How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key?

Losing your car key can be a frustrating experience. Not only do you have to worry about losing access to your vehicle, but you also have to worry about the cost of replacing the key.

how to remove ignition lock cylinder without key

If you have lost your car key, don’t panic! There are a few ways that you can remove the ignition lock cylinder without using the key.

In this blog post, we will discuss an easy method that you can use to remove the ignition lock cylinder without a key.

Step 1: Take Proper Preparation

Here are two preparatory tasks that need to be done before removing the ignition lock cylinder-

1. Tools Needed

To complete this task, you’ll need simple tools like-

  • A power drill with an appropriate drill bit
  • A flathead screwdriver
  • Wrench set

2. Disconnect the Battery

Before you begin, it is important to disconnect the battery. This will help prevent any accidental starts or sparks while you are working on the ignition lock cylinder.

Make sure to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery and leave it on a plastic surface. The surface where you’ll keep the negative terminal should be a non-conductive material for safety.

Now that you have your tools ready and the battery disconnected, let’s get started!

Step 2. Remove the Steering Wheel

The second step is to remove the steering wheel. This can be done by using a flathead screwdriver to pry the covers off. There are usually two bolts that need to be removed to lift off the airbag housing.

After that, there are multiple screws and bolts as well that you’ll need to remove before attaching the puller to the steering wheel and removing it from the car.

While doing this task, make sure to be very careful as doing anything wrong while removing anything from the steering wheel column can cost you a lot.

Here is a detailed video on steering wheel removal which you can watch for this step-

Step 3. Remove All the Switches Left Around the Steering Wheel

Once you remove the steering wheel, there will be a few switches left around it. Make sure to remove all of them for easy access to the ignition lock cylinder.

They are usually the wiper and indicator switches.

Plus, get rid of the plastic sleeves from the steering column for ease of work.

Take note that there are some switches mounted on the steering wheel that you won’t need to remove.

Step 4. Disconnect the Wires

There are some wires that connect the ignition lock cylinder to the car’s electrical system. You’ll need to disconnect these electrical connections by pulling the clip out of their connectors.

Steps for doing this task are-

Use a flat screwdriver to gently pull on the connectors and wiggle them free from the wire terminals. Don’t forget to use pliers so as not to cut through insulation when removing those plastic covers or tabs that hold in place your wires if there are any!

Step 5. Remove the Bolts

Once you have disconnected all the wires, it’s time to remove the bolts around the ignition key slot. There are usually four bolts that hold in place the ignition cylinder housing. Use an appropriate tool such as an Allen wrench or socket wrench to unscrew them and take them out of their positions.

You may also need to remove some parts of the dashboard panel in order to get access to those bolts. For example, you can take out the glovebox or radio for this purpose.

Make sure not to lose any screws during disassembling! It will create new issues on top of the existing ones.

Step 6: Remove the Ignition Lock Cylinder Housing

After removing all of these things, it will be easy for you to remove the ignition lock cylinder housing.

Usually, there are just two clamps that keep them together and they can easily be removed by using a screwdriver or pliers as appropriate tools fit each clamp size.

Note that sometimes even after unscrewing both clamps holding your new house onto its bracket there are still a few more screws hiding underneath. So, have a careful look at the ignition switch before you apply force.

Step 7: Remove the Ignition Lock from Cylinder Housing

This step is quite simple as you just need to pull out your old lock by hand, then insert a new one in place of it!

To be able to remove the old one, you’ll need to insert a pin in the slot on the upper side of the housing and turn the pin to the left.

This will cut loose the connection between the housing and the lock. So, you’ll be able to pull the lock from the housing with a gentle pull.


Replacing the ignition lock cylinder is a daunting task but can be done by following the steps mentioned above.

Make sure to have all your tools ready before you start and that the battery of your car is disconnected!

Also, take care while removing the steering wheel as doing anything wrong can cost you dearly.

We couldn’t cover these things in detail due to the fact that things vary quite heavily depending on the make and model of the car.

However, you can use this guide to understand how things are going to be and use the owner’s manual or service manual to do the job perfectly.

Be cautious about disconnecting the power source, removing the steering wheel cover, and dash cover. If you do anything wrong and damage these parts, you may need to find the replacements in the junkyard.

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