There’s myriad potential reasons for the replacement of a car door lock cylinder. It’s important to understand all the details of troubleshooting these sort of issues. Here’s Top Locksmith’s guide to car door lock cylinders.
What are car door lock cylinders?
Plainly speaking, simply, the cylinder of the lock inside your car door. They are like any other lock cylinder, being a metal tube that keys can be inserted into, turned, which matches up the latches allowing a car door to be unlocked. This is different than an ignition cylinder, even if they both use the same key and are keyed according to the same slider or wafer patterns (although many new cars don’t use ignition keys – but still use car door lock cylinders.)
How to know you need a car door lock cylinder replacement
Your key refuses to turn
If your key is not turning in your car’s lock, troubleshoot the issue to determine if the car door lock cylinder needs to be replaced. First, try a spare car key. If it doesn’t work in the lock, it’s likely the lock cylinder needs to be replaced. Also, test the original key in other door locks, as well as the trunk, or in the ignition (if it has a lock slot.) If they work in those cylinders, you will likely need to replace the cylinder of the main entrance door. If it doesn’t work for any of the cylinders it’s likely a problem with the key itself.
If you recently replaced your ignition cylinder
Car door lock cylinders should match ignition cylinders – as it’s much easier to access your car this way, and saves lots of time. Trust us, it’s simply impractical and foolish to use two separate keys to work your car doors and it’s ignition.
Car Keys were Lost
If your car keys were lost, it’s smart to replace the car door lock cylinder, as it reduces the chances of your car being stolen greatly. However, this is based on exactly HOW you lost your keys. If your keys accidentally fell off a boat into the ocean, there’s little chances of a scuba-diving burglar happening to spot them and track them to your car. However, if they mysteriously disappeared from your workdesk, it’s smart to change the lock cylinder, just so you can feel safe and secure in the fact that only you will have access to your automobile.
If the car keys or the lock cylinder hasn’t been working well
Before car lock cylinders completely break beyond functionality, they often show gradually increasing signs of malfunctioning. This can appear as giving you issues when rotating the key, including sticking, or the all-four-door locking functionality not working correctly. If you need to wiggle the key inside the lock in order to lock or unlock the door, or remove the key at all – as well as if you experience any types of partial locking or unlocking – you will likely be best served by replacing your car lock cylinders. It’s best to tackle these issues in advance as they show up, rather than waiting for the lock cylinder to break completely – potentially leaving you stuck in a lockout, which can be a situation ranging from annoying to potentially disastrous. If you experience any of these issues, contact a trustworthy locksmith, like those at Top, as soon as possible.