How to Replace a Car Door Lock Cylinder

by KaRinda Baker
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The door lock cylinder on a car is not just there to protect you and your family, giving you some peace of mind, but also to protect the vehicle itself from theft and anything on the inside. Whenever you turn the key in the driver door or passenger door, the door’s latch mechanism should either lock or unlock the door. However, a worn-out cylinder can make it hard to lock or unlock the car door. In extreme cases, the cylinder will either not release the key or cause the key to break off in the cylinder.

Step 1

Unlock the door where you will be replacing the door lock cylinder, using your key or the inside door lock. Roll up the car window with the crank or use the door panel button. Push the ends of the C-clip located behind the door handle off the window handle using a window handle puller. Remove the window handle from the bar.

Step 2

Unscrew the door lock indicator (used to lock or unlock door manually) next to the window. Remove the final screws from the door handle tray and armrest. Remove the inside door panel by prying the clips away with a flat-head screwdriver, starting at the lower corners and working your way back around to the top of the door panel.

Step 3

Pull off the bracket clip holding the lock cylinder in place with a pair of needle-nose pliers by sliding one of your hands up to the back of the lock cylinder. Pull the lock cylinder out of the door from the outside (push from the inside if needed). Remove the piece that connects the cylinder to the lock indicator stem by pulling up the three small tabs that attaches to the remaining smaller bracket from the back of the lock cylinder with the needle-nose pliers.

Step 4

Assemble the new door lock cylinder like the old one by putting the rubber gasket on the part of the cylinder that fit on the outside of the car door. Push the new small bracket on the cylinder to hold the gasket in place. Put the complete lock assembly into the hole in the door and align with the cylinder slot.

Step 5

Place the big bracket that holds the door lock cylinder tight to the inside of the door. Test the new door lock cylinder by locking and unlocking the door using the new cylinder.

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