Fixing Broken Keys

We do that too! We got a call about a Saturn with a broken key in the ignition.  We removed the tip of the key and got that driver on his way in a matter of minutes.  Later that day we got a call from a lady with a Mitsubishi who had broken her key in the car’s door.  We pulled the broken tip from the door lock, service the door lock (so that it was easier to turn and less likely to break another key) and made her a new copied of her key.  Again, this whole process was quick and at a reasonable price.

If you have a broken key, give us a call.  If you have a key with deep cuts you should consider having a new copy made and saving the key you are using as a backup.

Here are some tips to help you prevent having keys break. If your key has deep cuts, that is the place where most keys break.  I would recommend:

  1. Keep your best key (as a master) and putting it away as a backup.
  2. Make a copy of your Master and use that copy for about one year.
  3. Break out the Master about once a year and use it to make new key copy to use.

The reason for using the unused master to make new copies is simple.  If you make a copy of this blog, than take the copy to make another copy, and continue to make copies off the copies, the copies will slowly fade away until you can no longer read the page.  The same is true for keys.  If you make a copy of a copy of a copy eventually the lock will no longer be able to read the faded key, so keep the master to make copies from and you shouldn’t have any problems.

2) Use the door to open and close the door, not the key.

I often see broken keys, and after I fix the lock and key I give the new key to the user to try so that I know all work is satisfactory – But also, so I can observe the users behavior when locking and unlocking doors.  Many times I see a customer put the key in the lock, unlock the door and used the key they are holding to open the door.  This puts stress on the key as the door opens because pressure is being exerted on the sides of the key and before long the key breaks.  I speak with the customer and explain that if they adjust their habits, they can prevent broken keys in the future.

3) Problem Keys.  If you have a key that breaks over and over, it is likely due to deep cuts in the key.  There are a few solutions for this problem including re-keying your locks to use show cuts.  Other solutions include servicing a stiff lock (such as a deadbolt that is hart to turn because of alignment issues) or cutting one side of a double sided key (this only works with some models).

4) Less weight = longer life.  This is not only true for humans but keys as well.  Heavy key chains can pull and twist on your ignition key as you drive.  The keys, fobs, and other items hanging on your key chain swing back and forth putting stress on the key in the ignition.  This weakens the key and before long you will have a broken ignition key.  Solutions include using a D-Ring or other devise that allows you to easily detach your ignition key from the rest of your keys while you drive.  Also, you can condense the amount of keys you have by having your locks re-keyed your house or business keys to all fit with one key.  Padlocks that we can match to your auto, house or business key (read more about these locks at our website), and removing keys from your ring that you don’t use, or don’t use very often, and putting those keys in a safe – easy to find – location.

I hope this helps

Have a wonderful day

Michael ~ Owner and Locksmith for All About Locks & Safes