Frozen car-door lock problem?

Question by Greg F: Frozen car-door lock problem?
Kay soo… Tonight, I went to get into my car, and the key wouldn’t turn all the way into the “unlock” position. I figured it was just a frozen lock, so I went inside and grabbed one of those small screwdrivers for eyeglasses, heated it up with a torch lighter, and pushed it into the keyhole. I heard a sizzling noise, figured it worked, and tried opening the lock again with my key. No luck. Eventually, I became impatient and started heating up the key itself and started trying to open the lock. STILL no luck. I went to the passenger door, skipped the screwdriver part, and only used the key. I took the lighter to the lock itself and set it up there for a few seconds. Then, I light the key for a few seconds and turned it in the lock. It worked. I opened the driver door from the inside and went around and got in. I played around with the “lock and unlock” switch, and noticed that the thing wasn’t going back and forth like it’s supposed to (I drive a ’91 Grand Marquis, if that helps anyone wondering what the “thing” is). I hit the lock button like 23456234 times, shut the door, and tried opening the door. It didn’t open, but my key still wouldn’t work in the lock. I handled that lock the exact same way I originally did to the lock on the passenger side. STILL no luck. Did I go about de-icing my lock the wrong way? If so, how should I have done it? Is it possible that I caused mechanical damage to the lock? If so, is that an expensive fix? A homemade solution to a frozen lock with a high success rate would be terrific. Please and thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by Flywilley
If the lock inside the car is not working then the mechanism is most likely binded and needs repaired. Not too expensive to fix under a 100 at a shop. But for now try to spray WD40 in the lock to displace the moisture and see if it opens then.

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2 comments

  1. either the lock cylinder needs to be replaced at this point or you could try penetrating oil and spray it IN the key hole and start jiggling the key in there.another cause could be the the latch or a frozen lock actuator each one of these shouldn’t take more than an hour. lets rule stuff out now can you move the lock by hand if yes lock actuator is not holding you up
    next take interior door panel off and disconnect the rod that goes from lock cylinder to latch will key turn in cylinder if yes replace latch if no replace cylinder. thats it good luck

  2. I am guessing you live in a cold climate. When you have a frozen lock use a hair dryer for 15 minutes or so and you will not brake things in the locking device.If you go to one of those car Wash’s that you personally wash the car do not spray the high pressure spray directly at the locking device but spray it at a angle so as not to allow water to go into the key hole . it happens a lot here in Alaska.

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