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Your Door Lock & Cylinder Lock worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Secure the car with the door lock & locking cylinder
The door lock & locking cylinder have been a part of the car since the advent of closed cabins. A lockable door prevents the car and personal items inside it from being stolen. What began with very simple solutions has evolved into a complex and intricate design with many features.
Door lock & locking cylinder components
A car's door lock consists of a swiveling cylinder that locks or unlocks a vehicle by means of pins and levers. The individual, moving components inside the cylinder are made of die-cast aluminum and plastic. The cylinder is designed in such a way that it can only be opened only with a specific key profile. On modern vehicles, the mechanical, manual locking system is complemented by a radio remote control. Furthermore, the door lock & locking cylinder on modern vehicles don't just operate the individual lock, but also all other doors by means of a central locking system. Modern central locking systems are electronic and thus quite easy to control from a technical viewpoint. Older vehicles were often equipped with pneumatic central locking systems. Their replacement could only be performed by professionals.
Door lock defects
Mechanical defects on a car's lock are usually the result of small parts inside of the cylinder being broken. This die-casted and injection-molded parts are very sensitive and may deteriorate over the course of time. In this case, the vehicle can usually no longer be manually locked or unlocked on one side. When inserting the key, it can simply be turned around inside the lock and there is no resistance. Another possible failure is breakage of the fixing split pin. In this case, the cylinder simply falls out of its socket or comes out with the key when attempting to pull the key out.
Repairing a door lock
Many manufacturers offer repair kits for fixing a car's locking mechanism. On many car brands, the door locks can simply be removed and completely disassembled. Only the damaged parts are replaced using the repair kit. The problem with replacing the entire lock cylinder is that the existing car keys no longer fit. Therefore, replacement door cylinders are often supplied as complete sets. Thus the most appropriate means of repair is replacing all of the car's door locks right away. The price difference of various repair kits is insignificant. For simple and purely manual door locks, the complete replacement of all locks usually requires less time than repairing a single lock. Yet, since a car's ignition and door keys are identical, the driver must live with the fact that two keys are needed to operate the car upon replacing the door locks.
In any case, replacing or upgrading the locking system requires removal of the door handles and interior trim. In doing so, it is important not to lose or to break the numerous pins and brackets of the door boards. Oftentimes these clips are very sensitive, yet can be purchased from the accessories trade for little money. Furthermore, the Interior trims in modern vehicles are often equipped with various complex electronics. Electric windows, controls for the exterior mirrors or seat adjustment require special care during disassembly. With enough patience and concentration, the replacement of door locks & locking cylinders can also be performed by experienced amateur mechanics. Retrofitting remote control and central locking systems A remote control for the door lock is a very popular convenience feature that is often provided by factory. On many vehicles that are not equipped with this handy tool, the trade offers solutions for retrofitting. Especially when needing to replace the cylinder lock, this supplement is worth consideration. It offers a high level of comfort and additional security. Yet, if merely upgrading with a remote control system, the car must already be equipped with a central locking system. If this is not the case, an aftermarket set must also be purchased from an accessory retailer. These sets usually already include a remote control, thus making the installation relatively simple. These retrofit central locking system or remote control solutions greatly vary in terms of their quality. Here, it is always best to invest and trust in the quality offered by tested and proven brands.