Is It Possible to Change the Locks on My Car?

car lock

Your car is a very important investment, and as such, you want to be secure from intruders, whether they are looking to steal it or simply vandalize it. The good news is that you can change the locks on your car, and the process is actually fairly similar to the method used to change a door lock, although it does have its differences.

Why Change the Locks

There are many reasons someone would look to change the locks on their car. If, for example, the locks are damaged and won’t lock or unlock for some reason, it can be difficult to enter the car or impossible to lock it up, preventing you from leaving possessions inside. It is also possible that you lost your key or gave a key to someone whom you no longer trust. No matter the reason, it should be fairly easy and inexpensive to have the locks changed.

If Car Key Has a Chip

One thing to keep in mind when replacing your car locks is that most cars use the same key for the door locks and ignition lock cylinder. When you change just the car locks, you will need to keep two different keys on hand, unless you change the ignition lock cylinder as well. It is possible to do so, but that task is a bit more difficult. Changing the ignition lock and key will also usually be more expensive as well, as it requires a specialty key blank with a chip embedded in it.

How to Change the Lock

The specific steps for changing the lock on your car will vary slightly depending on your car, but the basics are the same. You will need to start by removing the end cam as well as inner spring, then placing any key in the lock tumbler, as this pushes the pins from the walls of the cylinder. At this point, you can take the inner lock tumbler out via the back. You will now need to install replacement tumbler pins, being sure to place them in the same order with every lock. Put the tumbler in the lock to test it. You want it to smoothly turn with your desired key. Finally, you can put the lock back into the car.

Going to the Dealership

If you want, you can have your locks changed at your car dealership. Keep in mind, however, that most dealerships will charge a great deal of money for this service, typically more than it is worth.

Hiring a Locksmith

An affordable option that will guarantee success is to hire a locksmith. As they don’t work for a national auto manufacturer, locksmiths don’t have to charge set prices that are exorbitant. They will be able to change your car locks in a fraction of the time you would and do so for significantly cheaper than a car dealership. Best of all, they are familiar with locks, including car locks, so they are unlikely to make any mistake while replacing it, something that would be a potential concern if you were to do it yourself.

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