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Key/ lock trouble

I have a 96 Buick Regal and am beginning to have trouble with the locks. In the summer I wasn’t able to get my key in the lock on the trunk. Now, beginning yesterday, I can’t get my key in the driver’s side door. I was wondering if there was any suggestions for an oil that I could slip in there so that I can keep getting into my car. I would appreciate any suggestions!


are your keys the originals?

they wear out. do you have an original key to make new copies of?

as an alternative you can get keys made by the VIN number.

BUT as far as oiling locks:

you DON’T use oil in the locks. go to the hardware store and get a bottle of graphite powder. although it is powder it flows like a liquid. and anything it touches will be slippery and get black.

the only draw back to graphite powder is is goes everywhere. use it sparingly. and make sure you get the tip of the bottle into the key slot. then work the key in out and turn the key. it helps wiggle the graphite into the lock.

There is a ‘spray’ tht is sold in ‘Auto Zone’ type stores. Consider asking a store clerk for help.

Slightly off topic, but a few years ago I had a problem with a 96 Jetta. On a trip the keys stopped opening the passenger side door. OK, I said, I can open it from inside and get it fixed after the trip. Then a day later, the other door refused to open. Had the door jimmied, but that set off the alarm! had to remove the battery and get it towed 50 miles to a dealer.

No one could ever tell me why both locks independently failed within a day of each other.

Mechanical locks, but some electrical component, as you could “double twist” one side to open both doors.

The keys are originals. I use my set the most, but I have 2 others… I’ll try those and see how it goes.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

The little tumblers inside the lock corrode. You need to spray a solvent in there to break up the corrosion and loosen the tumblers again. Something like liquid wrench (or enven gasp wd40) with the long tube that can be inserted into the lock and sprayed. A powder isn’t going to help until you can get the tumblers freed up. A shot a couple times a year will keep them in good shape. I had one so bad that I actually had to disable one of the tumblers after disassembly since there was no way to free it up.

If you follow Bing’s advice and it works, there is another step. Get some zero residue cleaner and use that on the now working locks to get all that solvent and oil out of there. That stuff attracts dirt and will just get you back were you started. Next use the graphite powder cappy recommended. You could also use the liquid form that is a mix of a zero residue liquid and graphite powder.

ok, educate me… what is zero residue liquid? brake cleaner?

Graphite is the perfect lubricant in a world we do not share. IT is fine for a zero humidity, no contaminant environment… certainly not in a car lock.

WD-40 isa terrific loosenerupperer, but leaves no lubricating quality, and problems will occur within a few days for lack of lube.

The factory already put a lithium paste type lube in there in assembly, and that will attract graphite and make a nice solid clump.

One can use WD-40 as a temp fix, then followup with a better product for long term lube quality.

We recommend HOUDINI lube, have been using it at our lockshop for 4 years.

One lock, then the other failing? Not unusual.

We tend to use our remotes, allowing the locks to sit, unused… the lube hardens over time, and even superficial corrosion will cause malfunction when you go to use a key.

Worn keys will work ign fine, because the lock and key are both wearing together, and you get used to the need to angle the key as it wears. You just do not notice this, as it is gradual. then you go to use it in the passenger lock that has NO wear and tear, just stiff lubricant… no go.

Houdini is available at better locksmith shops. TriFlow is an acceptable substitute, if you can not get Houdini.

Not at Checker, AutoZone or your dealer!

City Lock
Boulder CO