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How to Fix a Broken Car Key

A close-up view of a broken car key with jagged edges and a visible crack in the metal.

We've all felt the shock when our car key snaps in two. You're left standing there, worried and unable to start your car. But don't worry. With this guide, you'll learn how to fix your car key and be on your way again.

It happened to me on my way to an important meeting. I heard it break and saw my key in two pieces. I felt lost, angry, and scared. But, I managed to find a solution to my problem.

This guide will show you what to do first if your key breaks. We'll talk about how it happens and offer quick fixes. We'll also guide you on getting a new key from the dealer or a locksmith. By the end, you'll be prepared if this ever happens to you.

Key Takeaways

  • Broken car keys can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem, but there are solutions available.

  • Calling a mobile auto locksmith is often the fastest way to get back on the road if your key breaks.

  • Temporary fixes like super glue can work in a pinch, but should be used with caution.

  • Replacing a broken key through the dealership or a locksmith is the most reliable long-term solution.

  • Proper care and maintenance of your car key can help prevent breakage in the first place.

Understanding the Problem

Your car key is really important. It lets you get into and use your car. But, car keys can have problems. This happens with metal keys, keyless remotes, or smart keys with chips. Knowing about types of car keys and common causes of key breakage is helpful. It prepares you to deal with problems well.

Types of Car Keys

Today, we see many kinds of car keys. Each has its own cool features. Traditional metal keys are easy. You insert and turn them to start the car. Transponder keys are very common. They talk to your car's computer to do things like lock or start it. Keyless fobs are even more advanced. They start the car without a physical key. You just use a button.

Common Causes of Key Breakage

Cars keys can break for many reasons. A few include wearing out, dropping them, or extreme weather. These things can make metal and other keys stop working right. For high-tech keys, other issues can also cause problems. Things like dead batteries, damage, or programming mistakes can cause trouble. This could ruin how the key talks to your car.

Illustrate a variety of car keys, including traditional metal keys, key fobs with buttons, push-to-start fobs, and keys with built-in remote controls. Highlight their unique shapes, sizes, and features.

Any kind of key breaking is bad news. It can lock you out or stop the car from starting. But, you can avoid these problems. Take good care of your keys. This can save you from the stress of a broken key.

Call the Dealership

When your car key breaks, the dealership is your go-to place. They've got what it takes to give you a new key fast and without fuss. With your car's ID number, they can make sure the key they provide works perfectly with your car's locks.

Obtaining a Replacement Key

Getting a new key from the dealership is a good move. It can cost from $50 to $400, depending on your car's details. No matter if your car is an Acura or Nissan, they can help get the right key for you. This goes for cars in places like Ahwatukee, Chandler, and beyond.

Temporary Transportation Options

While you wait for the new key, you'll need a way to get around. You could use buses, taxis, or rideshares, or get a lift from someone you know. These methods can keep you moving until you have your new key and are back on the road.

A busy car dealership service area with mechanics working on cars in the background. A customer is handing their broken car key to a service representative at the front desk. In the foreground, there are car key fobs on display in a glass case. The dealership logo is prominently displayed on the wall behind the front desk. The atmosphere feels bustling and professional, with clean floors and organized workstations.

Attempt a Temporary Fix

If your car key breaks, you might try a quick fix. A fast way is to glue the key fragments together with super glue. This temporary car key fix lets you open your car and drive to get a new key. But, handle it with care.

Super Gluing the Key

Got both parts of your car key? Try carefully gluing them with super glue car key. It's a risky trick, but it might let you start your car. Take care not to get the key stuck.

It’s just a quick fix to use until you find a real solution. Get help from a pro like a locksmith or dealer to make sure your car is secure.

Call a Locksmith

Instead of going to the dealership, call a trusted car locksmith for help with your broken key. If your key has a programmable key chip, they might be able to make a new one right away. This service is fast and lets you hit the road sooner than waiting for a dealer appointment.

Programmable Key Chips

Newer cars use high-tech keys, like programmable key chips, for better security. A locksmith skilled in this area can even reprogram the chip if needed. You'll get a new car key that works perfectly with your car, keeping it safe.

