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Difficulty Level: Beginner

Easy: 40% - 1 votes

Broken car ignition lock cylinder replacement (Dodge Caravan 2000)

Broken car ignition lock cylinder replacement (Dodge Caravan 2000)

I drive a crappy old Dodge Caravan 2000. It was given to me and was well maintained so it still run pretty well. Being an old car, I never bothered with any anti-theft device beside just locking the door. Who would try stealing an old piece of junk like that anyway? Well, I walked to the car one day and was proven wrong.  *I chose to share this guide eventough I am aware that what I am showing on this page could be used to steal a car, but this would be the equivalent of me teaching someone how to break into a store by throwing a brick in the window. If people want to steal cars, there's better techniques and information readily available to criminal and I highly doubt that my information would be of any help to any of them* Someone had managed to unlock the door and apparently went completly berzerk on the ingnition cylinder. They did not suceed. They probably panicked and left in a hurry because they didn't even bother to check the glove box. If they had they would have found my GPS (which is probably worth 1/5 of the car). But they went so crazy on on the ignition that there was no way for me to even insert my key to start the car. Now, replacing the igninion cylinder is really not a big deal as far as car repair goes and pretty much anyone should be able to pull it off. The part is also pretty cheap and easy to obtain (bought mine on ebay for 30$ shipping included). There was only one problem, you need to put the ignition in the accessory position in order to release the cylinder from the frame. How can you turn the ignition without being able to insert the key in? I went around online trying to find information but all I could find that was related to a broken ignigion that was impossible to put in accessory mode was a video on youtube showing how you can drill the center of the tumbler. All the rest was just information on how to replace defective cylinder, one that you could still put the key in. I came up with 3 possible solutions: Have the car towed to a mechanic Managing to force insert the key one last time so I can put it in accessory mode. Drill a hole through the lock like in the youtube video. Option #1 was out of the question, I had just overpaid for having the wiper's motor replaced less than 2 week before that and was already regretting not doing that job myself. I was not about to get charged hundreds of dollar to have them replace the ignition cylinder. Option #2 was the most practical as it didn't require much. Eventough I was able to clean up the key hole a bit and insert the key almost completly, the wannabe thief had damaged the lock too much and this was in vain. Option #3 was tricky as I did not own a good portable drill and the car was in the parking lot so access to a power outlet would have required me to go knock on the door of neighbors in order to plug an extension plug in the side of their house. While possible, I was trying to avoid this. The answer to my problem was that I would need to steal my own car.   *Before attempting this (or most car repair job), I strongly advise to unhook the car battery as a safety precaution.*   I started by trying to break the others part of the lock using a very strong screwdriver and a mechanic hammer. Progress was made but I quickly stopped because I was scared that the brute strenght involved would end up cracking the steering wheel chassis. If that would have happen, it would have turned a small repair job into a huge expensive one requiring the replacement of the whole steering wheel chassis assembly. So I changed my plan. I took a small, moderatly sturdy screwdriver that would fit inside the keyhole, lined the tip of the screwdriver diagonnaly agains't the base of the forefront security pin and gave a swift hammer hit on the base of the screwdriver. One or two precise hit will break the security pin. I did the same for all the others pins until they were all destroyed. The idea is to try to break the pins as close to the base as possible. Having some knowledge on the inner working of a lock, I knew that there would still be some leftover pins preventing the tumbler of turning but I figured it would weaken the lock enough for our need. I then took a long and re-inforced screwdriver, jammed it in the keyhole by hitting on the back of it's handle with my rubber hammer. Once it was firmly inside, I applied force and turned the screwdriver while jiggling it a little to try to vibrate what was left of the security pins. The rest of the pin that were preventing the tumbler cylinder of turning gave up and the cylinder started to turn. All that was left to do is press on the ignition cylinder's release pin while pulling on the screwdriver's handle. It should slide right out and then you can just slide the replacement ignition in it's place. After thinking about it, it would have also been possible to drill through the release pin so that it would not prevent manually rotating the cylinder to pull it out but I would still have needed a decent cordless drill to do that but that is something to keep in mind if you are stuck in the same situation as I was. But no matter what you decide to do, you will be looking like a car thief while doing it  so be sure to attempt this in broad daylight, ideally with the hood  of the car open so that peoples get the hint that you are the owner of the car:) If you are going to be a crook, go learn how to do things properly. If you were unable to steal an old family van from the time of Napster and Windows 98, you should definitly focus your efforts on another type of endeavour. Seriously, with all the information freely available on the internet, you have zero excuses beside being an unprepared moron. I used to wonder who the hell would put a club on the wheel of their shitty old car. Thanks to those idiotic wannabe car thiefs, I am now one of those weirdos :)Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
