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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Why wont the car door unlock?

    It's 40 degrees out. I'm trying to get into my parent's 98 VW Golf (they're letting me drive it while I am home for spring break). I put the key in the lock and encounter a strong resistance while trying to turn it, just as if it was not the right key. The key goes all the way in. Perplexed, I think that perhaps they gave me the key to our other VW. This suspicion was nullified when I successfully opened the hatchback without difficulty. I climbed into the drivers seat, turned the car on, and it ran fine.
    Normally I should be able to turn the key and hear something like a motor while all four doors unlock. This mechanism is not completely broken; I can lock or unlock the doors normally by pressing the appropriate button on the console.

    Does anyone know what could be wrong?
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  2. #2
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    It's a strong hint that somebody doesn't want you in that car.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  3. #3
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Try lubing the key with a light oil and inserting it in the lock.

  4. #4
    Dumb@s$ Jarhead mrt10x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Does anyone know what could be wrong?
    It's a VW
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  5. #5
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    Try lubing the key with a light oil and inserting it in the lock.
    Hmmmm....you're saying to lube the instrument before inserting in to the hole. I've heard of this tactic before somewhere....maybe in a porn movie or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  6. #6
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
    It's a VW
    I agree that this is the first problem. My honda, with 100,000+ miles and 5 years on this car, has undoubtedly seen less repair money dumped into it.
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  7. #7
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    It's probably because of the cold (lock components could be contracting or something). I have a 98 Ranger that has the same problem. When it's below about 10 degrees F outside, I have to wiggle the key back and forth in the lock for a good minute before it turns. As the outside temperature increases, it takes less and less time to open the lock. I tried using some graphite lock lubricant, but it didn't help. Both doors have this problem, but the ignition works fine.

    I simply stopped locking my doors, so now I don't have to deal with it.

  8. #8
    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taerom View Post

    I simply stopped locking my doors, so now I don't have to deal with it.

    47.11N 88.57W
    You might want to rethink that...

  9. #9
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    Hmmmm....you're saying to lube the instrument before inserting in to the hole. I've heard of this tactic before somewhere....maybe in a porn movie or something.
    It my standard advice for a variety of issues. It hasn't failed yet!!

  10. #10
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    Try lubing the key with a light oil and inserting it in the lock.
    If it moves and its not supposed to, duct tape!
    If it doesn't move and its supposed to, WD40!

  11. #11
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie Green View Post
    You might want to rethink that...
    ?

    There's never any crime around here.

  12. #12
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    If it moves and its not supposed to, duct tape!
    If it doesn't move and its supposed to, WD40!
    Bang!! Correct

    Anyway, around here locks don't freeze but they do get dust in them and that jams them.

  13. #13
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Around Boston, some of my friends carried butane lighters to unfreeze stuck door locks in the winter. Maybe give that a try. I never had to try it myself since I had one of those fancy keys with lock/unlock buttons, so I can't vouch for its effectiveness.
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  14. #14
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    TriNitroToulene will open that door very quickly.

  15. #15
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    TriNitroToulene will open that door very quickly.
    What happened to WD-40?
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  16. #16
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen View Post
    What happened to WD-40?
    WD40 1st. On the off chance it fails, TNT or ANFO or Mercury Fulminate or .......

  17. #17
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Just use a strip of primacord and blast the whole door off.

  18. #18
    AEO
    AEO is offline
    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    TriNitroToulene will open that door very quickly.
    I prefer a powder mix of aluminum-oxide and iron-oxide

    if it doesn't open whatever you're trying to open, it'll sure weld it shut so you don't have to worry about having it accidentally open.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen View Post
    What happened to WD-40?
    The lighter was used after the WD-40 was applied, opening both the door and giving the car a new paint job with a flame motif.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  20. #20
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    How can the lock be open of it's 40 degrees out?
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  21. #21
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    How can the lock be open of it's 40 degrees out?
    Huh? I have no clue what you're trying to say. Have you been drinking?
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  22. #22
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Either the lock cylinder is seized, a classic VW failure, or the lock cyclinder has been replaced and you don't have the key for it. There's a little flap over the key hole, if that is rusted open that's a clue. Try a shot of penetrating oil, it may free up, but probably not.

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