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Car door lock sticking...

topic posted Fri, January 16, 2009 - 8:11 PM by  S. Archer
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Can you recondition a car door lock from the outside?

The driver's side lock is getting hard to turn.
The passenger side lock works great.

I'm imagining I might have to take the door panel off and clean and lubricate the moving parts of the lock mechanism,
but who knows - maybe I'll get lucky and applying something via the keyhole will do the trick.
posted by:
S. Archer
Portland
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  • Unsu...
     
    Use a Graphite carbon lube or a PTFE ( teflon) lube but do not use oil.
    Spray that in and work it around.

    An oil will stiffen in the cold and cause your keys to snap off.

    I have used a lighter to heat the key and insert that several times into a frozen lock to free it up.

    If you lock is already contaminated with water use 100% Alcohol (the denatured stuff at the Borg or Ace hardware works) (not that 70% drug store alcohol) to get rid of the water.
    Squirt it in with a hypodermic.


    • -
      -
      offline 12
      > If you lock is already contaminated with water use 100% Alcohol

      Or, as it has been already suggested, WD-40.
      WD stands for water displacing.
      • Unsu...
         
        ***********Or, as it has been already suggested, WD-40. *********

        In real cold weather the oil and wax in WD 40 will freeze.
        As expensive as it is the contents are: (1) Wax, (2) Diesel fuel oil, (3) deoderized mineral spirits - and propellant if you buy the spray can.
        That's it and the mixing process is nothing more than stirring and some heat to soluble-ize the wax.
        And the price you pay for the stuff`!!

        The Diesel fuel is what does all the displacing of water. Kerosene will do the same and so will #2 Fuel oil. They are all just various forms of the same thing with Kero' being the most pure and #2 Fuel being the dirtiest.

        However with #2 fuel today as the consumer you almost can't get real #2 Fuel oil cause most of it's cut with biodiesel. And that stuff is not water displacing.

        Alcohol does not displace water. It bonds with it on the molecular level. Then it carries it away and causes it to evaporate and when used in your gas tank it makes the water flammable.
  • Yep graphite ! and if you live on or travel dirt of dusty roads .....NO OIL or wd40. It just really gums up the works. Clean it with alcohol then lube it w/ graphite. 5 out of 7 D I Y's can't all be wrong. can they?
    • Unsu...
       
      *******Yep graphite ! and if you live on or travel dirt of dusty roads .....NO OIL or wd40. It just really gums up the works. *********

      So true. Dust will be attracted to any oil and adhere to it.

      This also increases wear cause most road is highly abrasive containing oodles of silicates.
  • Unsu...
     
    when you open the door, just inside the doorjame, some of the mechanism should be visible.
    You might try some WD-40. Also, you might try just pressing your key partially in the door lock, and putting some WD-40 inside the mechanism too. Be careful not to get carried away with it, careful of the electronics and rubber seals.
    • Some people aren't reading the thread. If it's really cold, don't use WD-40. And do not use oil or anything that will gum up the works and drip all over the rest of whatever is inside the door.

      The graphite suggestion is the best solution, and probably the cheapest.

      After that, a teflon lubricant.

      And after that, you may need to take apart the door to see what's up.
      • while on the subject, what make of car is it?... and is the lock a strictly mechanical type, or one working, even partially, with an electronic code?

        ... some older locks are way easier to deal with... we'd take apart the od VW locks and even could find internal parts to replace worn/broken components.
      • Or, um, it could just be the door alignment, right? Something to think about if anyone has put too much weight on the door when it's open or if the car has been in an accident, etc.
        • Timbo wrote:
          >"Or, um, it could just be the door alignment, right? Something to think about if anyone has put too much weight on the door when it's open or if the car has been in an accident, etc. "<

          That usually is the case if the door tends to not latch or bounces off the strike. The lock turning is generally debris and or wear.

          JSin
  • The disks or tumblers on the lock do start to wear. If it is getting old often this is the case. Graphite is your best bet as a temp fix. I would consider popping the unit out <very easy from inside the door> and taking it to a locksmith to have new tumblers installed. You could re tumble it yourself but the kit to get the parts would probably run more than having a locksmith do the fix. Save the labor by pulling the lockset yourself though.

    JSin
  • So S.A., I'll bet this is way more than you ever needed to know about a car door lock sticking You can bring up ANY subject on this tribe , and I have to say there is just an incredible font of knowledge on almost anything you can come up with. Also wonderful people always willing to help. I applaud everyone on this tribe!!!!!!

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