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Door Lock Cylinder Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a door lock cylinder replacement is between $158 and $225. Labor costs are estimated between $44 and $111 while parts are priced at $114. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Door Lock Cylinder?

Even the most advanced vehicles still use a keyed lock on at least one door. You may not see them right away, but the owners manual will describe how to get the key from your remote, and how to access the lock cylinder. Other vehicles will have key lock cylinders visible all the time, and that is the little metallic circle that is installed in the door for the key to insert into. The lock cylinder enables the doors to be unlocked, even when electronic systems on the vehicle are disabled, or when the remote battery has failed.

How does a Door Lock Cylinder work?

When the key is inserted, a small dust shield is pushed to the side, and the key slides into the lock, moving small pins inside the tumbler into a position that allows the lock cylinder to rotate freely. The pins are only aligned when a key with the right shape is inserted, preventing the door from being opened by a similar key.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Door Lock Cylinder?

Most commonly, a door lock cylinder will exhibit failure by refusing to accept a key, refusing to turn with the correct key inserted, or failing to release the key from the lock. If any of these occur, the lock will need to be inspected, lubricated, and possibly replaced.

Can I drive with a bad Door Lock Cylinder?

On vehicles with properly functioning remote entry, the key lock cylinder is not typically necessary to replace right away, however, if the remote fails, or the battery goes dead, you will not be able to gain access to the vehicle, and a locksmith will need to be called. The lock cylinder will not need to be replaced to drive the vehicle so long as the anti-theft system and electronic remote entry functions are in good working order.

How often do Door Lock Cylinders need replacement?

Lock cylinders fail fairly commonly, but mostly for higher mileage vehicles. Lock cylinders wear out in everything, houses, cars, diaries, padlocks, etc. There are many small parts in a lock cylinder, and when any one of those parts fails, the rest of the cylinder fails with it. Some vehicles are known for lock cylinder issues, but other makes and models suffer lock cylinder failure on an infrequent basis. Most vehicle's will never need the lock cylinder replaced, but amount of use as well as climate will play a role in replacement frequency.

How are Door Lock Cylinder issues diagnosed?

Lock cylinder diagnosis is apparent when attempting to perform any function with the key, but the function does not work. In explanation, the function may be turning the key to lock or unlock the door, removing the key, installing the key, or turning the key smoothly. When any of these cannot be accomplished, the key is evaluated as well, but the lock cylinder will likely be the culprit. Upon disassembly, the technician can verify the lock cylinder is functioning improperly.

How are Door Lock Cylinders replaced?

Door lock replacement will generally begin by removing the inner door panel, and detaching the lock cylinder from inside of the door frame. This is not always the case, and some door lock cylinders can be removed by fasteners on the edge of the door frame and manipulating the key. When the new door lock cylinder is delivered, it will be disassembled, and rekeyed to match the existing key, so the original key can be maintained.

RepairPal Recommendations for Door Lock Cylinder issues

To prevent needing additional keys for your vehicle, an experienced locksmith can rekey the new door lock cylinder to match the existing key. This will prevent you from having a separate key for the door and ignition.

What to look out for when dealing with Door Lock Cylinder issues

When the lock cylinder fails, removal can become difficult or impossible, and may require disassembly of the interior door panel, window regulator, or parts of the door frame. If the lock must be destroyed to remove it from the vehicle, a professional should perform the task to prevent damage to other components. Lastly, the door lock cylinder in some cases is integrated into the theft deterrent system, so special care should be taken to prevent damage to electrical components on or adjacent to the lock cylinder.

Can I replace the Door Lock Cylinder myself?

A door lock cylinder can be fairly difficult to replace, depending on make, model, and year of the vehicle. Some vehicles require no disassembly to remove the lock cylinder, while most will require that the inner door panel be removed at a minimum. If the door cannot be opened, this is not recommended for a DIY project, as an experienced technician will likely be needed to open the door before replacement can begin.

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