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How to Free Up Auto Door Lock
Old 01-30-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
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How to Free Up Auto Door Lock

Driver side door on 2004 Camry......door lock has a problem. Key does not
always slide easily in/turn easily although same key seems to work fine on the passenger side door and the ignition switch. .....so suspect driver side door lock is the problem. First inclination is to use a silicone-spray lubricant that worked fine on neighbor's front door........but warnings on can caution about using where electricity is present.

If I were to spray into the door lock using that small tube or squirt the key with
the spray and work key in lock, does that get close enough to electrical circuits to provide a hazard? Other suggestions?
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:43 PM   #2
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I would not think so. But I think powdered graphite is used most often in locks... comes in a small tube for a couple $.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:45 PM   #3
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I have had very good success with a Teflon-based lubricant designed for locks. Bought it at Home Depot.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:46 PM   #4
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Silicone attracts dirt, graphite in moderation is a much better choice for locks.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:51 PM   #5
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Silicone attracts dirt, graphite in moderation is a much better choice for locks.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:27 PM   #6
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Powdered graphite should do the trick based on your description - if not, your lock is probably bad

Don't use oil
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:10 PM   #7
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Use a lube specifically for locks.

Also, do you have another key that isn't as worn as your main key? Try it, if it works better, get a spare made from that (less worn) key.

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Old 01-31-2017, 06:20 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the responses. Sounds like a general preference for graphite.
ERD50, I do have a spare. Didn't think of using it because the normal key works fine in the passenger door and ignition. Might be worth a try just to see.
My experience with the local hardware store re: key making is kind of a mixed bag with some new keys being a bit touchy to use.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:41 AM   #9
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Either a DRY teflon or DRY silicone spray would work if you don't want to use graphite. The emphasis on DRY. Any lube that stays wet will attract grit and make the lock worse.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the responses. Sounds like a general preference for graphite.
ERD50, I do have a spare. Didn't think of using it because the normal key works fine in the passenger door and ignition. Might be worth a try just to see.
My experience with the local hardware store re: key making is kind of a mixed bag with some new keys being a bit touchy to use.
The reason the hardware store keys might be touchy is because if they are copying a worn key, you are getting an accumulation of errors. A little off from wear, plus a little off from the copy process. It is generally best to give them the most 'like new' key you have.

The passenger and ignition locks may just happen be a little more accepting of a worn key than the driver door. There will be variation, the locks have tolerances and wear as well. That doesn't mean the key is fine, it just means your driver door could be the most sensitive to the wear pattern that key might have.

Or the problem is with the lock itself (or a combination of the two) - but you really should learn what you can with that other key. It's easy, you have nothing to lose.

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Old 01-31-2017, 04:06 PM   #11
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I am surprised you have not yet complained about your ignition switch on your Camry. Our car is 7 yrs older than yours, and the switch wore out.
It got so the key would not turn and I'd keep putting it in and out and trying to turn it. sometimes 30 times, all wondering if I was going to be walking home.
Finally I looked on you-tube and saw how to fix it, instead of spending many $100's.
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