DIY Lock Repair

In the realm of home maintenance, the security of our locks is paramount. Whether it’s the front door of our home, the back entrance, or the locks on our vehicle, ensuring these mechanisms are functioning correctly is essential for our safety and peace of mind. However, when a lock malfunctions, the dilemma of whether to attempt a DIY repair or to call in professional locksmiths arises. In this guide, we’ll navigate through the scenarios where a DIY approach might be suitable and when it’s prudent to enlist the expertise of professional locksmiths.

Understanding Lock Mechanisms

Before delving into repairs, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of lock mechanisms. The most common types of locks in domestic settings are cylinder locks, deadbolts, and mortice locks. Each type operates differently and, as such, will require a different approach when it comes to repairs.

When to Attempt DIY Repairs

  1. Cleaning and Lubrication: Over time, locks can become stiff or difficult to operate due to the accumulation of dust, dirt, or rust. In such cases, a simple clean or application of lubricant can resolve the issue. Use a lubricant for cylinder locks and a silicone-based spray for mortice locks. Avoid oil-based products as they can attract more dirt.
  2. Tightening Loose Screws: If your lock mechanism feels wobbly or the handle is loose, it might just be a case of tightening the screws. This can easily be done with a screwdriver, but ensure you don’t overtighten, as this can cause further issues.
  3. Adjusting Strike Plates: Misaligned strike plates can prevent the bolt from properly engaging. If the misalignment is minor, adjusting the position of the strike plate may solve the problem. This requires unscrewing the plate, realigning it, and then screwing it back in place.

When to Call the Professionals

  1. Broken or Damaged Locks: If your lock is visibly broken, damaged, or you have for example, a key snapped inside the lock or a key that has been trapped in a drawer/door while hanging on a bunch of keys, it’s time to call in the professionals. Attempting to extract a broken key or repair a damaged lock without the proper tools and expertise can lead to further damage and potentially compromise your security.
  2. Lockouts: If you find yourself locked out due to a malfunctioning lock or a lost key, it’s best to contact a locksmith. Professional locksmiths have the tools and skills to gain entry without causing damage to your door or lock.
  3. Complex Lock Mechanisms: Some locks, especially in commercial settings or modern, high-security domestic locks, have complex mechanisms that require specialist knowledge. Attempting DIY repairs on such locks can invalidate warranties or lead to lock failure.
  4. Replacement Keys: At RJ Parker, we can often cut a replacement key by aligning and tracing the cuts from both halves of a broken key, ensuring a precise duplication of the original’s shape and depth.

The Benefits of Professional Locksmith Services

  1. Expertise and Experience: Professional locksmiths have the training, experience, and tools to diagnose and fix lock issues efficiently, ensuring your locks are repaired or replaced to high standards.
  2. Security: A professional locksmith can assess your current security measures and recommend upgrades or changes to enhance your safety.
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your locks have been professionally serviced or installed provides peace of mind, knowing that your property is secure.


While there are certainly some lock issues that can be addressed with a DIY approach, it’s important to recognise when a situation requires the expertise of a professional locksmith. For tasks beyond basic maintenance or minor adjustments, professional services ensure that your locks are functional, secure, and correctly installed. Remember, the security of your property and the safety of its occupants should never be compromised. When in doubt, calling in the professionals at RJ Parker Locksmiths is always the best course of action.

About RJ Parker Locksmiths

Since 1979, we at RJ Parker Locksmiths have been providing trusted locksmith and auto locksmith services in Coventry and the surrounding areas. Catering to both domestic and business clients, we take pride in our reputation for quality service, affordable pricing, and a steadfast commitment to ensuring that our customers receive the best possible service. Our range of services encompasses everything from traditional lock repairs to the latest in uPVC door and window mechanisms, and we’ve built our expertise to cater to all kinds of lock-related needs.

What sets our business apart is the tailored solutions we offer, such as custom-designed master keyed locks that align with our clients’ specific requirements, offering flexibility and efficiency. We run our business with a strong emphasis on transparency, honesty, and reliability. By handling all tasks in-house and avoiding subcontracting, we ensure that our customers always receive the highest level of professional service from experienced locksmiths.

Operating as a family-owned business, we carry a deep sense of responsibility towards our clients. Our doors are open Monday to Sunday from 07:30 to 19:30, and we also offer additional services like Master Keying and Key Cutting. At RJ Parker Locksmiths, every customer is important, and we are dedicated to being your go-to locksmith service for all your lock-related needs in the community.