Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to the most common problems with
your locks and keys:
1. Why does my key stick in the lock when I’m turning it?
The most likely cause, is that the key is worn, or, it is a bad copy of the
original key. Take a good working key to a locksmith shop (not the hard-
ware store), and have a duplicate made. If that doesn’t fix the sticking
problem, then the key is too worn to duplicate, and you will need to have
an original key made off the lock. A locksmith can come to you to make
the key, or if you’re handy, you can disassemble the lock and take it to
your local locksmith.
2. Why won’t the key go into the lock?
First, make sure that it’s a key that has worked on the lock before. Then,
check to see if the key is bent. If that isn’t the cause, the lock cylinder pins
may be sticking in the chambers. Try spraying W-D40 into the key way.
If the lock is exposed to rain or freezing, this should fix it. If it is frozen
water in the cylinder, pour warm water on the cylinder. If there’s no warm
water, you can blow your warm breath on the lock.
3. Why won’t the key come out of the lock?
If the lock is old, then the cylinder pin chambers may be so worn, that the
pins are jamming. A temporary fix, is to spray W-D40 in the key way. If lubricating
doesn’t remove the key, then the tail piece is loose, and the lock will
have to be disassembled to fix the problem.
4. Why does the key turn the lock cylinder, put still won’t unlock the door?
If the key is just spinning around, then the tail piece is broken or it fell
off. The lock has to be disassembled and the tail piece replaced or reattached.
If the key turns to the normal position, then the latch may be defective
or just sticking on the door jam strike plate. First try pushing or pulling on
the door as you turn the key. If that doesn’t work, the lock has to be
removed and the latch torn out to open the door.