If you’re anything like us, you would prefer to avoid replacing things if you don’t have to. When door locks break, it can impact your peace of mind and your household security. 

Sometimes, problems with locks might mean it’s time to replace the locks on your home. However, sometimes a lock might just be in need of a lock repair.

A door lock repair can be straightforward, depending on what’s wrong with the locks. There are a few tests and potential fixes to try before calling a locksmith to repair or replace the locks.

Here’s a few do it yourself lock repair tricks to try when your locks appear to be having trouble.

Lock Repair: Assess the Problem with Your Lock

There are a few problems that your lock might have that could be fixable.

  • It might be difficult to get your key to slide into the lock.
  • The key might catch or it might be difficult to turn in the lock. Or the key might not turn at all.
  • The whole lock might turn when you turn the key in the lock.

These issues can be frustrating. Depending on what’s causing the problem, you might need lock repair services, or you might be able to do the lock repairs yourself.

Reasons it Might be Hard to Get the Key in the Lock

door knob side view

There are a few reasons it might be difficult to fit your key in your lock.

The first thing to check is your key. If there are too many irregularities in the surface of your key, you may not be able to use the lock.


  • It may be time to get a new key or to have your key machined to smooth its edges. A locksmith can cut new keys for you.

Another reason might be frost. If it has been unusually cold and humid lately, or if there has been freezing rain, the lock might be frozen.


  • Heat the key and/or heat the lock. Use a hair dryer or hold the key against a heat register. (HomeTips)

If these fixes work, then you’ve solved the problem. These are quick fixes and worth trying before getting new locks. A locksmith will be able to spot the problem if you aren’t sure this is the cause.

Reasons it Might be Hard to Turn the Key in the Lock

If you can get the key into the lock but the lock has trouble turning or won’t turn at all, there are a few things you can check to solve the problem.

Again, check your key. Sometimes the problem is with your key. If the teeth and grooves on your key are not sharp enough anymore, they may be having trouble engaging the tumblers on the door lock.


  • You can get the teeth on your key repaired, or you might need to replace your key.

Another problem is dirt. Locks sometimes get a buildup of dirt and grime in them, through wind or by the action of the key. The dirt can prevent smooth movement of the lock or prevent the key from sliding into the lock altogether.


  • Use an appropriate cleaner or lubricant to clean the dirt and grime from the lock. Don’t use oil since that will gum up the lock. (GVLocks) Use a graphite cleaner or WD-40. Spray it in the lock and work the key in the lock a few times to spread the cleaner evenly to gradually lift the grime out of the lock.

As you can see, there are a few things that you can do to repair your lock that don’t cost much and don’t take a lot of time. Try these quick solutions before you call a locksmith for a door lock repair near you.

Reasons the Whole Lock Turns When You Turn the Key

It can be startling when you turn your key and the whole lock and handle turns. This can happen because the lock was installed poorly or because the hardware fixing the lock in place has been loosened by the action of locking and unlocking the lock over the years. (GVLock)


  • Repairing this might be as simple as tightening the screws holding the handle into the door.

You can do this repair with a screwdriver in a couple of minutes. If this doesn’t work, it may need more technical work. However, it’s worth trying before calling a locksmith for help.

Lock Repair Service

Some lock repairs are simple and straightforward. You can save a lot of time and money by trying a few easy fixes before calling for lock repair services or buying new locks.

Other problems with locks might be too mechanical or too catastrophic to be easily repaired. In that case, it makes sense to call a locksmith to repair or replace the lock.

In the event that you need a lock repair service, call Crown Locksmith. Crown Locksmith is an Atlanta locksmith with a 4.8 star rating and an excellent reputation. Contact us when you need your locks serviced or replaced.

Please reach out to us with any questions and our mobile locksmith will be happy to assist you! 

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