Problems and solutions of faulty automobile locks are presented. Difficulty in inserting the key is often the first symptom of a faulty car door lock. If the problem is dirt, the lock can be flushed well with WD-40 or LPS No. 1 lubricant sprays. If this approach does not work, there may be a broken spring, or a stuck pin or wafer inside the lock, which require the services of a locksmith, rather than an auto dealer or shop mechanic. If the key can be inserted into the door lock but requires effort to rotate, the lock probably does not need replacing. In a General Motors model car three or more years old, the key should be checked by a locksmith for wear. GM locks have a wafer design that wears keys more quickly than the pins in Ford and Chrysler locks. The locksmith can cut a new key to factory specifications on a special clipper. If the key goes in the trunk lock and turns but nothing happens, the tailpiece of the lock has become disengaged. A small hole beneath the lock indicates that the trunk has been opened by a thief drilling the hole and inserting a tool to force the catch. The car owner can reconnect the tailpiece if there was no damage to the lock. A lock body damaged by forcible entry will have to be replaced. If the key cannot be inserted into the trunk lock or it will not turn, a lubricant can be sprayed on the lock; if that fails the lock should be removed and taken to a locksmith. The code numbers that come with new-car keys enable a locksmith to cut new keys without the originals. It is a good idea to record these numbers on a card for carrying in a wallet. To avoid lock problems, the locks should be lubricated two or more times a year. If a key will not turn, it should not be forced; a locksmith who is a bonded member of the profession should be consulted.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Times Mirror Magazines, Incorporated

    380 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10017
  • Authors:
    • Green, D
  • Publication Date: 1980-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: 3 p.
  • Serial:
    • Popular Science
    • Volume: 217
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Times Mirror Magazines, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0161-7370

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00386131
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 175
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM