I have a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, and in the winter it becomes very hard to turn the key in the locks in the car door. I've literally ripped the rubber off the key's grip from forcing the key to turn.

How can I keep the locks on my car from sticking?

  • Are the freezing? Dec 14 '13 at 19:53
  • @Larry: There's no ice in the locks, if that's what you're asking. There's no crack, it just takes a lot of torque to turn the key. It also doesn't go away once the door has been unlocked once, and seems to be more associated with cold than with ice and snow.
    – Dan
    Dec 14 '13 at 20:42

There is de-icer you can use. Here is an example from Loctite. Spray it in the lock. It will keep it from sticking as well as ease how much torque it takes to turn the key. If this doesn't help you, there is a mechanical problem with the door linkage.


Door locks becoming hard to operate occurs around the world in very cold weather. The humidity in the air causes icing, metal components contract and 'jam' mechanisms, plastic components go 'hard' and refuse to slide.

There are sprays available, heated key tools, and other gadgets aimed at helping or avoiding it happening, with varying degrees of success.

If possible park the vehicle out of the wind to keep the exposure to the cold to a minimum. Try operating the other locks on the vehicle. One lock may operate whilst another lock will not.


I would try to lubricate the door lock mechanism and linkages. You probably have to remove the inner door panel to get to it all. Also, lube the actual lock with tri flow or a dry ptfe type lube.

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