Car Lock Repairs

Car Lock Repairs

  • Car locks have a tough job, get rough treatment and get no credit. They have to secure a door that is made from very thin sheet metal as
    well as being sufficiently complex and secure enough so that only the correct key can operate in them. Auto locks are constantly exposed to
    the elements, and all the knocks and vibrations that come from driving on speed humped Australian roads certainly adds to the wear and tear.
  • A sticky auto lock can quite often be made to work like new again with a small squirt of WD40 or equivalent, but usually this is only done
    AFTER a problem is perceived by the owner, and by then it is no longer a question of simple lubrication and maintenance.
  • Repairs to auto locks involve usually removing the lock in question from the vehicle, disassembly of the lock barrel, repair or replacement
    of the damaged components, re-assembly, and then re-installation back into the vehicle. It can be a complicated process depending on the
    model and type of lock being repaired.
  • Dealerships will usually only quote you to replace an auto lock, regardless of how little may be wrong with it, and of course they usually
    want your car for 3 days while they complete the job.
  • We save you time and money by coming to you and doing it all on site. Most jobs are completed within an hour or two and are fully
    guaranteed.

Beware of Any Locksmiths with Cheap Call Out Fees

Especially be wary of anyone with a “Service Call’ of $19, $35 or $45. There are scammers out there who claim to be auto locksmiths. They prominently display prices that are way cheaper than their competitors on the surface, but when you call them in regards to car lock repairs, they are not very knowledgeable and they absolutely will not give you a fixed price to repair the lock.
They will always try to get you to agree for them to come for a ridiculously cheap “service call” to come and “have a look”. Upon arrival, if they can do the job at all, the quoted price goes up astronomically every single time. DO NOT contract someone who won’t give you a fixed price over the phone and wants to charge you $45 to come and “have a look.” If any so-called auto locksmith won’t give you a fixed price over the phone, ask them for their Registered Company Name and their ABN number and watch how fast they hang up on you.
We’ll say it again: DO NOT CONTRACT A LOCKSMITH WITHOUT A FIXED PRICE
Here’s a great video by Kevin (not Bloody) Wilson in the US about auto locksmith scammers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-RLfpwhtPU
They are here in Australia also. You have been warned.

Broken Car Door Lock with Visible Damage?

•Does it look like a big flat head screwdriver was jammed in your lock? Does the face cap and dust cover on your car lock look deformed and damaged? Does it have a large square deformation about the size and shape of a screwdriver, as well as the key not turning?

Forcing the lock with a large flat headed screwdriver was a common technique of breaking into cars about a decade ago and is usually only attempted on older cars these days. It is a hit and miss method for thieves, but it always leaves the owner with locks that are ugly and usually broken.

•A lot of cars these days only have locks in the driver’s door and not the passenger side, so a broken driver’s door lock can leave the owner not being able to open the car with the working key.
•A remote control for the central locking is a method to lock and unlock the car, but that does not mean that you should rely on it. The batteries in your remote can go flat, as can the car battery.
•If your car door lock has been damaged or screwdrivered, and you are relying on the remote or the passenger door to get into your car, then we urge you to get the locks fixed today. We attend a significant number of auto lockouts where the owner has been relying on the remote since the lock was broken some time ago, and now the car or remote battery has gone flat.
•The dealership will usually only quote to replace the lock, and will need your car for days to finish the job.
•Our auto locksmiths can repair or replace that broken lock by the roadside or at your home or office for much less hassle and cost than you may think.

Car Key Won’t Go Into the Lock?

