Understanding Complex Lock Parts and Mechanisms in Car Door Locks

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Understanding Complex Lock Parts and Mechanisms in Car Door LocksApril 5, 2019

If you own a car, you are probably pretty used to making sure that you always leave it locked. Locking your door allows you to protect the items inside of your car from potential thieves as well as intruders who would steal your entire car. With that being said, have you ever stopped to think about how the locking mechanism inside of your car door actually works? Your car door lock is actually a fascinating mechanical process that, once understood, is easy to appreciate. If you ever run into problems with your car door in the future, you'll want to know the following information.

Understanding Car Door Locks


In modern cars, you will most often find a powder door lock. Powder door locks are relatively complicated mechanisms that require several moving parts to work in concert in order to secure the vehicle. There is quite a bit going on in this situation, so let's break the whole locking mechanism down into a couple of steps so as to understand it more completely.

1) The Actuator - Inside of your car door, there is a lock actuator. The door-lock actuator is the primary mechanism that controls the lock on your car. This actuator is inside of your door, below the insert where your key is inserted. This actuator is connected to the key latch with a thin metal rod.

2) The Knob - Now, the thin metal rod we talked about above is connected to a knob inside of your car door. This rod helps the knob to go up and down, thus locking and unlocking your car door. Pretty simple, right?

3) The Operation - When you are operating the actuator, you are moving the door lock latch up or down, depending on which way you are turning your key. When the latch is down, you can open and close the door at will. When the latch is up, your door handle will be fully disconnected from the mechanism that controls the opening process. In a car with manual locks, this process is controlled by a turning of a key. In a powered door lock, this process can be automated.

As you can see, your door locks are a little more interesting than you might have imagined. Unlike the lock on a household door, you actually have an entire system working inside of your vehicle rather than a set of pins. Pretty interesting, right?

Altona Locksmiths

15c Slough Road, Altona
Phone: (03) 9315 0522
Email: altlock@bigpond.net.au

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