How to Install an Auto Lock Door

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
New lock

Putting a new auto lock in the door of a vehicle isn’t too difficult. In most cases you can manage the job in an hour without any special tools. You would need to install a new auto lock in the door if the old one stops working or if the key has broken off in the lock, for instance. In most cases it will be the auto lock on the driver’s door which needs to be replaced as this receives the most wear.

Step 1 - Accessing the Interior

Start by using your screwdriver to take out the screws that hold the armrest in place. You will also need to take off the covers of the speakers in the doors. Put all these aside with their screws. Now you’ll be able to take off the interior door panel. It’s held in place by a series of plastic clips. You’ll need to push your screwdriver between the panel and the metal frame to ease the panel out. Be careful not to use too much pressure for this as you could easily break the clips.

Finally you need to remove the interior door handle. To do this, take the pliers and pull out the plastic clip. Twist it and it will come loose, allowing the handle to dangle free. This will let you access the assembly for the lock that’s behind the panel when you ease the panel out.

Step 2 - Door Handle Assembly

Inside the door you’ll be able to see the lock core. The door handle assembly is attached to a rod that also joins the lock core. Begin by disconnecting the rod from the auto lock core in the door. When you’ve done this, use the wrench to take off the pair of bolts that hold the door handles assembly onto the rod, being sure to mark where on the rod they go. Open up the clip and you’ll be able to take out the door handle assembly.

Step 3 - Lock

To take out the auto lock on the door, first move out the clip from the snap ring, which will release the lock. Put the new lock in place (buy one that’s correct for your make of car) ensuring that it’s the proper way. You’ll have to put the clip back on the snap sing so the lock stays secure and won’t twist when you insert the key.

Step 4 - Reassembly

From there put the door handle assembly into the door again and reconnect the bolt to the rod in the places you’ve marked before attaching the rod to the lock core.

At this point you should test the key in the new lock to be certain it will open and close the door properly. If there are problems it’s much easier to find out about them now. With everything working well it’s time to reassemble to door. Reverse the steps you took earlier, taking time to have the interior door panel fitted well onto the clips. Finish by replacing the arm rest and speaker covers.