If your key won’t go into the lock, then there is probably a foreign object inside it. Have a look down the keyhole and see if there is an obvious obstruction or something else stuck in it. A common method of attempted theft of older cars is by sticking the blade of a pair of scissors in the lock and trying to force it. We have no idea why this is common, as it never seems to be successful. Instead, it results in the scissors breaking off in the lock, preventing the entrance of the correct key. Nissan Pulsars and older Subarus seem to be a favourite of the thieves with this technique.
Another obstruction that is common to find inside car locks is the dust cover to the lock. The dust cover is a little square flap of metal that covers the keyhole when not in use to stop the entrance of water and debris, but it is susceptible to damage and or dislodgement. If it is dislodged, but doesn’t fall out completely, it is easy for the next user to come and push it into the lock with the correct key.
If your car key won’t go in, we can usually remove whatever it is through the keyhole from where it came in and the lock will be fine, but sometimes it’s lodged so deep that we have to remove the lock from the car in order to pull it to bits and remove the obstruction. Dust covers of car locks are the perfect size to go all the way in and are a bugger to pull out if they have been lodged into the edges of the keyhole. Sometimes this leaves complete disassembly as the only option to remove and repair them although we always do our absolute best to remove them without taking it all apart.

Key Won’t Come Out?

If your car key won’t come out of the lock, then that doesn’t leave your car very secure. A universal rule with nearly all locks is that the key can only come out of the lock in the position that it went in. That is, if you had to have your key in a vertical position for it to enter the lock, then it will only come out of the lock in that same vertical position. If you had to have your key horizontal to enter the lock, then it will only come out of the lock in that same horizontal position.
If your car key will not turn back to the position that it went in, then the key will never come out, unless it’s extremely worn or the lock is broken. Car locks that use split wafers like Honda and Toyota are most susceptible to this. If you have a Honda or Toyota with a key stuck in the door, you can try maybe some gentle jiggling while trying to turn the key back to its original position, but certainly don’t use pliers, or enough force to break the key. We don’t want to have to remove a broken key as well as repair the lock.
A repair for a lock that doesn’t want to release the key usually involves the complete disassembly of it to remove and repair it, even if we manage to remove the key peacefully.
If we can remove the key peacefully, then obviously it’s better to repair the lock before it happens again.

Ignition Key Falls Out or Can be Removed with the Car Running

Read more on our specific ignition repair page. Although it is rare, if the key falls or comes out of an ignition lock while driving, then the steering lock can engage. This can be catastrophic if it happens at the wrong time. If this is happening to your ignition lock, we urge you to get it repaired as soon as possible and stop driving the car immediately.
Maybe on the same key ring, you’ve got 10 keys for your home and a multi-tool bottle opener survival knife with your football team’s colours as well as your other car’s remote flip key and remotes to your garage, or maybe not. Maybe it was the last owner who drove around with weight like that hanging off the keys while driving on dirt roads full of pot holes, or even worse – driving around in Metro Melbourne on speed humped roads. All that weight and all that bumping put a lot of strain on the key and wear it out to the point of falling out eventually.
It’s that important, so we will say it again: If your ignition key is falling out of the lock while you are driving, then have it repaired as soon as possible. Please have a look at our ignition repair page to learn more.

Have to Jiggle Your Car Key?

If you have to jiggle and fiddle with your key in order to get it to turn, then usually this is a key problem, not a lock problem. The key spacing might be out, or the heights of the keys are worn down after years of use. If your key blade looks all worn and smooth

and you have to jiggle the key to get it to turn, then you probably just need a new key cut to code, like the one on the bottom of the image. We know that your car key is very unlikely to look like this old Toyota Camry key, Ford Falcon Key or Nissan Pathfinder here, but these images serves well to illustrate the principle of worn car keys.
•Our car locksmiths can cut auto keys to code onsite for nearly all cars, giving you a key exactly like it was when it came from the factory, and 9 times out of 10 that will solve the problem.

Different Key for the Door and the Ignition

Need to fumble in the dark to find the correct key? When you have to use a different key for the door and ignition of a car, it can get very frustrating. There could be many reasons why you may have 2 different keys for your doors and your ignition, such as the car was in an accident, or the ignition was broken and swapped, or the keys were stolen. There are many reasons why it is that way, but there is no reason why it has to be that way.
If you’re constantly getting confused about which key to stick in which key hole, we can solve your problem. We can rekey your car locks to suit each other, specifically meaning that you will have one key to operate all the locks in your car. We can rekey either the ignition to suit the door key, or the door lock to suit the ignition key, depending on the model, but either way the end result is the same, and that is the wonderful convenience of having one key to open both the doors and start the car. No more looking for the correct key in the dark while it’s raining.