Cost Considerations

Choosing a locksmith could save you time over a dealer, but it might cost more. The price of a new key, including the key programming, can be expensive. Yet, for some, the quick service a locksmith offers is worth the extra money in a pinch.

Removing a Broken Car Key

If your car key snaps inside the lock, don't panic. You must deal with the broken part to get a new key. To do this right, it's important to avoid causing more harm. The right steps will help you take out the remove broken car key piece safely and prepare for a new one.

Using a Key Extractor Tool

Start by trying a key extractor tool. These tools are made to gently grab the stuck piece. They can pull it out without hurting the lock. You can find these tools at auto part shops or from a locksmith. They might just have the tool that can help you.

Drilling Out the Key

If nothing else works, you might have to think about drilling out the car key. This means drilling into the lock to make space for taking out the key. Be very careful not to drill too far and damage the lock. If this makes you nervous, it's wise to get a professional locksmith to do it for you.

Removing the Lock

Sometimes, lock removal is the only choice for a badly stuck key. This method is more complex. It involves taking the whole lock out, then disassembling it to remove the key. It's usually a locksmith who does this kind of job. If nothing else has worked, this might be your best option.

Whatever method you pick, be careful not to make things worse. If removing the key seems too tricky, or if you're afraid you might harm your car, it's best to call in a professional auto locksmith. They have the skills to help without causing more trouble.

Car Key

Your car key is a crucial part, letting you start the engine and unlock your vehicle. It's key (pun intended) to take care and maintain it. By following some easy steps, you can avoid key problems.

First off, keep your car key clean. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe it often. This removes dirt and helps avoid damage over time. Don't let it get wet or too hot, or the insides may get harmed.

Also, avoid using keychains that are heavy or bulky. Such items can weaken your key. Try not to drop your key or hit it against hard surfaces.

It's a smart move to keep a spare key. This way, if your main key gets lost or breaks, you're not stuck. Keep the spare key safe with someone you trust.

Following these tips for car key care is wise. It ensures that your key stays in good shape. With a little care, your car key will keep opening doors for you for a long time.


A broken car key can be very frustrating and stop your plans. But, with the right tips, you can get moving again quickly and safely. Stay calm and reach out to the dealership or a locksmith right away. Be cautious about using super glue as it's tricky and should be the last option.

If you know why keys break and how to fix them, you're ahead of the game. Knowing the right car key repair hints is key. This way, you can tackle this issue and not let it ruin your day.

New car keys will likely be digital, making the future more secure and easy. Yet, old-style metal keys and keyless types are sticking around too. So, knowing what to do with a broken key is still a must for everyone with a vehicle.


What are the common types of car keys?

Car keys come in various types. There are metal keys, keyless remotes, and smart keys. Smart keys have chips inside them.

What are the common causes of car key breakage?

Keys break for many reasons. Over time, metal keys can get weak. They might also break if you drop them or if they get too cold or hot.

What should you do if your car key breaks?

First, call the dealership if your key breaks. They will give you a new key that fits your car right. They do this by using your car's VIN number.

What are the temporary transportation options if your car key breaks?

While waiting for a new key, find another way to get around. You could use the bus, a taxi, or a friend's car.

Can you try a temporary fix if you have both halves of the broken car key?

If you have both parts of a broken key, you might be able to glue it back together. Be very careful though. If it's not fixed properly, it might get stuck.

How can a locksmith assist with a broken car key?

Instead of the dealership, you could call a locksmith. They can make a new key for you. They are good at this, even with keys that need programming.

What should you do if the car key breaks off in the lock?

If this happens, you need to get the broken key piece out first. There are tools to help with this. But, if that doesn't work, the lock might need to be drilled out.

How can you prevent car key breakage?

To avoid key breakage, take good care of your keys. Keep them clean and don't use force when turning them. Also, having a spare key is smart.

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Additional credit goes to:

The Original Locksmith Boynton Beach for helping gather content for this blog.

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