When Should You Replace Your Car Door Lock Cylinder?

If you own an older car, the car door lock cylinder may eventually need replacing. So, how do you know when the time is right?

Signs That It’s Time for Replacement

1. The car key won’t turn in the door lock

When your car key won’t turn in the lock, try using your spare. If the spare works, the problem is more likely with the key than with the lock. However, if the newer key still doesn’t work, the car door lock cylinder may be worn, hence the key won’t turn.

Troubleshooting Tip:

Check the old key in the car’s ignition and boot lock. If it works in the ignition but not in the door, the fault is likely with the car door lock cylinder.

2. The car’s ignition cylinder has been replaced

If your car’s ignition cylinder is replaced, you’ll be left with two keys – one for the ignition and one for the doors. A simple solution is to have your car door lock replaced, eliminating the need for two keys.

3. Your car keys are lost or stolen

In the worst-case scenario, if your car keys are lost or stolen, it’s best for security reasons to have both the car door lock cylinder replaced and new keys issued. This ensures that whoever took your keys can no longer access or steal your car.

4. The door lock stops working properly

If your key starts to stick in the door lock or the barrel spins without engaging the lock, don’t force it! In both instances, you will need to ask your locksmith to replace your car door lock cylinder.

Understanding Car Door Lock Cylinders

What is a car door lock cylinder?

A car door lock cylinder is a metal tubular shape that a key can be inserted into. It is not to be confused with the car’s ignition cylinder, which turns over the engine and can only be accessed once the car door has been opened.

Signs You Need Car Door Lock Cylinder Replacement

1. Key Won’t Turn In The Car Door

If a key doesn’t turn, it may indicate an issue with either the lock or the key. Test with a spare key, and if the problem persists, car door lock cylinder replacement may be necessary.

Troubleshooting Tip:

If only one door is an issue, replace the defective lock cylinder and re-key it so that you can continue using the same key.

2. You Replaced Your Ignition Cylinder

After replacing the ignition cylinder, you may be left with two keys. Consider car door lock cylinder replacement to use only one key for both ignition and doors.

3. You Lost Your Car Keys

If your car keys are lost or stolen, undergo a full car door lock cylinder replacement to enhance security and ensure the lost keys cannot be used to access your vehicle.

4. Decreased Functionality

If your key sticks, or there’s a decrease in functionality, consider car door lock cylinder replacement before the issues escalate, leading to potential lockouts or key breakages.


Car door lock cylinder replacement is a vital aspect of a car’s natural life cycle. Treat it with the same level of respect and urgency as any other car maintenance task. If you need car door lock cylinder replacement, contact the professionals at 1st Choice Locksmith for a reliable and seamless solution.


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