I have a Pontiac firebird from 1968 and I have a question about locks. This is kind of an embarrassing question but I’m pretty young and not sure if I’m locking or unlocking it right but the key has a tiny bit of movement in the door lock cylinder but won’t actually open it or lock it. The only way to unlock it and unlock it is inside the car. The other side is broken. Am I doing something wrong or is the lock just broken?
Oh boy, well thanks
Those old cars had two keys, one for the ignition and a second for the doors and trunk. Do you have both keys?
Yes, I’m using the square and I’m pretty sure it’s the square one but the oval doesn’t work either
Those locks are easy to disassemble to check if the key matches the lock for someone experienced however the cost of a locksmith will be greater than the price for new locks.
Rock Auto has a pair of door locks for $12 or door and ignition lock set for $38.
Over years of use both the key and the parts inside the lock wear. At some point the key won’t work the locking/unlocking mechanism. I had that problem on my Corolla. what I did was remove the lock, take it apart, and figure out what tumblers (actually they are more like wafers) were the problem. Then I used a dremmel tool to grind them into submission … lol . . but most folks would just replace all the locks on the car and be done w/it.
In my memory the square is usually the ignition and the round is the door and trunk. I think you probably have a rusted up lock cylinder. You can take it out and try and free it up. On one car, it was so corroded that I actually had to eliminate one of the tumblers. Just made it easier for someone to pick is all. So you can either pull the door panel and take the cylinder off and work with it, take it to a lock smith and have them free it up, or replace them.
The square key was for ignition and doors, the oval key was for trunk and glove box.
For the OP: Turn the top of the key toward the rear of the car (clockwise) to lock it, the opposite direction to unlock it. Does your Firebird have push/pull knobs at the base of the windows? Most cars of that vintage did but I never owned a Firebird so I don’t recall. If it does, the knob will go down when the door is locked and pop up when it’s unlocked. You can also just push the knob down and shut the door.
A source for parts for your Firebird is yearone.com
If you change out the door locks also change out the trunk and glove box locks, so you won’t have multiple keys to sort through.
Good luck with your Firebird.
This would be an issue if the OP uses valet parking, of course.
A lock smith can quickly change out the tumblers to match your existing key. I’ve had it done several times for house locks while you wait. Just a matter of sliding the plate off the cylinder, putting the key in, and selecting the correct length of tumbler to put in the holes.