Your car’s key and lock cylinder are distinct. Losing your car keys would mean you need to remove the ignition lock cylinder and replace them. This is a guide on how to remove ignition lock cylinder without key. We will guide you on how this is done in a traditional vehicle with I.C. engines and also for three of the most popular car brands: Dodge, Ford, and Chevrolet.
How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key
The ignition lock cylinder is an important component of any engine. The spark from an ignition cylinder is needed to ignite the fuel and air-compressed mix inside the car’s engine. If you lose your key, you won’t be able to turn the ignition cylinder and start your car. Removing the ignition lock cylinder will help replace this with a new one and eventually start your car’s engine.
Before we show you the steps on how to remove the ignition lock cylinder without using the car key, we recommend that you call a technician or a car locksmith to help you remove this component. A technician has special tools and equipment that can safely and effectively remove the ignition lock cylinder. Consider these DIY steps only when there’s no technician or locksmith available.
What you need to start:
- A drill bit
- Power drill
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Straightened paper clip
Here are step-by-step instructions
- Disconnect your car’s battery
Disconnecting the battery is the first and the most important part of this tutorial. This will make sure that you stay safe and prevent electrocution as you work on your car. To do this, remove the negative cable terminal.
- Get the steering wheel out
Removing the steering wheel will help you access the ignition cylinder better. Take the screws out to remove the upper and lower cover of the column. After removing the covers, pull the center cover to lift the wheel. Disconnect the wires that connect the horn. Keep the nuts and washers as you remove your steering wheel. Pull the wheel from the shaft.
- Remove the wiper and indicator switches
Find the wiper and indicator switches and remove these from the steering wheel.
- Take the sleeves from the steering column out
From the steering wheel column, the spacer columns are very visible. Slide this up after removing the wiper and indicator switches.
- Disconnect electrical connection to the ignition switch
Find the mounting screws from the ignition switch. Remove the screws and pull the switch out. Disconnect wires that are found at the rear of the ignition lock cylinder switch. Simply loosen the tabs to pull out the switch.
- Take the mounting bolts out and check the bolts
Use a socket wrench or a flat screwdriver to remove the bolts and mounting screws on the ignition switch. Remove the bolts of the housing and assembly, which contains the cylinder. Almost all car models are equipped with an interchangeable ignition lock cylinder. Use a pin and insert this to a pinhole to trigger the cylinder’s release mechanism.
- Insert a straightened paper clip
Use a straightened paper clip to the lock cylinder slot and use this to turn to the left. Doing this will lock the cylinder and stop the ignition from commencing.
- Insert a flat-head screwdriver
Place the flat-head screwdriver in the cylinder and move this to the right. Move this as far as this can move. When the screwdriver has reached its limit, pull the paper clip to the right.
- Remove the ignition lock from its place
Slide the switch from its place. The ignition lock cylinder will simply slide out of place if you follow these steps properly.
How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key Ford Cars
Removing an ignition lock cylinder without using a key for Ford Cars is the same as the instructions above but with some additional steps.
- Remove the airbag
Remove the negative terminal of the battery to work close to the airbag. Take the airbag out to avoid any injuries.
- Remove lower dash cover and steering column
To reach the ignition lock cylinder, remove the lower dash cover and the steering column. Release this clip and pull the lower dash cover gently. Take the upper steering column’s cover as well as the steering wheel’s lever.
- Use a small screwdriver
Insert a straightened paper clip and a small screwdriver. Turn the screwdriver. Remove the paperclip, and the cylinder will easily slide out.
Be very careful when pulling the cylinder. Remove the snap rings of the lock cylinder and set these aside.
- Save the tumblers using the new lock
You need the tumblers of the new lock to be re-configured to match the original key. Take the old tumblers and the new tumblers and match these. Reassemble the new cylinder.
How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key Chevy
The tumblers in a Chevrolet ignition lock cylinder may get worn out over time, or a key may break and get stuck inside the ignition. Because of these, you need to replace the ignition lock cylinder assembly. Be sure to disconnect the Chevy’s battery before you start.
- Access the ignition switch
Remove the steering wheel cover with a screwdriver and a wrench. Pull the dashboard panel to work with the ignition switch
- Remove all electrical connections
Take out all the electrical connections from the ignition switch.
- Remove bolts from the ignition switch
Remove the ignition screws to disconnect the housing and assembly of the ignition switch.
- Replace the old ignition switch
Remove the old switch and replace it with new components. You can learn the cost to replace ignition switch here.
How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key Dodge
Removing the ignition lock cylinder in a Dodge is different. Follow these steps to remove the old Dodge ignition lock and replace it with a new one. Make sure to disconnect the battery to work safely.
- Depress the retainer pin
Dodge cars have an ignition lock that’s fixed by a retaining pin. This should be depressed to unlock the ignition to pull it out of the column.
Keep your ignition lock ON or at the ON position while the pin is depressed. But because you don’t have a key, you must use a drill.
- Remove the plastic from the steering wheel column
Remove the steering column plastic to access the electrical switch, as well as the lock.
- Pull the lock from the switch
Depress the active retainer to release the lock. Remove the lock and switch to find the active retainer. Turn the switch to ON and depress the active retainer pin at the same time. Pull the lock; it will be easily removed from the switch.
Now that you know how to remove ignition lock cylinder without key, you’re ready in case you encounter problems with your car’s ignition cylinder system. But in most cases, consult a technician to help you repair or replace your car’s ignition lock cylinder.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.