You’re in a rush to get into the car and get on the road. As you reach for the key, you soon realise you’re not going anywhere now because the car lock refuses to budge. Banging on the door or shoving the key in the lock several times won’t make the car door lock open. Take a deep breath, and don’t get frustrated. Discover three possible reasons why the car lock is stuck in a locked position and what you can do to get it open.
Figure Out the Problem
As simple as it sounds, the first step when a car lock won’t budge is to calm down and figure out the problem. Instead of feeling impatient, examine the lock assembly to see what is wrong. Sometimes a lock won’t move in cold weather because it freezes. Using a de-icer often fixes the problem so the lock moves and you can get in the car. When the weather is pleasant, you know it can’t be stuck due to icy conditions. Before asking for help from a locksmith, try to determine why the lock won’t work. With that in mind, there are three typical scenarios to consider when dealing with a lock that won’t budge.
Car Door Latch Connections Are Broken
One of the most common reasons why a car lock gets stuck in a lock position is lost internal or external connections to the car door latch. If the car door lock cylinder, door handle, or interior lock switch is not connected correctly to the car door latch, the car lock gets stuck and won’t work again until the broken connections are fixed. In most instances, this is a job best left to a professional locksmith. To fix the lock, you need to open the door and examine the lock assembly to figure out what’s wrong. Plus, replacement parts might be required to fix the car lock and get it to open and close smoothly again.
Jamming Due to Rust and Dirt
Over time, dirt, debris, rust, and grime build up in a car door lock’s internal mechanisms. Ongoing exposure to the elements makes rust and dirt inevitable, and they can start to build up in the lock assembly. As a car gets older, broken door parts or other items may fall into the interior assembly and cause the car door lock to get stuck. In some instances, something other than a key could be jammed in the keyway. The first step is to carefully examine the keyway with a flashlight to see if anything is caught in it. If your key doesn’t enter the keyhole, it indicates a foreign object could be wedged in the keyway. Contact a reputable locksmith to open up the door panel and attempt to move the assembly. A locksmith may need to lubricate the assembly, try moving it around, and get rid of any blockages.
Accidents happen, and they cause structural damage to cars and trucks. If your car was in an accident, damage to the door could cause the car door lock to get jammed. Even a fender bender or slamming the door too hard can damage the latch. Often it is disconnected from the rest of the door. When the damage is due to an accident or incident, it makes sense to contact a professional locksmith to assess and repair the problem and determine if other repairs might be necessary to avoid getting locked out of the car again. While these three situations are definitely reasons to call a locksmith, another common scenario is breaking a key in the lock. Once this happens, you can’t get inside until the broken key is removed.
What To Do About a Broken Key in the Car Door Lock
Everyone breaks a key in a door lock at least once in a lifetime. If you break a car key in the car door lock, examine how much of the key is visible. Try to remove the broken key piece with a pair of needle-nose pliers and try not to turn the key when taking it out. Once you remove the broken piece, you can bring both pieces to a local locksmith to make a replacement key. Another option, which is often ineffective, is to use a magnet to bring the key piece out of the lock. Otherwise, special key removal tools are required to get the piece out of the lock without breaking the lock itself. Call a locksmith to remove the pieces and make you a replacement key.
Help Is On the Way
If you are stuck in a dark location at night or an unsafe neighbourhood, it might not be the right time or place for troubleshooting. If you feel uncomfortable, contact a locksmith immediately, then find a safe place to wait until the locksmith arrives. Use common sense to determine if the conditions are right to assess the problem and fix it. It will soon become obvious you are unable to get in your car and drive away. Feel reassured knowing a respected locksmith is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help people in crisis. Make sure someone else knows your car is stuck, and stay on the phone with a friend or family member until help arrives.
Nobody wants to try to enter their car after a long day to find out they can’t get in. Understanding the common problems that cause a car lock to get stuck helps you figure out ways to get inside. Sometimes all it takes is a quick fix to reconnect the car lock to the car door latch or remove the piece of a broken key. In other situations, you need a professional locksmith to help you get in the car. Fortunately, a local locksmith is available any time of the day or night to provide the necessary assistance. If you get locked out, don’t panic. Remember to assess the situation, then call a locksmith so you can get on the road again.