How to Fix a Twisted and Bent Car Key
Clamp the key in a vise with the twisted end pointing up. Then use pliers to carefully twist the key back to the way it should be.
We’ve all faced it at some point: that frustrating moment when you realize your key has been twisted out of shape. Whether it got caught in something, bent in a pocket, or suffered from an overly aggressive turn in the lock, a twisted key is not only inconvenient but can also risk breaking off when you try to use it again. Before you panic or rush to the locksmith, here’s a simple method to give your key a second lease on life.
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Step-by-Step: Straightening Your Twisted Key
Prepare Your Workspace
Before you start, make sure you have a stable workspace, like a workbench or sturdy table. Ensure that you have a vise and a pair of pliers within arm’s reach.
Secure the Key
Place the key in the vise, ensuring the twisted end is pointing upwards. This will give you better visibility and control when attempting to straighten it.
Twist with Care
Using your pliers, gently grip the twisted part of the key. Begin to carefully twist it back to its original position. It’s crucial to go slow and check frequently to avoid overcorrecting or causing additional damage.
Test Your Key
Once straightened, remove your key from the vise and test it in its respective lock. This ensures that it has been returned to its usable shape. If it still doesn’t fit or turn smoothly, you may need to make minor adjustments with the pliers.
A Word of Caution
While this method can be a quick fix in a pinch, it’s important to remember that a key that has been previously twisted is now weakened. This means it’s far more susceptible to breaking in the future. To avoid the inconvenience of a broken key or, worse, a key stuck in a lock, replace the straightened key as soon as you can. Think of the straightening process as a temporary solution, not a long-term fix. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to get a spare or two made!
Remember, as with many things in life, prevention is key (pun intended). Treat your keys with care, store them properly, and avoid using them as tools or prying devices to prolong their lifespan.