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Discussion Starter #201
If I was working on it I'd be making a new key anyway so I'd cut the head off the key. If that's not an option, I guess it depends on the reason the key is stuck. Can you turn the lock all the way back to the "0" (lock) position and can't pull the key out or are you not able to turn it back to lock?
 

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I’d hate to bring up this old post but it seems like this is the most information one out here, so I’m adding to the issues lol.

Recently my key became harder and harder to insert into the lock cylinder. Yesterday it wouldn’t go in at all, so I forced it a tad and it kind of squished in. It didn’t feel right. And the key wouldn’t turn. It was stuck. Long story short, I pulled the entire cylinder assembly apart, as Locksmith had illustrated, and was left with an empty hole in my ignition assembly. Then I put the key next to the chip reader antenna thing, and turned the ignition with a flat blade screwdriver. It started up perfectly. I drove the car home, turned it off. And then went to start it in the exact same way, only it won’t turn. I have everything still plugged in (the antenna and the piece with the green light). My steering wheel is locked, however I don’t think that’s the issue.

I’ve trued everything, including: jiggling the steering wheel side to side while attempting to turn the ignition. Lifting the front end off the ground. Rocking the car back and forth. Putting the car in neutral. Nothing seems to be unlocking the ignition switch.

I have the lock cylinder removed, and I took all of the wafers out, so that the key can the cylinder easily, and I tried putting the cylinder back into the ignition assembly and repeating all of my attempt again, and nothing.

I don’t understand why the ignition switch won’t turn. Is it possible that it is locked up based on something I haven’t seen or tried yet? The battery is good so I know the antenna is getting power. Is there another way to start my car ?
 

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I just took the barrel, removed the metal side cover with a drill to the roll pin and a small chisel to pry the cover off, glued the slide lock in the open position with JB weld, threw away the long steel finger that allows the steering lock to be disengaged, removed the ignition barrel, threw away all the pins except the inner most plate (which holds the key in), re-assembled, and fixed the problem now and forever. The electrical interlocks to the AT works, no sticky cylinder, same old key, it still won't accept most other keys because the last pin is still there, and the transponder still wont allow start unless it is my key. 2 hours, end to end, and I've never done anything like this before, ever. Most of the time was spent looking at you tube videos on key cylinder removal.

The dealer wanted $950. The first locksmith wanted $250, but tried to upcharge to $450 when he arrived, so I fired him (he then told me what I was doing was as illegal as hell, which was really funny) and called two others who wanted $450 and $600, each affirming it would only take them 30 minutes to an hour.

If I had wanted to re-key the barrel with new pins, I would have had to purchase a $37 kit plus shipping and wait a few days. I didn't see the point due to the transponder security system and the roughly 1 in 4 chance a key will work to even get into the ignition and turn it with the one remaining pin/plate still in place.

As it is: investment: $0.25 for the JB Weld blob, and 2 hours of my time. That works out to at least roughly $225 per hour I "paid" myself.

The Hondas have cruddy ignition cylinders apparently, but they are really easy to work on...even I can do it. Tell the dealers and locksmiths to pound sand when they try and make this sound so hard only they can do it for you for hundreds of dollars per hour when basic thinking skills and a little time are all you need. None of the areas are hard to get too. No small hands needed. The hard part was spinning the steering column bracket bolts off with a chisel. I made cross grooves in them with a Dremel so they are easy to take in and out now.
 

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Mine took a lunchbreak, plus 10 minutes. Will disagree that the 1st 4 Phillips heads are easy, i got 3, had to break some plastic instead of getting the one that faces the dashboard out, but thats on me.
All Hail Our Locksmith.
Other locksmiths may pound sand at their leisure.
 

