Key won't open door lock


#1

Just bought a great 2011 Venza with 75000 Texan highway miles. Now that the car is home, I’ve discovered that:

– both of the remote fobs will lock and unlock the car doors,
– but neither of the two keys will lock or unlock the driver’s door (the only one with a key slot, you know).

The key turns freely to right and left, with a slight, normal-feeling resistance. But nothing happens. No doors lock or unlock.

I’ve tried graphite in the key slot and working the key in and out. No help.

So it seems 1) the keys are fine, as they start the car when put into the ignition.

And 2) the locks themselves also seem to be fine: both remotes lock and unlock the doors.

But 3) the driver’s door can’t be locked or unlocked using the key.

What worries me is that the car battery will die and I won’t be able to unlock the car door in order to pop the hood open.

Advice?

Which I hope isn’t to “take it to your local dealer.” I’d like to save a hefty repair bill. if I can.

Thanks.


#2

If you are handy you can take the door apart and see what the problem is.


#3

Maybe the shaft has popped off the end of the lock mechanism. Taking of the door panel should reveal the problem.


#4

Locksmith-that is what the dealer would call.


#5

If it opens with the FOB, there is no need for a locksmith.


#6

I suspect that someone used a SLIM-JIM to unlock the door and knocked the linkage out of the latch. A good body shop might be the best choice for getting it repaired.


#7

Yeah there is a need for a lock smith to re-do the tumblers in the locks to fit the key. Now the thing to think about is if the ignition lock has been replaced and why? Was it a repo or worse? Do you know the history? At any rate you can pull the door panel(s) off and remove the lock cylinder, then insert the key and see if the tumblers are all even of if one or more is sticking up. If the tumblers aren’t all even, then you need to take it to a lock smith and have him replace the tumblers to fit the key. About a 5 minute job.

I suppose the other thing is that the lock can be frozen and corroded but you still need to take it out to work on it. I have had to actually just remove a tumbler that was too far gone. No big deal, no one will know.


#8

The key turns freely to right and left, with a slight, normal-feeling resistance. But nothing happens. No doors lock or unlock.

Yeah there is a need for a lock smith to re-do the tumblers in the locks to fit the key

These statements are at odds. I take it to mean that you can insert the key in the lock and turn it as you normally would but that action doesn’t result in the door unlocking.

If that is the case, then the inner door panel needs to be removed and someone needs to take a look-see to figure out what has come apart in there.


#9

Likely the little rod connecting to the latch assembly has come off or the plastic clip that retains it has broken. Need to go into the door; it should not be a serious fix.

If a clip is broken those can be had at the parts houses for a couple of bucks. Sometimes it takes a little wrestling if you have large hands like me. For ET it would be a piece of cake… :smile:


#10

OK, I’ll buy that. I thought it was both doors and didn’t sound to me like the lock was turning. In any case the door panel needs to come off to have a look.


#11

Deleted