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Jake, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 3964
Experience:  Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
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1997 altima. Key broke off in lock. Nothing showing to grab.

Customer Question

1997 altima. Key broke off in lock. Nothing showing to grab. How to remove lock barrel?
JA: Any trouble turning the key in the ignition? Do you have a key fob?
Customer: There was no trouble using the key. No key fob
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes, fix myself, car not worth much. Tried inserting top half of key, but think the halves don't align properly. Tried making a key extractor from a piece of spring steer. Could get it in, but can't seem to get it to hooh the tip of the key.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Found the pin on top of lock barrel housing. Depressed it but couldn't pull the barrel.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Nissan Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  eric replied 1 year ago.


If you cannot get the key to turn to ACC position, which is what allows the lockpin to depress fully to release the barrel, you will need to use a 1/8" drill bit and drill out the lockpin and then pull the barrel out. The new cylinder comes with its own lockpin, so it is not needed for the new cylinder.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just where is the lock pin. Is it on top over the barrel? That's the one that I've been pushing down on. A picture would help immensely.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looking online I realize that what I was pushing on is actually an electrical switch (my son had disconnected stuff before I got to see what's what in there. Now I really need to know where the lockpin is.
Expert:  Jake replied 1 year ago.
Are you referring to the lock barrel inside the door?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, Jake. The ignition switch barrel
Expert:  Jake replied 1 year ago.

gotcha, that ignition tumbler has to be removed from the interlock cable.

You will need to remove the steering column cover first, pull the lock plate from under the interlock cable and remove the 2 bolts securing the ignition tumbler.