Being able to lock your car is the first and the last line of defense regarding your vehicle’s security. It’s not just about preventing the theft of your car. It’s also about preventing theft regarding the contents of the vehicle. Other than this, it’s also about your ability to lock the car in order to protect yourself inside of the vehicle, should your physical safety be threatened. There are two major types of lock problems. The first one is mechanical lock problems and the latter is trouble regarding the power lock. If either of the two isn’t functioning properly, it can be for a number of reasons.
1. Power lock problems
The first category worth mentioning is – troubles regarding the power lock.
The key fob has a battery of its own and if it’s dead, this might be the reason why your battery is not working. Needless to say, this is the most common reason for the power lock malfunction. As such, it’s the first thing worth checking.
Other than this, it is quite likely that a key fob is at a fault or that the fuse is blown. Both of these problems are easy to solve but nearly impossible to diagnose on your own. Therefore, you should take your car to a professional mechanic, a car dealer or a specialized locksmith.
The door lock solenoid might have gone bad, as well, which would cause the door to be nearly impossible to lock. The problem with this repair lies in the fact that it would take an entire car door panel removal, replacement and then the re-installation of a panel to fix the issue.
Finally, there might be a broken wire somewhere. This type of problem will cause a malfunction in any electrical object, really.
2. Mechanical lock problems
In a case where something’s wrong with the mechanism of the lock, the only thing to do is disassemble it. Before you can do this, nonetheless, you would, most likely, have to remove the door panel. Keep in mind that this is not as simple as it looks and that there are numerous hidden screws. Therefore, it would be best to find a tutorial or a step-by-step guide online. Just keep in mind that different manufacturers have different designs. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.
3. Potential solutions
There are many different things you could try in order to fix your broken lock.
First, you can check the battery yourself. Second, you could try other doors and see if the problem is related to a single door or if the error is systemic. The thing about this type of diagnostics is that it’s simple, intuitive and that you don’t need any additional equipment to make it.
Aside from this, you could also try to spray the lubricant on the lock. If frost is a problem, you can try to defrost it yourself.
In a scenario where you have trouble with the key, the only sensible thing to do is go to a specialized car key locksmith and request a replacement. Seeing as how this is one of the cheapest fixes that you may encounter, you should count yourself lucky if the key is at fault.
4. Key maintenance tips
Lastly, you need to learn how to maintain your lock so that you can avoid these problems in the future. Lock lubrication is the first thing that comes to mind here but there are some other tips, as well. First of all, try to avoid getting your lock frozen. To do so, keep your car in a garage whenever you can and invest in a quality car cover. Also, try being a bit gentler when unlocking and locking the vehicle. Even if the key doesn’t break, by being too rough with the lock, you’re slowly eroding it, which will ultimately lead to its breakdown.
Now that you understand the way your lock works and why some of these problems happen, you will be able to avoid and treat these problems. The key thing to bear in mind is that a broken lock needs to be a priority. It’s not a minor fix that can wait for its turn during the household budget allocation. As soon as you notice trouble on the horizon, either inspect it yourself or take it to a professional.