What does the inside of a car door lock look like? How does it work? How can I keep it secure? Here’s what you need to know about car door locks.
There are over 230 million drivers in California. Each of them reaches for their keys, unlocks the door, and jumps into their car. But, how many people pause to think about how the car door locks actually work?
It’s one of those little things in life that we don’t think about until they stop working. Knowing how your locks work will come in handy should you get locked out or there’s an emergency.
Keep reading to learn how this small but vital car part works.
On the interior of your car doors are lock buttons that you can operate by hand or with your key fob. This is the visible component that connects to the actuator that’s inside the door.
This locking actuator also connects to a lever that allows the door to be opened once you unlock the door.
When you hit the button on the door, it moves a rod on the inside of the door. The other end of the rod connects to the main locking mechanism.
The main locking mechanism is either an electronic sensor or a set of magnets with a reversible switch.
Modern car doors can operate through manual key operation, pushing the button, or through an automatic sensor. When the mechanism is in the unlocked position, the internal mechanism releases and the door can open.
When the car door locks, the mechanism engages and prevents the door from opening.
When you try to open a car door from the outside, you need the lock disengaged so that the handle connects to the system. When the lock engages, the handle disconnects. This prevents the door handle from opening the door while the car is locked.
Inside the locking mechanism, there are a series of gears. The last gear in the series is a rack and pinion gear set. This is the gear that connects to the actuator.
When the actuator engages the gear, a rotational motion happens, which then converts into linear motion. This linear movement is what moves the lock.
Forcing Your Locks
If you ever lock your keys in your car, a locksmith can help you get back in by manually triggering the gear by using a slim jim, wedge, or auto jiggler.
A long thin metal rod with a hook on the end is jimmied into your vehicle. This could be done through the window or by wedging the door.
Understand Your Car Door Locks
By now, you should have a better understanding of how a car door lock works. So the next time you hit the lock/unlock button, think about all of the mechanical components that go into operating your door.
If you happen to get locked out of your car, it’s best to let the professionals work your car door locks. They can help you get into your car without risking damaging the locks or your car.
Contact us today for your locksmith needs, and we’ll get your locks sorted.