How to Drill Out Ignition Lock Cylinder
It's happened to all of us. We're out and about, running errands when we realize that our car key is nowhere to be found. Maybe you left it at home, or perhaps it fell out of your pocket somewhere along the way. Regardless of how it happened, the result is the same: you can't get into your car. If this happens to you, don't panic!
There are several ways to get into your car without a key, but one of the easiest (and most effective) methods is drilling out the ignition lock cylinder. In this guide, we will teach you how to drill out an ignition lock cylinder in just a few easy steps! So next time you're stranded without a key, you'll know exactly what to do.
What is An Ignition Lock Cylinder?
An ignition lock cylinder is a security device part of an automobile's ignition system. The purpose of the ignition lock cylinder is to provide a physical barrier between the steering wheel and the ignition switch.
The ignition lock cylinder contains a tumbler and keyway that allows only the correct key to operate. When the right key is inserted into the keyway and turned, the tumbler aligns with the shear line of the ignition switch, allowing it to be operated.
If the wrong key is inserted into the keyway or the tumblers are not correctly aligned, the ignition lock cylinder will not allow the ignition switch to be operated. It is the mechanical part where security is paramount. The steering wheel column is also usually locked when the ignition lock cylinder is in the "Lock" position, adding an extra layer of security.
How Does An Ignition Lock Cylinder Work?
To understand how to drill out an ignition lock cylinder, it's essential to know a little about how they work. An ignition lock cylinder is a small, cylindrical device that contains a tumbler and keyway. The tumbler is a series of pins corresponding to your key's cuts.
When you insert your key into the ignition lock cylinder, the tumbler allows the key to turn. The keyway is a small hole that the key fits into. It's important to note that the tumbler and keyway are two separate parts of the ignition cylinder. An ignition lock cylinder work by allowing the key to align the tumbler with the keyway.
This allows the key to turn, which in turn activates the starter motor. The ignition key is one of your car's most important safety features. It prevents someone from hot-wiring your car and driving off with it.
The ignition lock cylinder is a small but vital part of your car's security system. If the ignition switch lock cylinder fails, it can prevent your car from starting.
Why Would You Need to Drill Out an Ignition Lock Cylinder?
There are a few reasons why you might need to drill out an ignition lock cylinder. Here are a few reasons:
The lock is damaged - This is the most common reason to need to drill out an ignition lock cylinder. Over time, the tumblers in the lock can become damaged and eventually stop working altogether.
The key is lost - If you lose your keys and don't have a spare, you'll need to drill out the lock cylinder to get a new key. The key can also become bent or broken, making it impossible to remove from the cylinder.
The cylinder is frozen - In cold weather, the ignition lock cylinder can freeze. This can be caused by moisture entering the cylinder or using the wrong lubricant. Either way, you'll need to drill the lock cylinder to thaw it. Ignition lock cylinders can also become jammed with dirt and debris.
These are a few reasons you might need to drill out an ignition lock cylinder. In most cases, it's a relatively straightforward process. However, it's always a good idea to consult a professional if you're unsure about anything.
Step By Step On How To Drill Out Ignition Lock Cylinder
If you're lucky, your key will turn, and the lock will open. If not, you'll need to drill out the ignition lock cylinder. This can be tricky, but with a bit of patience and the right tools, you can do it yourself. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to drill out an ignition lock cylinder.
What you need:
A power drill
A steel drill bit
WD-40 or another lubricant
Now that you have your tools, here's how to use them:
Step #01 - Lubricate the keyhole with WD-40
The first thing you need to do is lubricate the keyhole with WD-40. This will help the drill bit move more quickly through the metal. It will also help to protect the drill bit from overheating.
Step #02 - Insert the drill bit into the keyhole
Once the keyhole is lubricated, insert the drill bit into the keyhole. Be sure to drill at a low speed and increase the speed gradually. If you go too fast, you risk damaging the drill bit. If you go too slow, the drill bit will slip. So, take your time and find a happy medium. The drill speed is typically between 500 and 1000 RPM. You can use a hardened drill bit, but a standard drill will do the job just fine.
Step #03 - Drill through the metal
Keep drilling until you've drilled through the entire cylinder. It's essential to keep the drill bit straight so it doesn't get stuck. If you force the drill into the lock cylinder, you could burn out the rotor inside the drill motor. If it does get stuck, gently wiggle it back and forth until it comes loose. This might take a few minutes, so be patient.
Step #04 - Remove the drill bit
Once you've drilled through the metal, remove the drill bit and set it aside. While you're at it, take a look at the hole you just drilled. If it's not perfectly round, that's okay. You don't need to create a deep hole, just enough of a starter groove for the chisel to fit into. Drilling metal can create a lot of heat, so be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Step #05 - Insert the chisel into the hole
Now it's time to insert the chisel into the hole. Be sure to start slowly and increase the speed gradually. If you go too fast, you might damage the chisel. Most chisels are made of metal, but the ones that are coated with plastic or another material can be easily damaged.
Step #06 - Hit the chisel with the hammer
Once the chisel is in place, hit it with the hammer to start breaking up the metal. You might need to hit it a few times before the metal breaks. Be sure to hit it in the center so it doesn't get stuck.
Step #07 - Remove the broken pieces of metal
Once the metal has broken, remove the pieces with your hand or a pair of pliers. If any pieces are stuck, you can use the punch to remove them gently. Be careful not to damage the surrounding area.
Step #08 - Insert the new ignition lock cylinder
Now that the old ignition lock cylinder has been removed, it's time to insert the new one. Be sure to line up the keyhole with the hole in the cylinder. Once it's in place, turn the key to ensure it works. If it doesn't work, you might need to file down the hole's edges, so it's a little bigger.
