnect the car’s battery
First and foremost, it is important to disable whatever may possibly result in an electric shock in the whole process.
Therefore, first things first; disconnect the car’s battery by removing the negative (-) cable from its terminal.
Step 2: Remove the steering wheel
After the battery cable disconnection, the next is to remove the car’s steering wheel to enable easy access to the car’s ignition lock cylinder.
To do this, remove the various screws on the lower and upper covers of the car’s steering wheel.
Immediately after the covers are removed, lift the car steering wheel upwards, then pull the central cover. After that, you can disconnect the car horn wiring.
Endeavor to keep the washers and nuts very safe, where you can easily access them. Then, pull the steering wheel out completely.
Step 3: Remove the indicator and wiper switches
Look through the car manufacturer’s manual to find the location of the indicator and wiper switches. Then, pull them out of place.
Step 4: Remove the steering column sleeve
Endeavor to determine the spacer column within the car steering wheel column and slide them up.
Step 5: Disconnect the electrics from the ignition switch
Ascertain the mounting screws that hold the ignition switch and get them off.
Then, pull the ignition switch out. Ensure that the wires from the connector at the bottom of the car’s ignition switch are properly disconnected. Then loosen the tabs and pull out the switch.
Step 6: Remove mounting bolts
Get a wrench or a screwdriver and use it to remove the screws or mounting bolts from the ignition switch. Ensure to unbolt the housing, as well as the switch assembly which holds the cylinder.
Most vehicle models have universal, interchangeable lock cylinders. They seem to be very easy to remove by inserting a pin into the pinhole to operate the release mechanism of the lock cylinder.
Step 7: Check the mounting bolts of the ignition switch housing
Some vehicles come with easy-to-remove safety bolt heads that require a snap-off. This part is designed to help prevent thieves from replacing a car’s ignition lock in order to steal the vehicle without using the car key.
In some cases, you may have to use a power drill that comes with special extractors which can remove the ignition switch bolts to ease its removal from the car’s steering wheel column.
Step 8: Lock the key cylinder
After using the power drills on the ignition switch bolts, get a well-straightened paperclip, insert it into the opening/slot, and turn the clip anti-clockwise.
It will help lock the cylinder and stop the car’s ignition from starting at all.
Step 9: Insert the screwdriver
Get a screwdriver inserted into the car’s ignition lock cylinder.
Then, turn the screwdriver clockwise as far round as possible. After that, pull the paperclip towards the right to a far extent as much as possible. This will easily get the switch out by simply sliding it out.
Step 10: Replace the ignition lock cylinder
Once the process is completed, you could decide to clean the components and replace the ignition lock cylinder.
It is possible to use the current keys by rebuilding them, especially when the whole components are working well after cleaning and oiling them up.
It would be best to buy a new ignition switch.
Meanwhile, ensure to consult a dealer who sells aftermarket parts of your vehicle make and model. They should know better than those who sell generic products.
Meanwhile, take note of your car’s VIN and other vital details while purchasing the parts to get the best replacement.
How do you pop an ignition with a screwdriver?
If you find yourself in a situation where the only available option is to pop your car’s ignition with a screwdriver, follow this procedure to get it done.
- Unscrew the screws holding the vehicle’s ignition switch plastic trim.
- Remove the ignition switch plastic trim to enable access to the switch correctly.
- Unlock the vehicle’s steering wheels as you remove the bolt used in mounting them in place.
- Input the screw into the keyhole; then, turn it right.
Once this is done, you have just succeeded in popping the ignition using a screwdriver. If you get into this kind of emergency, endeavor to consult an expert auto technician.
However, if you can do it yourself, then that’ll be great.
How do you rekey a cylinder lock?
To successfully rekey a cylinder lock, follow the step-by-step procedure provided below:
- Step 1: Remove the doorknob
- Step 2: Remove the cylinder from inside the lock.
- Step 3: Get the C-Clip that holds the cylinder out.
- Step 4: Fix the key plug by removing the plug from the housing. Then fix it to the cylinder’s back and insert the key into the lock.
- Step 5: Dump out the old pins from the plug. Then remove the key and fix the new one.
- Step 6: Insert new pins.
- Step 7: Fix the plug again into the cylinder as you push out the plug follower gradually. After that, check to know whether the key turns properly. Then, take out the follower and fix the C-clip until it finally snaps in place.
- Step 8: Insert the cylinder again into the doorknob and fix the knob to the door.
- Step 9: Finally, test the lock to ascertain whether it is successful.
Can a car ignition be picked?
Yes, a car ignition can be picked. However, the process can be a bit difficult, especially if it is a car with a modern key pattern. Lever locks come with quite a tasking process of picking the ignition; hence you would need to perform a special pick on them.
Many cars are designed with a wafer-tumbler-based lock. In that case, it is quite possible to pick the ignition or the door locks the usual way. In any case, endeavor to be careful in the process of picking the ignition or door locks to avoid any form of damage.
Can I use a screwdriver to start my car?
It depends on the type of vehicle make, and model. If it is a pre-1990 vehicle, there is a possibility of using a screwdriver to start the car. But with modern cars that come with more sophisticated features, using a screwdriver to start the car may not work.
In fact, even old modern cars are not always easy to start using a screwdriver. So, it would be helpful to avoid getting into a situation that would necessitate using any object other than the car key to start your car.
How do you start a car without the key?
If your car key suddenly gets missing, one of the thoughts that may emanate in your mind would be to start the car without the key. This can be really serious if that is the only option you have, especially when it seems like you are stranded where you can’t access a mechanic.
To start a car without the key, you would need to bypass the car’s ignition lock. Meanwhile, this is only recommended when you misplace your car key. To bypass the lock, connect the ignition cord to the vehicle’s battery cord; then, touch the starter cord against the connection.
By now, it is obvious that understanding how to remove an ignition lock cylinder without a key would save you a lot of stress, especially when that becomes the only option.
If you have a bad or faulty ignition lock cylinder, it may be difficult to turn on your car easily.
Endeavor to look out for the symptoms of a bad ignition lock cylinder, and to know when it is necessary to remove the current cylinder and replace it.
So, instead of managing a worn-out ignition lock cylinder, it would be best to remove it and replace the part completely.
It is better to go through the stress of removing the worn-out cylinder than to manage the stress that comes with its malfunction.