My Car Lock is Jammed!
It’s one of those frustrating occurrences; you go out to your car, ready to take a trip, and you insert your key in the door. You try to turn it, and it won’t move! A jammed car door lock is not a rare occurrence, and it can be down to many factors. One thing you should consider first is the weather: car locks can freeze solid, and it is not unknown for this to be the cause. If it is cold you might want to try pouring hot water on a cloth or towel and holding it against the lock. This will usually thaw a frozen lock.
Of course, it may be the middle of summer, in which case freezing is eliminated as the cause. In this case we have to consider the possibilities. Locks do wear with age and, in time, it is likely that their internal workings will seize. Sometimes this is not a major problem as it can be caused by a gradual build up of debris or general wear and tear. Before attempting anything more complex you should spray it with some lubricant spray – the type used for freeing solid nuts and bolts – and give it a little tome to work. In many cases this does the trick, and a regular application can keep a lock working for a long time.
However, you may have a more serious problem; your lock may have jammed because it is worn beyond repair. All is not lost, however, as you can rekey a car door lock using a simple kit from a hardware store or automobile store. This will involve working from the inside of the car, removing the door panels, unscrewing the lock and removing the barrel. You will then have to remove the tiny pins that allow the lock to do its job, and carefully replace them using a colour coded instruction chart. It is in no way an enjoyable job, and nor is it an easy one. For anyone who does not have the patience, it can be a frustrating job with an unhappy ending.
You are left with two options: the first is to approach a dealer for your make of car and ask for their help. They may suggest changing the locks or offer to rekey them for you, and in many cases the sophistication of the cars alarm and locking system can make this very expensive indeed. The charges levied on replacement keys are often astronomical. In the case of more expensive cars, however, this may be the only way forward, as it may be a requirement of any warranty.
The other remaining option is to contact an experienced locksmith; they will have a look at the lock and assess the problem, and will be able to tell you very quickly whether it can be adequately repaired or needs replacement. This is by far the most sensible and reliable option, and can often be the most cost effective as well.