The whole process might take a few minutes, but knowing you can do it yourself is worth it. Plus, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
What Happens When Your Ignition Lock Cylinder Goes Bad?
The ignition lock cylinder is vital to your vehicle's ignition system. It is responsible for turning the ignition key to start the engine. If your ignition lock cylinder fails, it can prevent your car from starting.
There are several signs that your ignition lock cylinder may be going bad. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's essential to have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Symptoms of a failing ignition lock cylinder include:
Difficulty inserting the key into the ignition - This is often the first sign that something is wrong with your ignition lock cylinder. If you notice that it's becoming harder to insert your key into the ignition, it's time to have your vehicle checked out.
The key getting stuck in the ignition - If your key gets stuck in the "on" or "start" position, this is a sign that your ignition lock cylinder is failing. The indicator switches that tell the car's computer whether the key is in the "on" position or not may also stop working, preventing you from starting your vehicle.
The ignition switch feels loose - The ignition switch is what you use to turn the key and start the engine. If it feels loose or wobbly, this could be a sign that the ignition lock cylinder is failing.
The car won't start - Of course, if your car won't start, this could be a sign of several different issues. However, if you notice any of the other symptoms listed above, it's likely that the ignition lock cylinder is the culprit.
If you notice any of these symptoms, don't wait to have your vehicle repaired. A failing ignition lock cylinder can strand you on the side of the road, so it's important to get it fixed as soon as possible.
What are the five ignition switch positions?
Most cars have an ignition switch that is used to power the engine and accessories. There are typically five positions that the switch can be in: off, accessory, run, start, and accessory delay. This position will differ depending on the vehicle, but they all serve a specific purpose.
The off position obviously turns everything off and locks the steering wheel. The accessory position powers everything except the engine, like the radio and air conditioning. The run position is when the engine is running, and all accessories are powered. The start position is used to crank the engine. And finally, the accessory delay position allows you to power accessories for a set amount of time after you turn the car off.
How to Prevent Your Ignition Lock Cylinder from Going Bad
Your ignition lock cylinder is one of the essential parts of your car, and if it goes wrong, you could be stranded. There are a few things you can do to prevent your ignition lock cylinder from going bad:
Keep your keys clean - Over time, dirt and grime can build up on your keys and cause problems with your ignition lock cylinder. To prevent this, clean your keys regularly with soap and water.
Don't use the wrong key - Using the false key in your ignition lock cylinder can damage it. Be sure to use the correct key for your car.
Don't force the key - If you have to force the key into the ignition lock cylinder, it could damage the cylinder. If the key doesn't seem to be going in quickly, stop and get a new key made.
With these tips, you can help prevent your ignition lock cylinder from going bad. But if it does go wrong, don't worry! You can always drill out the old ignition lock cylinder and replace it with a new one. Contact us at Locksmith Miami FL for more information.
Are Ignition Lock Cylinders Universal?
The short answer is no. There are three different types of ignition lock cylinders, and each type is specific to the make and model of your car. That being said, there are some aftermarket companies that sell universal ignition lock cylinders.
However, we don't recommend using one of these because they're not always compatible with your car's ignition system and can cause more problems than they solve. Universal lock cylinders are also more likely to break or get stuck, which is the last thing you want when you're trying to start your car.
How do You Remove an Ignition Lock Cylinder From a Steering Column?
If your ignition lock cylinder is stuck and won't turn, you may need to remove it from the steering column. This can be a difficult task, but with the right tools and a little patience, you should be able to do it yourself.
First, you'll need to remove the steering wheel. This can be done by removing the center cap and unscrewing the retaining nut with a wrench. Next, you'll need to disconnect the negative cable terminal from the back of the ignition lock cylinder. Once the wiring harness is disconnected, you should be able to remove the cylinder by pulling it out of the steering column.
If the ignition lock cylinder is still stuck, you may need to drill it out. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but with the right tools and patience, you should be able to do it yourself.
First, you'll need to drill a hole in the center of the lock cylinder. Next, you'll need to insert a thin metal rod into the hole and turn it to unscrew the cylinder. Once the cylinder is removed, you should be able to replace it with a new one.
Is drill chuck size important when drilling out an ignition lock cylinder?
The drill chuck size is important when drilling out an ignition lock cylinder. A small drill chuck will cause the drill bit to wander and not remove the cylinder as quickly as a larger drill chuck. It is also essential to use a sharp drill bit. A dull drill bit will increase the amount of time it takes to remove the cylinder and cause the drill bit to wander.
Can I use hardened drill bits when drilling out an ignition lock cylinder?
Hardened drill bits are not recommended for drilling out an ignition lock cylinder. The hardened steel can cause the drill bit to skip and potentially damage the surrounding area. Instead, use high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide-tipped drill bit. These types of drill bits are designed to withstand the high temperatures and friction generated when drilling through metal.
What is an ignition lock assembly?
The ignition lock assembly is the system that keeps your car's engine from starting without the key. It consists of the ignition switch, the tumblers and wafers that make up the cylinder, and a set of keys. The assembly is located in the steering column, just below the steering wheel. The switch assembly is usually mounted outside the column, while the cylinder is on the inside.
Drilling out an ignition lock cylinder is a relatively easy process. However, taking your time and being careful not to damage the surrounding area is important. With a little patience and the right tools, you should be able to get your car up and running in no time! Give Locksmith Miami FL a call if you find yourself in need of a professional locksmith. We're always happy to help!