Car door lock problem (Rover 25)

I've recently acquired a Rover 25 (yr 2000). It has a door lock problem. I find I can't get my key past the little flap inside the slot on most occasions. The same fault is found on both doors, but it has become so bad on the driver's side that I now have to get in via the passenger door in order to unlock the driver's door from the inside.
Is there an easy way to cure this problem?
TIA
J
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On Sat, 08 Sep 2012 17:18:11 +0000, JakeD wrote:

Lubrication? Puff in some graphite powder.
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On 08/09/12 18:18, JakeD wrote:

I'd try a small squirt of WD40 first and then use the graphite for the internals. Why are you using the key? There should be a remote key fob and the actual key only used in emergencies to disable the alarm.
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never - ever - use WD40 on locks. Dust sticks to it and will make the problem worse in the long run. Use proper lock lubricant - Graphite.
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On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 09:58:21 +0100, charles wrote:

+1. Or you'll end up with a sludge of graphite/dirt, then lumps.
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That's the reason I wouldn't use graphite to lubricate a lock, you can't control what some well meaning individual might use in the future to lube it or wash it out (or chemically de-ice it) and you're left with gunk/graphcrete in your lock.
I'd use light oil, just like the manufacturer does but I would be inclined to wash out a well stuck up lock with WD first. Actually, for a lock that's gone as far as to stick, I'd probably take it off the car, dismantle it, wash it in WD or similar, oil the parts, re-assemble and re-fit.
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The whole idea of using the correct lubricant is there will be no need to use anything for a long time afterwards. It's not the sort of thing you squirt oil into at a routine service. Or perhaps you do. ;-)

No maker I've ever seen uses 'light oil' in the key barrel. The actual lock mechanism uses grease.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

That has just made me think of the old lock de-icer products.
They all now seem to have a lubricant and cost a fortune.
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On one of my BMWs, lifting the driver's door handle switched on a heater. Also triggered the alarm if set. Dunno how long it took to work - frozen locks ain't common in the soft Sauf.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

The slightest chill or smallest snowfall in London makes the news headlines:-)
I had a frozen van door two winters ago (covered in ice). When I finally got into the van the dash said it was minus 11.5 C.
It took 30 minutes to de-ice the inside of the windscreen.
And VH Combos have an odd setup to read the water temperature. It's on the radiator side and not on the engine side of the thermostat. 30 minutes running without moving and 20 miles driving later the dash actually showed a reading
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On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 15:27:03 +0100, ARW wrote:

Regulary get the doors frozen to the seals up here.

Heated windscreens are magic. B-) Will have the frost on the inside running off in 5 mins or less.
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 00:11:57 +0100, Dave Liquorice wrote:

And here - the sliding side doors on the van are particularly prone to it (but it'll hit -30 or worse in Jan/Feb here).
I'd keep things in the garage, but too many times the garage doors have frozen to the ground or their locks have iced up, so it's less trouble to just leave everything outside and leave it idling for 20 mins before I need to go anywhere.
I don't think I've ever had vehicle door locks ice up, though.
cheers
Jules
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Bob Eager used his keyboard to write :

Hmm... how often does this happen in the real world I wonder? Yes, I appreciate that it *could* happen, but how often *does* it happen?
Whenever the lock got a bit stiff on my dad's old car he'd squirt a bit of WD40 in, and not once in the 17 years he had the car and did that, did it ever gunge up or make the problem worse - quick squirt of WD40 got the lock working like new again, *always*.
Bit like the "never run ordinary PVC cables outside as the UV will make them brittle" thing. We've had an ordinary T&E cable on a south-facing wall that gets sunlight almost all day, feeding an outside light for 22 years and when I recently moved it, it was *not* brittle in any way. I understand the possibility exists, but just how often does it *actually* happen?
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John wrote:

If you want lock problems then buy a Citroen.
Neither WD40 or graphite would ever have fixed that design fault.
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My Rover is 27 years old and never needed anything squirted into the locks. You've sort of proved the point - once you use WD40 for this, you'll need to do it regularly. To wash out the muck that's stuck to the WD40.
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+1. Some more modern locks (Fords?) might be a bit different, but the traditional ones are so sloppy inside that the arguments which clockmakers and quality locksmiths use against WD40 don't really apply, IMHO.

Yup, and I have had Acorn plastic pipe to an external tap in direct sunlight for > 20 years. It has only just developed a pinhole. (It's faded quite a bit).
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On 09/09/12 09:58, charles wrote:

That's why I suggested a small squirt because the issue is the shutter not the lock mechanism. Ideally the OP wouldn't be using the lock at all. Incidentally Maplins sell graphite in a small quantity.
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Andy Cap wrote:

The problem is that if you don't exercise the mechanics of a lock regularly by using the key a least once a week or so, they sieze up from disuse, and if the electronics fail on a car with a plipper, then you're locked out.
I see this problem regularly at work, where people don't bother exercising locks by opening and locking them regularly, and not just on car doors.
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On 09/09/12 10:39, John Williamson wrote:

You've just encouraged me to include it in my servicing. Thanks.
Andy C
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So do WH Smiths but you have to grind it up yourself.
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