At Mr. Locksmith-Auto we regularly get calls from clients that have objects stuck in their car locks. I had one recently from a client that owns a 2006 Nissan X-Trail and unfortunately has a young child that like to put objects into holes. Previously he has put coins into the DVD player in the vehicle and ruined it, this time it was a wooden stir stick into the ignition key hole.
The stir stick was unfortunately broken off into the key slot and behind the key buzzer which drops down behind it. The client had attempted an extraction of the stir stick and it was pushed further into the cylinder.
When I arrived at the site I did manage to remove the largest piece of the stick by holding the key buzzer up out of place and using a extractor to pull the piece out, I got the key to go more that a half inch into the cylinder but did not feel the positive noise of the key hitting the back of the lock. The key is “tip stopped” so I know the key stops when it hits the back of the cylinder.
In this case it means removal and disassembly of the cylinder to remove all the wood particle from the cylinder. When the ignition switch was removed from the vehicle and brought back to the shop I disassembled the cylinder and found that some sort of penetrating oil has been used, it has turned a lot of the wood into pulp and packed the wafers including the retaining wafer. After removing and cleaning the debris from the wafers I checked the plug itself and found more debris one piece cover at least 3 wafer slots. After completely cleaning everything and assembling the ignition cylinder we had success, the key goes in all the way and turns as it should.
I have been called out to extract many things from car door and ignition cylinders, everything from broken keys, house keys, metal slivers, and wood. Wood is the worst of all, it shreds and pulps, it gets into every crevice of the lock, if it doesn’t come out in one piece you almost inevitable are into a expensive disassembly job.
I guess we can say that while kids are a genuine pleasure but left to their own devices they can cause damage and the need for expensive repairs.

Another view X-Trail
2006 Nissan
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
2006 Nissan ignition cylinder removed from the switch assembly
Note the wood pulp in the last 2 wafers
2006 Nissan plug note the wood pulp in the last 2 wafers
The retainer wafer is completely filled with wood. They key can't penetrate it
2006 Nissan. The retainer wafer is completely filled with wood. They key can’t penetrate it
Still cleaning wood out of the plug
2006 Nissan Still cleaning wood out of the plug

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