Key Won't Turn in Door Lock

When you come home from a very long day, you do not want to put your key in your door and have it not turn. This is really a nightmare situation and seems to happen at the worst time. It is equally frustrating when the bathroom door inside the home is locked and stuck, or when the car door is stuck.

Read along to learn what to do when an outdoor keylock is not turning, when an indoor lock won’t spin, and when a car door lock is stuck. Each has its own set of recommendations.

Unfortunately, there are quite a handful of reasons that your key doesn’t turn in the door lock. Below you will find a list of problems and solutions that you can take care of yourself and others you may need to rely on a locksmith to help with.

What to Do If Your Outdoor House Key Won’t Turn in the Lock

Outdoor locks that won’t turn are quite a different issue than indoor locks. Outdoor locks are susceptible to collect dirt and debris since they are subjected to the elements. The lock cylinder can get filled with this grime and make it impossible to turn the lock. With debris in the lock, the pins in the lock can get stuck and prohibit the key from turning.

Important: As a homeowner, realizing that you need to waste another Saturday waiting for the landlord or handyman to come over to fix another damaged appliance is frustrating. It shouldn't feel like the norm to constantly have damaged appliances and systems in your home since it can come to a huge cost at the end of each year.

The Home Improvement Solutions eBook covers everything you need to do in your home when it comes to maintenance and improvement so you can avoid wasting another weekend waiting for someone to come to your rescue.  

Spray the Lock with Lubricant to Remove Dirt and Dust

If your outdoor lock does not turn to open, it is easy to fix. You can use a dry lubricant spray on the lock. (Find Dry Lubricant On Amazon). When you spray the lubricant in the keyhole, it can move and free up the plug to allow you to turn the key and open the door.

If this approach doesn’t work right away, try spraying the dry lubricant in the keyhole, and then insert the key 4-5 times. This will help you get the grease moved in and around the key lock mechanism. This should help loosen the plug area and help you to turn the key.

If a dry lubricant doesn’t do the trick, you can try a product like WD-40 (view on Amazon).

If you successfully unlock the lock but find it happens again and again, you may need to call a locksmith that can have the lock cylinder replaced.

When Lubricants Don’t Help The Key Turn In The Lock

What if you try using a lubricant, but there still seems to be something obstructing the key from entering the keyhole completely? What if your key is only going in halfway? Typically this means there is something in the keyhole that is jamming it, and this keeps the key from going all the way in.

In this case, when the lubricant did not work sufficiently, and you are concerned something is obstructing the access to the keyhole, you may want to call a locksmith to help you. You could damage the lock if you try to fix this with the wrong tools.

In fact, there are even more problems that can arise if lubricants aren’t helping. The pin chamber can get worn-out, or the pin itself can get corroded. Only with the proper tools, a locksmith can fix these problems.

What to Do If Your Indoor House Key Won’t Turn in the Lock

Outdoor locks are more susceptible to dirt and grime, but indoor locks can also get stuck, unable to turn. The lock cylinder in an indoor door can also get filled with this grime, which makes it impossible to turn the lock. With debris in the lock, the pins in the lock can get stuck and prohibit the key from turning.

Spray the Lock with Lubricant to Remove Dirt and Dust

If your indoor lock does not turn to open, it is easy to fix. You can use a dry lubricant spray on the indoor lock. When you spray the lubricant in the keyhole, it can move and free up the plug to allow you to turn the key and open the door.

If this approach doesn’t work right away, try spraying the dry lubricant in the keyhole, and then insert the key 4-5 times. This will help you get the grease moved in and around the key lock mechanism. This should help loosen the plug area and help you to turn the key.

If a dry lubricant doesn’t do the trick, you can try a product like WD-40.

If you successfully unlock the lock but then find that it happens again, you may call a locksmith to help you get the lock cylinder replaced.

When Lubricants Don’t Help The Key Turn In The Lock

What if you try using a lubricant, but there still seems to be something obstructing the key from entering the keyhole completely? What if your key is only going in halfway? Typically this means there is something in the keyhole that is jamming it, and this keeps the key from going all the way in.

In this case, when the lubricant did not work sufficiently on your indoor lock, and you are concerned something is obstructing the access to the keyhole, you may want to call a locksmith to help you. Damage can occur to the lock if you try to fix this problem with the wrong tools.

In fact, there are even more problems that can arise if lubricants aren’t helping. The pin chamber can get worn-out over time, or the pin itself can become corroded. Only with their proper tools, a locksmith can fix these problems rather quickly.

What to Do If Your Car Key Won’t Turn in the Lock

If you get out of your car, lock it, and then find that your key cannot open the car door, what do you do?

Having your key not unlock your car door is a significant pain, especially in the hot summer months, or the icy, cold winter months. Before you panic, follow these steps to understand how to unlock the car doors if the key does not function properly.

Unlike with a door lock in your home, car doors are costly to repair, so you should not hesitate to call a locksmith. They can often use a “slim jim” tool, which allows them to slide a device into the windowpane and unlock your door. It may not fix your car door lock forever, but it can at least let you get into your car to get it where it needs to go for a fix.

That said, there are some tips that you can use for simple problems with your car door lock. Follow these tips when you can get your key in, but the car door won’t unlock.

Thaw The Car Door Lock

Sometimes in a cold climate, a car door can get frozen from the snow and ice. You can use a de-icer on your car door lock to thaw the lock. You can also try blowing hot air with a blow dryer or the like to unfreeze the lock. This is especially helpful to use when you don’t have any de-icer on hand.

Lubricate The Car Door Lock

Even on a day with an average temperature, older cars can sometimes get stuck. In these cases, the old lock may need to use a lubricant to get it working again. If there is dust or grime, an oil can be beneficial to remove it. It is advisable that try using a professional-grade lubricant like W-D 40. This high-grade degreaser will get the gears in the lock working again.

Keyless Entry To Your Car Door

With new, modern cars, there is now an option to use keyless entry to your vehicle. If your car has a keyless entry system, you can avoid keyholes not working altogether. You can open the car door without even needing a key at all.

These three tips above will help you when the car key turns, but it won’t unlock the door.

How to Fix Key Won’t Turn in Lock!

If you’re always having problems with your door lock, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the lock repaired or replaced. Having a functioning door lock is crucial and fixing it is just one form of home improvement but there are so many more.

If you want to save $100s on Home Repair, learn the most important home maintenance and home improvement procedures, and increase the value of your home, you can download our Home Improvement Solutions book now. With it, you’ll learn about a wide range of home maintenance and improvement topics, and you’ll be able to make your home a better place to live in. There are also a bunch of tips in there that’ll save you loads of time and money when it comes to repairs, DIY, and general home hacks that you can’t find anywhere else.

Whether you are a new homeowner, have owned a home for years, renting, or just love home repair and improvement topics, our guide will give you an in-depth explanation of many everyday home maintenance procedures. A lot of our readers use this book to increase the value of their homes, and they’ve saved a lot of money on things like repair that would have cost a professional handyman $100s of dollars.