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How to open glove box when key does not work?

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Old Yesterday, 02:49 PM   #1
scblackout
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Default How to open glove box when key does not work?

For some reason the key does not work when trying to open the glove box. The key only goes into the cylinder about 1/2 way and will not turn. I took the car to the Lexus dealer and they tried for about an hour. They cut a new key and even that did not work.

So now that I need to get the glove box open in order to remove the dash I am stuck. Does anyone have further ideas to get it open?

I'm kind of hoping that maybe someone has a picture of the glove box locking mechanism so that I can see if it can be properly 'pried' open. I have just enough room between the airbag and the top of the box cover so that I can slip in a slim jim or something similar to try and hook the lock, but I am not sure which direction it moves, or if can even move enough to open without the key and without bending it.

I'm just beginning my quest to get rid of all the stupid rattles and have a long way to go.
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Old Yesterday, 04:05 PM   #2
t2d2
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I'm guessing something got jammed in there, so maybe take it to a locksmith and see if they have extraction tools? Or maybe one of the tumblers is frozen and just needs a healthy dose of graphite sprayed in there?

You can't really disassemble the glovebox without opening it to access various fasteners, so you're sort of SOL as far as I can tell as far as a workaround. My last resort would be to drill out the lock cylinder, but that carries a fairly high risk of damaging the dash. Whatever you do, disconnect the battery first before doing forceful work around the airbag!
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Old Yesterday, 05:28 PM   #3
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thanks t2d2

I managed to find a picture of the locking mechanism on the box side and it turned out to be quite simple. It works much like the brake on a bike, so I simply slid a butter knife between the top of the glove box and the airbag trim. I felt around for the end of the wire and a simple push to the drivers side and it opened.

It turns out the lock does work as does the button. The problem is that the wire between the button and the latch was not tightened so when the button is pushed, it would only bend the entire wire via tension and not move the inner metal 'brake' wire.

I can't get my fingers back there to tighten it, so next step is to find directions on removing the center vents and lock area so that I can fix it properly.
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Old Yesterday, 06:46 PM   #4
t2d2
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Nice work! If I ever get locked out of my house, I know who to call.

However, your explanation doesn't answer why you could only insert the key halfway before... Were you able to insert the key fully after opening the glovebox, or did that issue persist?

Removing the center vent sucks. When you find the directions, don't follow them... Some steps are missing and some are totally incorrect. I think the key is to remove the stereo and get at an unmentioned fastener at the far left of the vent, otherwise you're sure to shatter it upon removal. The rest of the discrepancies you can work your way through with some harmless trial and error, which you're obviously pretty adept at.
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