Door locks dont turn

My 2006 Toyota Highlander Limited has three door locks, one on each of the two front doors and one on the rear hatch. Recently my battery died and I almost had to have AAA come out and open my car for me because my door locks did not turn with my key (yes all three door locks did not turn). Fortunately, there was just enough juice in the battery to unlock the car, but chances are I won’t be as lucky next time. Is there a way to fix the locks with WD-40 or do I have to take the doors apart and fix/replace the lock cylinders?

WD40 attracts dirt so it isn’t so good for locks. Graphite based oil can be found specifically for locks. They are sticky because you, like most of us, never unlock the car with the key, always with the fob. Lube them up, stick a lubed key into the lock and turn it back and forth until it loosens up.


Do you have other keys for this vehicle? The ignition lock cylinder may have been replaced in the past and not keyed to the original keys.

No, to my knowledge neither myself nor the previous (originall) owner have never changed the cylinders. Both keys will go in but none will move.

Would there me a risk of me snapping a key? I mean the cylinders don’t even wiggle right now.

Sqirt some lock lube in the keyhole and let it soak overnight. Then use the key in the morning. Don’t force it, twist lightly and they should loosen up as the lube gets worked in.

Or you could have a locksmith do this. At least if they break a key. They can fix the key and the lock.


This is what I’ve always used for locks, available almost anywhere.

1 Like

Sorry I am late to this thread as I just joined the community.
We had the same issue with our 2001 Toyota Highlander and discovered that the teeth on the original keys were worn down with age. We purchased replacements at the dealership and the new keys worked like a charm. We didn’t have to fiddle with the locks in any way.
I also noticed that the ignition/steering wheel was easier to turn/unlock with the new set of keys.