How To Replace Car Door Locks: The Step-By-Step Guide

Car doors help you secure your vehicle and the stuff inside to remain safe from theft. These work via either the car ignition key or the remote fob, which allows the owner to enter and exit the vehicle. However, when given a proper look, the door handle connected from the inside via a series of metal control rods. The metal rods connected to the inner door handle and the door latch that keeps the car door shut. Similar to other car components, at times, the car door might not open or close properly, which requires one to know about the steps of replacing car door locks.

Replacing Car Door Locks: The Steps to Follow

Your car door look faces cold weather and winds during its everyday operations. At times, dirt and water can get inside the lock, which will cause the tumbler to corrode. Also, the regular use of the lock will severely affect its internal parts. When this part fails, it will cause the door to shut tightly and not open.

In other words, the critical tumbler will wear down completely owing to the insertion of the key, which will cause it to stop working permanently. You can search online for the best maintenance tips for keeping your car running like new.

However, about the car door, let us find out how you can replace an old door lock.

Close the Windows and Remove the Window Handle

Firstly, you need to make sure the car window is in a fully closed position. Moreover, if you have a manual window handle, then remove it. Make sure to use the screwdriver to unscrew the handle to remove it from the regulator shaft. Remember this, as it is the first step in the process of replacing the car door locks successfully.

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Unscrew the Handle Using a Screwdriver
Remove the Manual Window Handle (Photo Source: youtube)

Remove the Door Screws and Panel

Now, open the car door and locate the screws around the perimeter of the inside of the driver door panel. Remove the screws with the screwdriver and find the ones inside the armrest.

Remove these screws also, and find the cover inside the armrest. Next, remove it and the speakers in the door. Remove the two screws from inside the armrest, but be careful not to break any plastic clips, which secure these parts to the door.

Lastly, pry off the door panel from the door using the screwdriver. The door panel has a moisture shield behind it, so remove it that you can see the parts inside the door.

Remove the Electrical Connections and Old Door Lock

Make sure to disconnect the electrical connections and door lock switches and the lower light connection. Moreover, close the window completely to get a clear view of the rod from the door lock to the latch. Lastly, use a needle pose pliers to disconnect the door latch from the door lock rod.

Transfer the Rod Holder and New Lock

Use the pliers to life and remove the C-spring clip, which will release the door lock. Remove the door lock via the front of the car door. Now, put the rod holder at the end of the door lock, which you are removing onto the new lock. Just make sure it stays in the same position.

Now, put the new door lock through the front of the door. Push the C-spring lockdown over the top of the new lock using the pliers. Ensure to secure it tightly and put the door lock rod into the door latch.

Finally, snap the plastic retainer clip back into its place.

Final Step

Lastly, replace the moisture shield and put the door panel back into position. Also, replace the armrest screws, cover, or any door speakers removed earlier.

Use Pliers to Transfer the New Car Door Lock
Removing the Electrical Connections is Essential When Replacing Car Door Locks (Photo Source: g35driver)


When the car door does not unlock via the remote fob or the ignition key, it might require replacing car door locks. However, by following the simple tips above, you will be able to replace the car door lock without any hassle.