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The Best Way to Repair Your Car Door Lock

Because the driver’s side door lock gets used far more often than any of the other locks, you may find yourself needing to replace it at some point. If it stops working, follow these 12 steps to successfully change the door lock. You will need to gather some pliers and screwdrivers and remove the interior parts of the door, slide the old lock off the rod, insert a new lock, and then replace the door parts. These steps will guide you through the process.

  1. Step 1: Gather Materials

    First, you will need to gather your materials. You will need your new car door lock assembly as well as both a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, and regular pliers.

  2. Step 2: Get Inside the Car

    Get inside the car so that you can remove parts of the interior door.

  3. Step 3: Close the Door Window

    Make sure the door window is completely closed before you begin.

  4. Step 4: Remove the Manual Window Opener

    If your windows are manually operated, you will need to remove the manual window opener. This is easily done with a screwdriver – simply unscrew the handle and remove it from the window regulator shaft.

  5. Step 5: Be Careful with the Plastic Clips

    While you will not see the plastic clips until the next step, it is important to draw attention to them now. While you are removing pieces of the door, be careful not to break any plastic clips that are holding parts of the door together.

  6. Step 6: Open the Door to Remove Door Screws, the Arm Rest and Speaker Covers

    Find the screws around the inside perimeter of the driver door panel and remove them. If you have an arm rest and/or speaker covers on the door, remove these as well. Use a screwdriver to find and unscrew the screws inside the armrest so that you can remove it. Do the same for the speakers.

  7. Step 7: Remove the Door Panel and Moisture Shield

    The flathead screwdriver will help you to remove the door panel and the moisture shield behind it so that you can see inside the door. Pliers will help you pop out the plastic clip without breaking them, which will allow the interior door handle to come free.

  8. Step 8: Disconnect the Electrical Connections

    Disconnect the electrical connections for the door lock switches and windows.

  9. Step 9: Disconnect the Rod from the Lock Core

    You will see a rod from the door lock to the latch. Using needle-nose pliers, disconnect the rod from the latch.

  10. Step 10: Remove the Door Handle and Transfer the Rod Holder

    Remove the bolts that hold the door handle in place and note the position of the rod. Next, use pliers to remove the C-spring clip and release the door lock. Remove the door lock through the front side of the car door. Then transfer the rod holder onto the new lock in the same position.

  11. Step 11: Install Your New Car Door Lock and Replace the Handle

    Finally, install the new door lock. Put it through the front of the door and use pliers to push the C-spring clip back over the lock to hold the lock core tightly in place. Slide it back into place and put the plastic clip back on. Then use a screwdriver to replace the door handle.

  12. Step 12: Replace the Door Panel and Other Parts

    Replace the moisture shield, door panel, door screws, arm rest, and speaker covers in their proper positions, being careful not to damage any plastic clips in the process.

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