Deadbolt - repair or replace?

The deadbolt on my entry door has a problem. It no longer retracts fully into the door when the key is turned, at least not every time. It retracts enough to allow the door to be opened, but not far enough to allow it to be locked again with the key or the interior latchknob.
When I unlock the deadbolt, whether with the key or with the little interior latchknob, it always opens. But when I go through the door and attempt to relock the deadbolt, much of the time I find it hasn't retracted all the way and the key/latchknob will not now work in the locking direction. I have to open the door and push the deadbolt into the door with my hand. Then the key/latchknob works fine.
Is this something that can be repaired more easily or cheaply than replacing the deadbolt mechanism? I've lubricated the deadbolt, btw. That had no effect on the problem, and there's never any stiffness about the turning action anyway. Ideas?
Jim Beaver
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Take it to a locksmith. He will either fix it in no time at all, or tell you it is a goner and sell you a quality setup. Probably a worn part on the mechanism.
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Sounds like a full mortise lockset, that's getting a bit old and tired. You may (or may not) have the skills to get it out of the door.
I'd suggest call a locsksmith. If it's what I think, it's a fairly easy repair, compared to an expensive replace.
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Christopher A. Young
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Take the lock apart, and you may find that the internal part that couples key motion to bolt motion is bent or twisted. Straighten or replace the damaged parts.
Bob
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