Who do I call to fix a car door lock?

I have a two-door hatchback. Quite a while ago, the lock on the driver’s side door broke. You know how there’s sort of a springy type plate thingy that pops up so it’s flush with the door? You put the key in the keyhole, and push this springy plate thing out of the way, so the key can go in. Then, when you take the key out, it pops back out. Anyway, the springy plate thingy stopped springing. Now, when I look at the keyhole, instead of a nice flush plate thingy, there’s a gaping, um, gap. And I can see the end of a wire. But the point is, I could no longer get my key to go in the keyhole.

Not a big deal. I just started unlocking the passenger’s side door, then using the power unlock to unlock the driver’s side door. It’s kind of a pain, but workable. Well, as of tonight, my passenger side door keyhole is also broken. It did the same thing as the driver’s side door lock.

It’s not an emergency yet. Upon further experimentation, I found that I can, in fact, still get my key to go in the hole and unlock the door with enough wiggling and careful maneuvering. Plus, if I am ever unable to open either door, I can always pop open the hatchback and climb in that way. Though, needless to say, I’d prefer to avoid that.

ANYWAY, my question is, who do I call? Is this a car repair problem or a locksmith problem? And how much can I expect it to run me? Will they be able to match my current key? Would that cost extra? Has anyone out there ever had to deal with this before?

Thanks in advance.

      • Assuming the car DOESN’T have microshipped keys:
  • The dealer likely won’t even attempt to repair the existing lock, they’ll just tell you to order a new one. Figure $125 or so for an American-make door lock, maybe several times that for an ignition lock – plus installation.
  • A locksmith may be able to fix it, but they will probably want you to remove it from the car and leave it with them.
 --- If the keys are microchipped or some oddball type not easily available elsewhere (one Euro brand uses keys that are like a round shaft with cams on it--you can't get them anywhere other than the dealers) then the dealer should be able to get you a new lock, and get it all set up to your existing keys. I dunno how much that would cost at all.
      • And of course if it’s a small boat, it will always have microshipped keys, and then you need to go to Florida to get new ones.

Don’t shell out anthing yet! My driver’s side door would not open from inside or out, for several weeks. My brother took a look at it and fixed it within 10 minutes, and I’m no slouch mechanically. Point is, have some of your mates check it out. Better than paying some ass to do the work .

If you look at car problems like puzzles, you’ll eventually find the solution. If you look at them like failures, you’ll pay for them to go away, usually at a much greater cost. Don’t be a sucker.

Get some dry lube that you can spray in your locks, maybe thats all they need.

If you get really stuck, and the lube / friend ideas don’t pan out, you can go to an auto body repair shop for this too. They fix doors all the time, and have the know-how to swap out a lock. They will have to order the lockset from the manufacturer, but the installation should be a fairly quick procedure. I assume they can get a lock to match your key, what else would they do if someone’s lock got mushed in an accident?

Just an option for you, outside of going back to the dealership. You can at least do a price comparison.

I had the exact same thing happen on both sides of my Mazda. And did the same wacky procedure to open the driver’s side door. So don’t feel alone.

To the point, I had it fixed at the dealership. It took about 30 minutes and was actually covered under warranty. The other side broke about two months after the warranty was up, so that one is still broken.

This also happened to my Mazda-- the hinged plate that covers the keyhole broke in two, and there was a little wire visible. For a while I was unable to fit the key in the lock.

I discovered that the two halves of the little hinged plate were still inside the lock mechanism, getting in the way. With some tweezers and adhesive tape I was able to fish the pieces out and the lock worked just fine after that. The driver’s side lock has had no cover plate for about 3 years now, and still works fine, in spite of whatever rain/show/freezing has occurred since then-- and the car is always kept outdoors. The passenger side broke a year ago and also works fine.

So, before getting new locks, you may want to try fishing the pieces out of the lock, if they’re still there.

Good advice, everyone. Thanks. I’ll poke around and see if I can’t make it better before shelling out.

First off try lubing the lock, it might work.
If that fails, the dealer can probably order two new lock cylinders precoded to your car for a not too unreasonable cost.
This will take a little time, but the advantage is that your existing keys will still work. So you will have one existing key, not two different keys one for the door and a second for the ignition

HI there :slight_smile:

Your weather door on your lock is broken. The little wire you are seeing is what is left of the spring that used to push the weather door back into place. The reason the key will not work the lock is that most likely the weather door pieces are in the lock and in the way (drivers side) and not in the way (passanger side). A locksmith can replace the weather door How much depends on type of car and if you bring them the locks on the car or if you take them out yourself. Prices can vary depending who you talk to and where you live, If you brought it in our shop here in Alabama it would run you anywhere from eh… 35 a door to 55 a door. Before you rush off, call a few local locksmiths, explain to them what is wrong with the lock, ask them if they can replace the weather door and cap (cap has to be removed to get to the weatherdoor) and how much. Ask a few different ones… locksmiths are a rather strange lot in regards to pricing so you may find a better deal if you call around.
malden has a good point, if you can free up the debris in the lock so it is out of your keys way, this will get you by a while longer.