There’s a good chance you need to drill out the ignition lock cylinder if your car won’t start or you can’t turn the key. The lock cylinder is probably stuck due to wear and tear or a jammed tumbler. Drilling the lock cylinder will break it apart and allow you to remove it so you can replace it with a new one. But how to drill out ignition lock cylinder?
This guide helps you drill out the ignition lock cylinder and get your car running again.
What is an Ignition Lock Cylinder?
An ignition lock cylinder is part of a vehicle’s ignition system that helps it start. An ignition switch is a small, cylindrical mechanism installed in a car’s steering column. After inserting the key into the lock cylinder and turning it, it signals the ignition switch. This signal sends an electrical current to the starter motor, starting the engine.
In addition to providing security for the vehicle, the ignition lock cylinder ensures that only the owner can start it. You must have the correct key to turn the lock cylinder or start your engine. In some vehicles, lock cylinders are also connected to other components, such as steering wheels and transmissions, for added security.
How to Drill Out an Ignition Lock Cylinder?
What Tools You’ll Need
- Power drill
- Drill bit set
- Safety glasses
- Pliers or a screwdriver
How to Drill Out Ignition Lock Cylinder – 6 Steps
Step -1 Uncover the steering column.
You must remove the steering column covers to access the ignition lock cylinder. So, you have to remove the steering wheel, turn signal assembly, and other components depending on the make and model of your vehicle. You should be able to access the lock cylinder once you remove the covers.
Step – 2 Select the drill bit size
You will need the best drill bit for drilling out lock for this purpose. Select the appropriate drill bit size when drilling out the lock cylinder. Determine the diameter of the lock cylinder using a caliper or a ruler. Ensure your drill bit is slightly bigger than the lock cylinder’s diameter. Doing this will protect the surrounding components when drilling through the cylinder.
Step – 3 Drill the lock cylinder.
You will need to drill straight through the lock cylinder with the drill bit. Using steady pressure, drill until you break the lock cylinder. Depending on how far you progress through the lock cylinder, you may need a more significant drill bit. It would be best if you used a cordless drill for this purpose.
Step – 4 Remove Any Remaining Pieces of the Lock Cylinder
You can remove the lock cylinder using pliers or a screwdriver. Do not damage any surrounding components, including the steering column and ignition switch. Be sure to clean out the hole of any debris.
Step- 5 Install a New Ignition Lock Cylinder
Replace the ignition lock cylinder according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The process may involve connecting wires, inserting the new cylinder, and securing it. You should test the new cylinder to make sure it works properly.
Step – 6 Reassemble the Steering Column
Ensure all the components removed to access the lock cylinder are reinstalled. Ensure that the ignition switch and steering wheel are functioning correctly. Before driving the vehicle, make sure that all screws and bolts are tight.
How to Drill out Ignition Lock Cylinder – Safety Measures
You should only attempt to drill out an ignition lock cylinder if you have experience in automotive repair. To drill out an ignition lock cylinder safely, you should follow these guidelines:
- Make sure you wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
- Ensure you have the exact tools for the job, including the right size drill bits and a power drill. Steering columns and other components can be damaged if the wrong tools are used.
- Drill carefully to avoid damaging the steering column or other components when drilling into the lock cylinder. Don’t rush, and take your time to avoid mistakes.
- When drilling into a lock cylinder, do not use excessive force. Be gentle and steady while drilling to prevent breaking the drill bit.
- Ensure the vehicle is secured and won’t move during the process before starting. Put the emergency brake on and turn off the engine.
- When you doubt your abilities or lack the right tools, it is best to seek the help of a professional locksmith or mechanic. Their expertise and experience enable them to remove the lock cylinder without damaging the vehicle.
Warning! Drill Out an Ignition Lock Cylinder at Your Own Risk!
You should only attempt drilling out an ignition lock cylinder if you have experience working on automobiles. When done incorrectly, it can cause damage to the vehicle.
Furthermore, there may be better options than drilling out an ignition lock cylinder, especially if other parts are susceptible to damage. Locksmiths and mechanics can diagnose problems and provide safe and effective solutions in some cases.
You should take all necessary safety precautions and use the right tools if you decide to drill out the ignition lock cylinder. It is best to stop and seek professional help if you feel unsure or uncomfortable at any point.
Can I drill out my ignition lock cylinder myself?
Drilling out an ignition lock cylinder is a complex process that should only be attempted by those with experience in automotive repair. If you are not confident in your abilities or need the right tools, it is best to seek the help of a professional locksmith or mechanic.
How do I know if my ignition lock cylinder needs drilled out?
If your key is stuck in the ignition or the ignition lock cylinder is damaged, it may need to be drilled out. However, there may be other solutions depending on the root cause of the problem. It is best to have a professional diagnose the issue before attempting any repairs.
What tools do I need to drill out my ignition lock cylinder?
You will need a power drill, drill bits of the correct size, pliers, and screwdrivers. You may also need a caliper or ruler to measure the diameter of the lock cylinder.
Can I use any drill bit to drill out the lock cylinder?
No, it is best to choose a drill bit larger than the diameter of the lock cylinder to avoid damaging the surrounding components. Using the wrong size drill bit can also cause the drill bit to break or become stuck.
Can I install a new ignition lock cylinder myself?
If you have experience in automotive repair, you can install a new ignition lock cylinder yourself. However, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and test the new cylinder to ensure it works properly.
Can I drive my vehicle after drilling out the ignition lock cylinder?
No, you should not attempt to drive your vehicle until the new ignition lock cylinder has been installed and the steering column has been reassembled. Driving without a properly functioning ignition lock cylinder can be dangerous and may cause damage to other components.
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