Car door lock cylinders are the most important part of the locking mechanism of your car. They will save you and your dear ones as well as save the car itself from various dangers such as road accidents and theft. But they are prone to malfunctioning now and then, needing you, the car owner, to know how to replace a car door lock cylinder.
Your car door lock may start acting up due to rusting or something like dirt and some other stuff entering it and blocking the key’s way. Replacing a car door cylinder takes quite some time, which is around an hour, so you must have patience while doing so.
So, let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to fix your car door lock so that you can remain safe and sound while in it.
How To Fix A Car Door Lock Cylinder: 11 Steps To Replace Car Door Lock Cylinder
Fixing a car door lock cylinder can be quite pricey depending on the way you choose to do so. The lock and key and their parts will cost anywhere between 20 to 50 dollars, whereas getting help from locksmiths such as the dependable guys from autorunlocksmith.com will cost you 30 dollars. If you decide that you won’t go through the trouble yourself, you can take the vehicle to a garage, in which case you will have to part ways with around 280 dollars.
But if you do decide to fix your car door yourself, here are the steps that need to be followed :
1. Removing The Door Panel
If your car has electric windows, you will need to raise them completely before you can remove the door panel. To do this, turning the ignition key to ‘on’ will do. Then remove your car’s door panel.
2. Removing The Inner Liner
The plastic inner liners are in place so that water is prevented from entering the car’s interior. You need to remove these liners from the car door to fix your car’s door lock cylinder. You can easily reuse the glue to put the liner back in its place after the repair work is done.
3. Removing The Control Rod Of The Door Handle
While you are removing the inner liner from the door, locate the control rod of your car door handle as well. Then un-clip the control rod. This will allow you to fix the control rod as well in case it had been damaged before.
4. Removing The Lock Control Rod
Now it’s time to locate the control rod of the lock and remove it. To do this, you can either use a screwdriver or a long pick. Using the tools, separate the rod from the car’s lock arm. You need to push the clip downwards and away from the lock’s control rod.
5. Unbolting The Outer Handle
Remove the bolts by using a socket or a wrench of 10mm. Turn them clockwise and the bolts will come right off of the handle. If you are lucky enough, you will be provided with a bolt access hole that is mounted on the door handle to make removing bolts easier.
6. Removing The Outer Handle Of The Door
After the bolts are removed from the door, it is time to remove its outer handle. Be careful while removing the handle as rough handling can damage your car’s paint. Just gently lift the handle and it will more often than not come off easily. Although sometimes you may need to struggle a bit, it won’t take that much effort. You can use masking tape around the handle so that you don’t accidentally damage the paint.
7. Removing The Door Lock
Now take a pick or a small screwdriver to remove the retainer clip whose job is to hold the lock in place inside the handle housing. After you have removed the clip, you will notice the lock cylinder becoming loose. You can then easily remove the cylinder. Push the lock tumbler and it will come out of the outer handle of the door. Now take a shop towel and clean the handle cylinder.
8. Installing The New Lock
When you get a new lock, you will also get a new set of keys that are different from your previous ones. If you prefer your older ones, then take them to a locksmith to sort it out by rekeying. Do not insert the lock into your car’s door handle gently.
Be very careful while doing this as you need to line up the keyway timers present in the door handle. Lining the keyway timers perfectly will ensure the lock is correctly oriented. Now slide the locking clip into its place. There are some clips available which you can install before the lock. In this particular case, the lock will automatically snap into its place.
9. Installing a New Handle Rod Clip For The Outer Door
Look for any broken clips in the door handle after installing the lock and remove them promptly. Now the new clips should be matched with the old ones to see if they are identical. Then install the clips into the door handle to finally ready it for installation.
10. Reinstalling The Door Handle
Gently lower the outer door handle into its place while making sure the paint and the control arms of the handle are not damaged. Now hold the handle from the front and mount the bolts on it. Then secure the plastic clips and again connect the control rods with the door handle and the lock. Then confirm the proper placement of the lock and the handle. Then re-attach the inner liner carefully.
11. Reinstalling The Door Panel
Lastly, you need to reinstall the car’s door panel and wipe any fingerprints from its interior and exterior. Check whether you have installed everything properly by moving it a few times.
Knowing how to replace car door cylinders can save you a lot of money and in the future, will save both you and the car itself from a lot of harm. So have a little patience and spend an hour fixing your car door lock cylinder yourself.
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