Boot Won’t Open with the Key?

If the boot of your car won’t open with the same key as the door or the ignition key but there is no apparent damage to it, then the boot lock is probably configured to a different key. It is common for mechanics to swap boots and boot lids and boot locks in the event of tail end accidents, but not get them keyed to the original key at the time of installation.
By having multiple keys to a single vehicle across multiple owners in the car’s lifetime, it can get confusing and keys can easily be lost. It is much better to have one key that operates the whole car than have one key for each lock on the car. If your door lock or ignition key goes into the boot lock but doesn’t turn, then it can be rekeyed to suit.

Boot Won’t Open with the Internal Release?

There are some cars that have this feature designed into them so that the boot release control on the inside of the car is configurable to be disabled. This is found on some high-end luxury models and this feature is to facilitate privacy in the event of the use of Valet Parking. One to note is the BMW 3 series, and that is if you turn the key in the boot lock to horizontal and remove the key in that position, it disables the internal release lever.
Some older cars have a cable that is attached to the control lever on the inside of the car. A broken cable can be an absolute nightmare to fix, as it runs the length of the vehicle and needs to be threaded back through a very small hole. Thankfully, a broken cable is very rare.
A more common fault with boot releases is that the cam on the back of the lock has come off the actuating rod or vice versa, depending on which component you assign the obligation to. A broken or unattached cam is a relatively easy thing to fix and is simply a matter of proper attachment with the appropriately rotating fixing.
Some cars use a solenoid located in the boot lid to release the lock mechanism. These can break due to wiring issues or obstructions in the mechanism, but thankfully these faults are rare.

Petrol Cap Won’t Open

Petrol caps are an oft overlooked part of your car’s security. If your car’s petrol cap is damaged, then Murphy’s Law guarantees that you will only notice this when you are at the petrol station and desperately need to fill up. Our car locksmiths can sort these petrol cap jobs out no problem.
Most cars before 2005 have a lock very similar to the one in the doors, although it’s usually smaller to accommodate the petrol cap recess. These can get damaged just like a regular car door lock, and are sometimes the target of late night petrol liberators with a siphon and hose.
Some cars may not have an overt, exposed lock, but will still have some sort of security built in such as an internal latch and pull release, or an electric release that can only be operated from the inside of the car. Sometimes these cables break, or can get stuck, or the motor breaks down or can be damaged by marauding petrol stealing zombies, and then the cap won’t open.
Our emergency locksmith in Melbourne can solve your petrol cap issues by the roadside, eliminating the need to tow the car.

We have a No Fix, No Fee Policy as well as a 100% fixed price guarantee. That means that you will never pay more than the price you’re quoted on the phone and if we can’t fix it for what we quoted you, you pay nothing. No surprise price hikes, ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every make and model of car is different year to year, with luxury models obviously more complex to repair than cheaper popular cars. The price would depend on whether or not parts were needed as well as the complexity of the fault and the repair. About 75% of our car lock repair jobs require no new parts at all. In those cases, the price generally falls between $175 -$225 for popular cars, and around $275-$325 for luxury models.
At the time of booking, we will ask you all the relevant questions and provide you with a fixed quote over the phone. As for all our services, we have a No Fix, No Fee policy, and a fixed price guarantee. If we cannot complete the work for the price quoted, then there is no charge at all.

The prices given here are for service during normal business hours. We work 24 hours, 7 days a week and can attend anytime on any day. Expect to pay about another 25-50% for normal after hours work or a Saturday afternoon, and about 100% more if it’s the middle of the night or a Sunday.

We will ask very specific questions about the make, model and year and the locks that need rekeying. From that information, we will give you a fixed quote which will not change, and of course like all our jobs, we have a policy of No Fix, No Fee.
A very good guide which can be relied on is between $190-$240 for the first lock and $40-$90 per lock if there are more after that, and depending on which lock of the car it is.

Yes. All our car lock repairs are guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months, and we even guarantee some ignition repairs for life*

Emergency? We Can Help