How to Replace the Door Lock on Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles door lock cylinder resides in the door skin, mounted flush to the skin. The backside of the lock cylinder connects to a mechanism that connects to the door latch with a latch rod that gives the cylinder the ability to lock or unlock the door latch. Over time, normal wear and tear can erode the tumblers inside the lock cylinder until it ultimately malfunctions. When this eventuality arises, you'll need to replace the lock cylinder before you can once again secure the door on your Vehicles. Those with basic auto repair skill can perform this job in about one hour.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Door Lock on a Chevy Van

Remove the Chevy van's door panel retaining screws using a Phillips screwdriver. Pry the van's door panel off the door with the trim tool. Lift the van's door panel up and set it somewhere out of the way.

Reach into the Chevy's door and remove the lock cylinder retaining ring with the trim tool. Push the lock cylinder out through the door skin.

Insert the new lock cylinder into the lock cylinder mount through the door skin by hand. Install the lock cylinder retaining ring by hand.

Reinstall the Chevy van's door panel by reversing the method by which you removed it.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Trim tool

 How to Replace a Door Lock on a 2001 Jetta

Removing the Door Trim Panel

Disconnect the negative battery cable to avoid the risk of shock.

Use the screwdriver to gently pry the cover off of the interior door pull handle and remove the screws that are beneath the cover.

Use the screwdriver to remove the screws from the bottom of the door panel, at the bottom of the door, and gently pry along the edges of the door panel to release the clips that hold it in place.

Grasp the door panel firmly and pull it to release it from the door.

Removing the Lock Cylinder

Locate the plastic plug on the inside of the door, and remove it.

Use the screwdriver to loosen the setscrew that is located under the plug until it is most of the way out.

Put your key into the lock of the door, and pull the lock cylinder out.

Replacing the Door Lock

Gently place the new lock cylinder into the door.

Use the screwdriver to tighten the setscrew.

Replace the plastic plug into the hole on the inside of the door.

Replace the door panel.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace the Door Lock on a Honda Civic

Removing the Door Lock

Roll the window all the way up. If the car has manual windows, disconnect the window crank from the door using a wire hook on its clip.

Remove both inner door handles -- the latch handle and the pull handle -- by prying out their small trim covers and removing the screws with a screwdriver. On doors with power windows, pry out the switch panel and disconnect its electrical connector.

Pry out the clips for the inner trim panel using a flat trim stick or similar panel removal tool. Lift the panel off the door. Pull off the water shield.

Detach the plastic clips connecting the outside handle to the latch and the lock cylinder to the latch. These clips are accessible through the door's access hole.

Remove the clip for the lock cylinder and remove it from the outside of the door.

Installing the Door Lock

Insert the replacement lock cylinder into the door and secure it with its clip.

Reattach the clips that connect the latch to the lock and the outer door handle.

Paste the water shield back on the door using its own adhesive. Reattach the inner trim panel with its clips.

Reattach the door handles and the trim panels. Reconnect the window crank if needed.

Repeat the process for the other door.

Items you will need

  • Wire hook

  • Screwdriver

  • Trim sticks

  • Lock cylinders

 How to Replace the Door Lock on a Silverado


Disconnect the door's window control: detach the manual crank's clip with a hooked tool or by rubbing a towel or pry out and disconnect the power controls from the door trim panel (disconnect the negative battery cable first.)

Pry out the screw cover caps and the trim off of the door's grab handle with a trim stick to reveal the trim panel's mounting screws, then remove the trim plate covering the mirror's mounting nuts.

Unscrew all of the panel retaining screws with a screwdriver and then pry off the bottom and side edges with the trim stick. Lift and remove the trim panel.

Peel off the plastic cover on the door.

Pry out the single plug in the edge of the door and remove the mounting bolts for the door handle, including the one within the hole whose plug you removed. You'll need a ratchet with an extension and small bolt socket.

Disconnect the rods on the lock cylinder and remove both the door handle and lock combined from the door.

Pry off the retaining clip on the lock cylinder and then detach the cylinder from the handle.


Insert the new lock cylinder into the handle with its clip.

Install the handle within the door, connect the control rods to the lock cylinder and apply the handle's bolts.

Stick the plastic shield back onto the door and then reconnect the inner trim panel with its clips and screws.

Reconnect the smaller trim plates and the window controls to the trim panel.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Trim stick

  • Ratchet extension and small bolt socket

More Articles

article divider