How to Fix a Door Lock That Won’t Turn

The locks on the doors of the places where we live or work provide safety and peace of mind. But what if you can’t get the key or the lock to work? First, ensure that you have the right key. It may seem silly, but it’s a common mistake. Otherwise, when a key won’t turn in door lock cylinders, the problem may be dirt or dust in the cylinder. If the door lock won t turn at all, one of the issues could be the mechanism.


There is dirt or dust in the cylinder.

If the key won’t turn in the door lock, the problem could be dirt or dust in the cylinder causing the pins to be stuck in a partially raised position. If that’s the case, it may be an easy fix. You can spray dry lubricant into the keyway and then insert the key a few times to get the lubricant working. If a dry lubricant doesn’t work, you can try WD-40.

Fix a door lock that won't turn

The lock is frozen.

Unless you live or have a vacation rental property in a place such as Florida, chances are you deal with freezing weather in the winter months. Your door lock could be frozen if it won’t turn. You can try thawing the door lock with a warm key. Warm the key by placing it in a bowl of hot water and then, with gloves on, dry the key and then insert it slowly into the lock.

Professional Solutions

We’ve mentioned a couple of do-it-yourself-solutions, but when the solution is not a simple one, that’s when you should call a locksmith. Here are some examples:

The key doesn’t work even though it’s new.

If you have a new key that you can insert but won’t turn, the chances are that your new key was poorly cut. Always go with a reputable locksmith to avoid such problems. A professional locksmith can cut a new key or if there’s a more severe problem than the way a key is cut, investigate and come up with a solution.

stuck keys on door knob

The key only goes in partway.

If this is the case and lubrication doesn’t work, an obstruction may be blocking it. Or, there may be a worn-out pin chamber or a corroded pin. These are problems that are best left to a locksmith to avoid damaging the lock further.

The door lock won’t turn at all despite turning the key.

If this is occurring, there’s a strong possibility that there is a problem with the mechanism. The lock will need to be removed and examined, and that kind of job is best left to a professional locksmith.

Red Rocks Locksmith serves Denver and the surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If a door lock won’t turn or when a key won’t turn in door lock cylinders, chances are you need to call a locksmith. Red Rocks Locksmith can diagnose the problem, fix it, and get you back into your home or business in no time.

David is the Owner of RedRocks Locksmith, and his passion is to provide quality and honest service helping keep the company’s customers in Colorado safe and secure while offering the latest and most advanced solutions that can be found on the market.