Ignition barrel change

Hi guys I have a K11 X reg micra 1.0 and seem to be having problems with the ignition. Everytime I go to drive it when I try to get the key out it stops rotating a couple of mlm before I can get the key out. I was caught out with it for 2 hours the other day so really want to get this fixed. I assume I will have to get the ignition barrel changed. Does anyone know where I can find instructions to do this. Also once I have a new barrel does that key have to be matched to my car or can i just swap the chips out of the keys?. I would however like to still use the same key as the original lock rather then having two sets for the car. Is there a way to get a new barrel changed to have the same lock as the old one like swapping the pins over or anything?


You're after my robot bee
Club Member
its not really possible, the barrel is a security part of the car so it has been designed not to come off. i hacksawed mine off but there was no way of reusing it. i am not sure how you would get another one off to replace it with. you would probably have to change the whole steering collum.

if you have nats you would have to switch the chip over to the new key,

one think you could do is just rip the whole lot out and have a very swish looking push button to start the car, you would loose the steering lock and it would mean that anyone could just smash the window and start the car, so you would have to invest in some kind of alarm immobilser or something like that, which could be as simple as a hidden switch somewhere if you wanted.
Its held on by sheer bolts. When fitted these bolts heads snap off when they get to a certain torque. This is so dodgy blokes can't go round undoing them!

You can remove them by drilling them out or (if you can get in) tapping them round with a small chisel.

If you get a new lock and barrel from Nissan they may be able to get you one matching your existing key but it costs more and you have to wait longer for it. You will need to have it all programmed in by them too!
Another problem you may find is your new keys stick in the original locks and your original keys stick in the new lock because your original keys wear at the same rate as the locks so using a brand new key may jam up for the first few weeks.

Personally I'd try changing the actual ignition switch on the back of this unit. They can stick and break up, I've had to change a few. They are held on by 2 small phillips head screws.

Whatever you do, don't lubricate the lock barrel. As the lock and key wear, metal filings can collect inside the lock. They are designed to be self lubricating (brass inside). If you add a spot of oil or WD40 you risk the metal filings being drawn up inside the lock and causing it to wear. Also, because the main starter feed works off the switch it can start to smoke if oil gets into it!
If they new locking barrel pins match the existing key then why would you haev to get it reprogrammed? Isn't the chip programmed to the ecu and becuase we would be using the same key wouldn't need to get nissan to reprogramme? I spoke to Nissan and they said getting a new barrel would be about £40 and getting the lock changed by a locksmith about another £40. Do you think it would just be easier getting a whole new set of locks from a scrappy and change the chip over? Thanks for the help guys
The chip in the key has to be programmed to the immobiliser unit (that fits round the bit you put the key in on the ignition lock housing)
The key part may be the same shape but the chip signal would not match the one in the immobiliser unit.

If you get a lock set from a breakers the chip in those keys would match the immobiliser in the donor car. You would still need the immobiliser unit or to have the scap yard keys programmed to your cars immobiliser.

I still think it would be easier to get an ignition switch and try it first as it doesn't need programmed in and will be far cheaper and less messing about than changing all the locks.


Site Supporter
yeh the little round ignition switch screwd in behind the key barrel does wear down
cheaper option first realy
Best thing about it is its size!

Easier to sneak past the scrap yard Alsatians than it is to sneak out a main stealers with a full lock set! LOL!