I drive a crappy old Dodge Caravan 2000. It was given to me and was well maintained so it still run pretty well. Being an old car, I never bothered with any anti-theft device beside just locking the door. Who would try stealing an old piece of junk like that anyway? Well, I walked to the car one day and was proven wrong.  *I chose to share this guide eventough I am aware that what I am showing on this page could be used to steal a car, but this would be the equivalent of me teaching someone how to break into a store by throwing a brick in the window. If people want to steal cars, there's better techniques and information readily available to criminal and I highly doubt that my information would be of any help to any of them* Someone had managed to unlock the door and apparently went completly berzerk on the ingnition cylinder. They did not suceed. They probably panicked and left in a hurry because they didn't even bother to check the glove box. If they had they would have found my GPS (which is probably worth 1/5 of the car). But they went so crazy on on the ignition that there was no way for me to even insert my key to start the car. Now, replacing the igninion cylinder is really not a big deal as far as car repair goes and pretty much anyone should be able to pull it off. The part is also pretty cheap and easy to obtain (bought mine on ebay for 30$ shipping included). There was only one problem, you need to put the ignition in the accessory position in order to release the cylinder from the frame. How can you turn the ignition without being able to insert the key in? I went around online trying to find information but all I could find that was related to a broken ignigion that was impossible to put in accessory mode was a video on youtube showing how you can drill the center of the tumbler. All the rest was just information on how to replace defective cylinder, one that you could still put the key in. I came up with 3 possible solutions: Have the car towed to a mechanic Managing to force insert the key one last time so I can put it in accessory mode. Drill a hole through the lock like in the youtube video. Option #1 was out of the question, I had just overpaid for having the wiper's motor replaced less than 2 week before that and was already regretting not doing that job myself. I was not about to get charged hundreds of dollar to have them replace the ignition cylinder. Option #2 was the most practical as it didn't require much. Eventough I was able to clean up the key hole a bit and insert the key almost completly, the wannabe thief had damaged the lock too much and this was in vain. Option #3 was tricky as I did not own a good portable drill and the car was in the parking lot so access to a power outlet would have required me to go knock on the door of neighbors in order to plug an extension plug in the side of their house. While possible, I was trying to avoid this. The answer to my problem was that I would need to steal my own car.   *Before attempting this (or most car repair job), I strongly advise to unhook the car battery as a safety precaution.*   I started by trying to break the others part of the lock using a very strong screwdriver and a mechanic hammer. Progress was made but I quickly stopped because I was scared that the brute strenght involved would end up cracking the steering wheel chassis. If that would have happen, it would have turned a small repair job into a huge expensive one requiring the replacement of the whole steering wheel chassis assembly. So I changed my plan. I took a small, moderatly sturdy screwdriver that would fit inside the keyhole, lined the tip of the screwdriver diagonnaly agains't the base of the forefront security pin and gave a swift hammer hit on the base of the screwdriver. One or two precise hit will break the security pin. I did the same for all the others pins until they were all destroyed. The idea is to try to break the pins as close to the base as possible. Having some knowledge on the inner working of a lock, I knew that there would still be some leftover pins preventing the tumbler of turning but I figured it would weaken the lock enough for our need. I then took a long and re-inforced screwdriver, jammed it in the keyhole by hitting on the back of it's handle with my rubber hammer. Once it was firmly inside, I applied force and turned the screwdriver while jiggling it a little to try to vibrate what was left of the security pins. The rest of the pin that were preventing the tumbler cylinder of turning gave up and the cylinder started to turn. All that was left to do is press on the ignition cylinder's release pin while pulling on the screwdriver's handle. It should slide right out and then you can just slide the replacement ignition in it's place. After thinking about it, it would have also been possible to drill through the release pin so that it would not prevent manually rotating the cylinder to pull it out but I would still have needed a decent cordless drill to do that but that is something to keep in mind if you are stuck in the same situation as I was. But no matter what you decide to do, you will be looking like a car thief while doing it  so be sure to attempt this in broad daylight, ideally with the hood  of the car open so that peoples get the hint that you are the owner of the car:) If you are going to be a crook, go learn how to do things properly. If you were unable to steal an old family van from the time of Napster and Windows 98, you should definitly focus your efforts on another type of endeavour. Seriously, with all the information freely available on the internet, you have zero excuses beside being an unprepared moron. I used to wonder who the hell would put a club on the wheel of their shitty old car. Thanks to those idiotic wannabe car thiefs, I am now one of those weirdos :)Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
40 out of 100 with 1 ratings

I drive a crappy old Dodge Caravan 2000. It was given to me and was well maintained so it still run pretty well. Being an old car, I never bothered with any anti-theft device beside just locking the door. Who would try stealing an old piece of junk like that anyway? Well, I walked to the car one day and was proven wrong. 

