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How to Remove a Thule Lock Cylinder with Broken Key Stuck Inside

Question:

Is there a way to remove a Thule cylinder, in order to install a new one, that has a broken key inside?

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Expert Reply:

The only way to remove a Thule lock cylinder like the ones in # TH450400 is by inserting the master key into a cylinder in the unlocked position. However, I have a few tips and tricks to help you remove the broken key to allow for the master key to be used.

The first thing is to spray a generous amount of oil lubricant into the key hole. Your key was probably hard to operate before it broke so the lubricant will help the key slide out a bit easier.

Next, make sure that the lock is completely in the locked (vertical) or unlocked (horizontal) position. If the key broke off while it was partially turned, you will need to align it before it can slide out. You can use a flat head screw driver to try to turn it.

Once aligned, try using a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the key out. Be patient and try this a few times as it may not come out on the very first try.

If you're still unable to slide the key out you can try using a jig saw blade. With the blade's teeth pointing up, slide it alongside the key and wiggle it until you feel it grabbing one of the mechanisms inside. Gently pull out the blade; the key should come out with it.

If all else fails, your only other option is to drill the lock out which is not the end of the world since you can replace it with the lock cylinder included in the # TH450400 kit.

You can check out the video I attached which shows how to use the master key to remove a Thule lock cylinder. Good luck!

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