Car Door Locks: Maintenance Essentials


These days, automotive locks are equipped with highly advanced security features that protect you and your belongings from car burglars and thieves. On the other hand, they act as an important safety feature, preventing children from opening the door and falling out while the car is moving. The car door locks have a busy life. While they are built to high standards to withstand tens of thousands of operations in their lifetime, they are still fragile unless cared for properly. Let’s explain the essential procedures in maintaining your vehicle locks that can prolong their life and prevent breakage.

Problems with auto locks

Being an external part of the car, automotive locks are exposed to the elements and susceptible to different issues such as rust, debris, moisture, sweat and contaminants from the air. Many people keep enduring sticking door lock for years, only to let a professional take a look when they hear squeaking or groaning sound when their car is unlocked. However, mist of car door lock problems can be solved by simply cleaning and oiling them.

Cleaning and lubricating

Cleaning before lubrication is essential, as lubricating agent might reach and stir up the debris deep within the lock, causing it to fail or perform poorly.  For cleaning, you can simply use a small screwdriver wrapped in a piece of dry cloth, followed by one with a few drops of rust-removing solvent. Insert the screwdriver into the lock and move it in a circular manner. Use silicone lubricants, as they are well-suited for car door locks, especially if they come with a spray straw. Another great option are graphite-based lubricants, since they don’t attract dirt to the fine lock mechanism.

Have spare keys made

In some cases, the problem lies not in the lock but in the key. So, in order to avoid unpleasant situations like locking yourself in, or out of the vehicle, make sure you have spare keys made. The type of the key will determine its price. Regular keys without a fob or Radio Frequency ID (RFID) chip, can be inexpensively made at a local hardware store. And if you search for cheap car keys a little bit, you can easily find deals for RFID keys that won’t break the bank. Keep your spare keys at home, in an easily accessible place, in your purse or pocket, or even somewhere hidden in your vehicle.

Replace batteries in the fob

The most common reason of locks failing is a dead or near-dead battery in the key fob. Before you do something about the lock, make sure your key fob battery is powered up. While the design of different manufacturers’ key fobs varies, replacing the battery is simple, and you can purchase it at many auto part stores. Make sure you follow the procedure in the owner’s manual after you’ve replaced a fob battery.

Always use the fob

Another way to avoid locking your keys inside your car is to only use the fob on the key to lock the door. Of course this only works for keys that have an electronic locking mechanism built in. when you need to lock and unlock the car door, make sure you’re only using the buttons on the key fob. This way you’ll always have your keys on you, not even having to remove them from your pocket or purse. As a failsafe procedure, when you’re getting out of the care, do a quick check before you close the door – make sure you have the key in your hand, pocket or purse.

Just like everything mechanical, car locks are prone to failures unless maintained properly. While they are designed to last some time and sustain thousands and thousands of operations, automotive locks are subject to wear and tear. These simple tips not only extend the life of your auto locks, but also reduce the chances of unpleasant situations.

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