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i did this to my wife's 2005 accord. key went in, and got stuck. would turn and start the car, would not come out. i used vice grips and got it out. then, as stated here, i took the cylinder out of her car, and opened it up. took every pin out with the wafers? (little spring loaded metal tabs) and took the springs out.

all back together. the transponder is her security.:p her key, my element key, and my 1988 crx key will go in there and turn the ignition. a steak knife will turn that thing now, but if the steak knife doesn't have the transponder, then accord no starty. took me under an hour.

great thread.:)
 

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My drivers door lock cylinder is buggered. Can I swap cylinders with the glovebox cylinder? What would be needed wrt the wafers / tumblers to make both locks functional? This topic was asked above in #173-180 but I never saw an answer.

I guess swapping cylinders might be my cheapest solution (free!) but require two disassemblies then reassemblies, plus the risks of recurring failure re-using original wafers / tumblers.

Thanks all, -Kevin
 

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Hi again. Any advice on feasibility of my swapping cylinders (or merely wafers) between my frozen drivers door cylinder and the good glove box lock?? It's an '03 EX.

Thanks. Since I didn't get any reply to my question initially, I cannot tell if my idea is genius or 100% idiotic?!!! :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #208
The glove and door cylinders are not interchangeable. All wafers are. Problem is, it's the first few wafers in the door that get buggered. The glove only uses the last few. Your luck of having the right wafers depends on the key code your E ended up with.

You can take any lock apart and read the numbers on the wafers. If you find worn wafers in the door lock and also find the same numbered wafer in any other lock you can use them. You can take good wafers from any lock, they're all the same. Just have to keep the same numbers in the same place.
 

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I have personally been in that kind of situation - the problem was really simple - steering wheel has become blocked . In this issue, you just had to try turning key and steering wheel simultaneously. Turn it slowly so you'll be managed to find the point where its unlocking. Problems with the car - is an immortal issue. But, if you're using some resources, such as this page , you'll be able to find solution quicker. For example, recently i have finally found great lift kit for my tacoma.
 

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It's a common issue among all Hondas with these keys.
I do not see the photos for the "How - To "
After much consideration I have decided to show my method of removing, repairing and replacing the Honda 4-track ignition lock. I am doing this for the vehicle owner who has been left stranded by a 2¢ part that, by dealer standards, you can only repair by replacing a $350 part plus labor.

If you are worried that I am letting out some big secret and your car is going to be stolen and it's all my fault... I'm flattered. I assure you that this will not benefit a would be thief in any way. A thief that knows what he's doing would actually take longer doing it this way and a thief that didn't know what he was doing couldn't start the car without a transponder key present.

So here goes!
I am in desperate need of the photo's that where once part of this post. My Element ignition key will not work and the car is blocking my other cars in the driveway. God damn nightmare.
 

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I recently had my door lock become impossible to insert the key into, to which my solution was to buy a third-party remote lock fob for $20 (I had the receiver under the dash already).

Turns out the door lock is likely used as much as the ignition lock, and a few months later I felt the same dreaded "stop" when inserting the key into the ignition. Thankfully got one last insert to get me home. Then discovered it would no longer turn.

After reading the helpful how-to posts here, and watching some videos, I decided this was not a job for me and called my locksmith friend. Long story short, seems not many locksmiths do auto locks these days, at least not around here (NE Ohio). Took a lot of phone calls by me and my locksmith friend to find one that would even work on it (most told him "tow it to the dealer").

Eventually, my locksmith buddy found a locksmith to do it.

Long story short, one of the wafers had a nub worn down or broken off. And my key was a worn down as well. But the missing nub on the wafer was the main culprit. I got a new key made to be safe, as I didn't have a spare anyways.

Cost for him to replace the wafers: $100. Was told that was a really good deal. $35 for the new key, $20 tip.

He said the job was a bit easier because someone had already been in there and did some of the more difficult work (cutting off a pin/bolt or something). Locksmith buddy said he expected $200 from his first (but MIA) affordable referral.

Locksmith told me he does at least one of these a month on older Hondas, all models.
 
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