7 Most Common Door Lock Problems and How to Fix Them

Aren’t you just tired of getting locked out of your home? Does your lock feel like it is designed to keep you out of the house, but at the same time, it would easily break if someone was trying to break in?

There are a few common door lock problems that people experience on a daily basis that absolutely drive homeowners nuts.

In this article, we will outline these problems and tell you how to fix them. So whether your key won’t work in the lock, the lock is stuck or jammed, or the door latch isn’t aligning properly – we have you covered.

1. The Door Lock Won’t Open Or Close

If you find that your door lock won’t open or close, it is likely because the locking mechanism is jammed. This can be caused by a build-up of dirt and debris in the keyhole, which prevents the locking bolt from moving up and down as it should.

To fix this problem, insert a small brush or toothpick into the keyhole and try to dislodge any dirt or debris that may be causing the jam. If this doesn’t work, you can try spraying a lubricant into the keyhole, which will help to loosen up the locking mechanism.

If neither of these methods works, it is best to call a locksmith or handyman to take a look at it.

2. Keys Don’t Work In The Lock

If your keys don’t work in the lock, there are a few things that could be causing the problem. First, check to make sure that the key is inserted all the way into the lock. If it isn’t, then you won’t be able to turn the key and open the door.

Another common reason why keys don’t work in door locks is that the keyhole is clogged. Or, if your key won’t turn in the lock, this is likely due to a problem with the tumblers. As we mentioned before, a build-up of dirt and debris can prevent the locking bolt from moving up and down, which will also prevent the key from turning.

3. The Lock Is Stuck Or Jammed

One of the most common door lock problems is a stuck or jammed lock.

This can be caused by a variety of things, including dirt, grime, or even rust. To fix this problem, you will need to lubricate the lock with WD-40 or another type of lubricant. You may also need to use a plunger (yes, a plunger) to force the lock open.

If you’re unable to fix the stuck lock yourself, or if neither of these methods works, you’ll need to call a locksmith Tucson AZ from to have the lock changed.

4. The Lock Is Too Tight Or Difficult To Turn

Don’t you just hate when you’re rushing into your home and your lock just won’t open up? It just seems like this problem happens only when you’re really itching to get in – usually when it’s the toilet that’s calling you.

A lock that is too tight or difficult to turn is another typical door lock hassle. Dirt and grime accumulation inside the locking mechanism is generally to blame. You may try spraying some lubricant into the keyhole and working the key back and forth to loosen the lock or try some of the other methods we’ve mentioned before.

5. The Key Gets Stuck In The Lock

Being unable to remove the key is such a pain. It can cause you to be late for work or miss an important appointment. The good news is that this problem can usually be fixed quite easily.

As you can probably imagine by now, start by spraying some WD-40 into the keyhole. Then, use a wire hanger or a paperclip to try and remove the key.

Now, to be fair, finding a wire hanger or a paper clip if you get stuck outside of your house can be pretty hard, so make sure you always carry a paper clip in your wallet. You never know when you’re going to end up needing it.

6. The Key Breaks In The Lock

Probably the biggest pain ever is when the key breaks in the lock.  It seems like it always happens at the worst time too. If you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem.

First, try to remove the broken key with a pair of needle-nose pliers. If that doesn’t work, you can use a broken key extractor. These can be found at most hardware stores. If you still can’t get the key out, you may need to call a locksmith.

Once you’ve got the broken key out, you’ll need to replace the cylinder. This is usually a fairly easy process. Just unscrew the screws that hold the cylinder in place, pop out the old cylinder, and insert the new one. Make sure to screw it in tightly so that it doesn’t come loose.

If the key broke off in the deadbolt, you’ll need to remove the entire deadbolt assembly and then replace the cylinder. This is a little more difficult than replacing a cylinder, but that’s just the way it is.

7. Door Latch Is Not Aligning

While this is not exactly a “lock” problem, it’s still a fairly common problem that drives us nuts. You know the scenario…you close your door, only to realize that the latch didn’t quite catch. Or, you go to leave your house and find that the door won’t open because the latch is not aligning correctly. Either way, it’s a pain.

How to fix it? First, look at the strike plate on the door frame. The metal piece that the latch bolt fits into should not be loose or damaged. If it is, tighten the screws or replace the strike plate.

If the strike plate looks fine, then the problem is probably with the latch itself. You can try adjusting it by loosening the screws and moving it up or down slightly. If that doesn’t work, you will need to replace the latch.


Door lock problems can be really frustrating. But, before you start tearing your hair out, try some of the methods we’ve suggested. Most of these problems are relatively easy to fix – you just need a little bit of know-how and the right tools.

So, don’t wait until it’s an emergency to try and fix the problem. Get it taken care of now so you don’t have to worry about it later.