How much does it cost to repair a car door lock?

Cost to repair a car door lock

Published on Thursday, 18 November 2021 at 00:00

How much does it cost to repair a car door lock?

Matilda Douglas-Henry


It’s safe to say that all vehicle owners want their car doors to lock. If just one of your locks is faulty it immediately compromises security, creating easy access for break-ins. Luckily, vehicle locksmiths are no stranger to door lock repairs, and they should have your car back on the road in no more than an hour. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know about car door locks, including:

  1. How car door locks work
  2. Signs of a malfunctioning car door lock
  3. What is involved in car door lock repair
  4. The cost of car door lock repairs, and the factors affecting different price points

How do car door locks work?

We all know how car door locks operate, to an extent: depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you use either the ignition key or a remote fob to unlock it. For all car door locks, there are a series of metal control rods within the door that are attached to the latch and handle, as well as a knob: the plastic part that sticks out of the top of the car door, and physically reflects the latch moving up or down.

In the case of a power lock system, the mechanics consist of an actuator and a latch. The actuator is the electrical component that powers the automatic locking/unlocking of the car door. Rods connect the actuator to the latch; when the actuator moves the latch upwards, it connects to the outside handle via the anchor and opens the door. When the latch moves downwards, the outside handle is disconnected and therefore locks the car[1].

Car door locks are made vulnerable by exposure to extreme elements like the wind and rain. Dirt and water can get into the lock and corrode its internal parts; further, the repeated use of the lock mechanism generates natural wear and tear over time.


How do I know when my car door lock is not working properly?

It will be pretty obvious when your car door lock is malfunctioning. If your power door lock is experiencing problems, it’s likely an issue with the actuator. Below are a list of red flags, and what they mean.

Problems with the actuator:

-        Strange sounds from within the car door

This is one of the earliest symptoms of lock trouble, and flags a potential issue with the actuator. While it’s common for actuators to make steady, subtle whirring noises when they are being used, more pronounced and jarring sounds could indicate malfunctioning actuator gears.

-        Power door locks behaving unpredictably

Intermittent function suggests that your actuator has some internal wiring issues.

-        Power door locks not working at all

If you’re at the point where your power door locks are entirely unresponsive, there is a serious issue with the actuator: the door lock system will shut down when the actuator has failed[2].


Problems with the latch:

-        Doors will not stay closed

In this instance, the latch mechanism is unable to attach itself to the anchor, resulting in a door that remains open.

-        Doors have to be slammed shut to close successfully

You shouldn’t have to force your car door closed to have the latch mechanism work. This means that the latch and anchor are misaligned, or the latch is simply not working as it should. If you continue to slam the door shut, the latch mechanism will fail entirely and require replacement.

-        Doors will not open

A stuck door indicates that the internal latch mechanism has failed, and needs to be replaced[3].


What does car door lock repair entail?

In the event that your car door lock requires repairs, the process is relatively straightforward for all vehicle makes and models.

Generally, a mechanic will remove the affected door panel/panels and raise the window, then gradually remove the required parts: the inner door liner, the door handle control rod, the lock control rod, and remove the outdoor door handle. Then the lock itself can be accessed, and damaged parts, or entire mechanism, can be replaced[4].


How much does car door lock repair cost?

Car door lock repair is a relatively quick and painless process, and the prices aren’t that egregious either. An assessment and repair of your car door lock can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the extent of the damage and the amount of labour it will require[5].

Many car door lock repairs do not require new parts, and can be remedied by a qualified technician accessing the internal system and correctly reconfiguring the system. In these cases, a consultation for a standard car costs between $175 and $225, and for luxury vehicles $275 to $325[6].

Actuator replacement, on the other hand, should cost between $200 and $300 per door, factoring in the cost of the part and the labour required.



The ability to easily get in and out of your car is a must for any driver, and a functional door lock is a fundamental part of that process. Don’t leave it to the last minute—use our quick quotes service today to find the best technicians in your area.







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