*I chose to share this guide eventough I am aware that what I am showing on this page could be used to steal a car, but this would be the equivalent of me teaching someone how to break into a store by throwing a brick in the window. If people want to steal cars, there's better techniques and information readily available to criminal and I highly doubt that my information would be of any help to any of them*

Igntion Broken

Someone had managed to unlock the door and apparently went completly berzerk on the ingnition cylinder. They did not suceed.

Ignition Keyhole

They probably panicked and left in a hurry because they didn't even bother to check the glove box. If they had they would have found my GPS (which is probably worth 1/5 of the car). But they went so crazy on on the ignition that there was no way for me to even insert my key to start the car. Now, replacing the igninion cylinder is really not a big deal as far as car repair goes and pretty much anyone should be able to pull it off. The part is also pretty cheap and easy to obtain (bought mine on ebay for 30$ shipping included). There was only one problem, you need to put the ignition in the accessory position in order to release the cylinder from the frame. How can you turn the ignition without being able to insert the key in? I went around online trying to find information but all I could find that was related to a broken ignigion that was impossible to put in accessory mode was a video on youtube showing how you can drill the center of the tumbler. All the rest was just information on how to replace defective cylinder, one that you could still put the key in.

I came up with 3 possible solutions:

  1. Have the car towed to a mechanic
  2. Managing to force insert the key one last time so I can put it in accessory mode.
  3. Drill a hole through the lock like in the youtube video.

Option #1 was out of the question, I had just overpaid for having the wiper's motor replaced less than 2 week before that and was already regretting not doing that job myself. I was not about to get charged hundreds of dollar to have them replace the ignition cylinder. Option #2 was the most practical as it didn't require much. Eventough I was able to clean up the key hole a bit and insert the key almost completly, the wannabe thief had damaged the lock too much and this was in vain. Option #3 was tricky as I did not own a good portable drill and the car was in the parking lot so access to a power outlet would have required me to go knock on the door of neighbors in order to plug an extension plug in the side of their house. While possible, I was trying to avoid this. The answer to my problem was that I would need to steal my own car.

 

*Before attempting this (or most car repair job), I strongly advise to unhook the car battery as a safety precaution.*

 

I started by trying to break the others part of the lock using a very strong screwdriver and a mechanic hammer. Progress was made but I quickly stopped because I was scared that the brute strenght involved would end up cracking the steering wheel chassis. If that would have happen, it would have turned a small repair job into a huge expensive one requiring the replacement of the whole steering wheel chassis assembly. So I changed my plan. I took a small, moderatly sturdy screwdriver that would fit inside the keyhole, lined the tip of the screwdriver diagonnaly agains't the base of the forefront security pin and gave a swift hammer hit on the base of the screwdriver. One or two precise hit will break the security pin. I did the same for all the others pins until they were all destroyed. The idea is to try to break the pins as close to the base as possible. Having some knowledge on the inner working of a lock, I knew that there would still be some leftover pins preventing the tumbler of turning but I figured it would weaken the lock enough for our need.

Ignition Screwdriver

I then took a long and re-inforced screwdriver, jammed it in the keyhole by hitting on the back of it's handle with my rubber hammer. Once it was firmly inside, I applied force and turned the screwdriver while jiggling it a little to try to vibrate what was left of the security pins. The rest of the pin that were preventing the tumbler cylinder of turning gave up and the cylinder started to turn. All that was left to do is press on the ignition cylinder's release pin while pulling on the screwdriver's handle.

Ignition Release Pin

It should slide right out and then you can just slide the replacement ignition in it's place.

Ignition Out

After thinking about it, it would have also been possible to drill through the release pin so that it would not prevent manually rotating the cylinder to pull it out but I would still have needed a decent cordless drill to do that but that is something to keep in mind if you are stuck in the same situation as I was. But no matter what you decide to do, you will be looking like a car thief while doing it  so be sure to attempt this in broad daylight, ideally with the hood  of the car open so that peoples get the hint that you are the owner of the car:)

Ignition Fixed

If you are going to be a crook, go learn how to do things properly. If you were unable to steal an old family van from the time of Napster and Windows 98, you should definitly focus your efforts on another type of endeavour. Seriously, with all the information freely available on the internet, you have zero excuses beside being an unprepared moron.

I used to wonder who the hell would put a club on the wheel of their shitty old car. Thanks to those idiotic wannabe car thiefs, I am now one of those weirdos :)

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