Having problems with your lock(s) or keys working properly?

Many problems occur in the key. Always, if available, make duplicates (copies) of your key using an original factory cut key. And if you don’t have an original, use your best working key.

Many times you have a lock that doesn’t work properly and you’re not quite sure what the problem is.

1. Usually you can isolate the problem by trying your key with the door open. If the key turns freely with the door in the open position, then the problem is not in the key. You either have a lock issue or a door and frame issue. If it is in the key, you may need to replace the key with an original, rekey the lock to manufacturer’s specifications, and/or lubricate the lock. There are many different types of lubricants. Dry or powder form, such as graphite or Teflon are excellent lubricants, but you must be careful not to apply too much in the lock cylinder because caking or packing could prevent the key from entering the lock. Liquid lubricants, if over sprayed, do not prevent the lock from working, but it can be messy if over applied. Liquid lubricants such as WD-40 evaporate, so you will need to reapply more often than a dry lubricant. I do not recommend mixing powder and liquid lubricants, unless you flush out the graphite repeatedly with a liquid lubricant.

2. After verifying that the key turns freely with the door in the open position, check that the bolt and latch of the lock(s) fully retract into the door when you turn your key. If they do not, then the problem is in the lock. The lock will either have to be repaired or replaced.

3. If the latch or bolt does retract fully, then another problem area could be that the lock(s) must align with the strike area(s) in the door frame. To test the door and frame alignment. Close the door and try your key. Is the key difficult to turn? Try pushing on the door while turning the key, is it easier or harder to turn the key? If pushing on the door doesn’t improve how the key works, then try pulling on the door while turning the key. If pushing or pulling doesn’t work, then try lifting up the door while turning the key. And if lifting up on the door doesn’t work, then try pushing down. If any of these methods improves how your key operates, then you will need to have the strike area(s) ground out using a die grinder to improve alignment.

And sometimes, unfortunately, the lock install was completely done improperly and the only way to correct your issue is to completely remove your lock from the door and reprep the door and frame to the correct manufacturer’s specifications using a lock installation jig.


Please feel free to contact us at 0402741928, if you have any questions or need to schedule a service call. I hope you found some of these tips helpful.

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