Repairing a Broken Glove Compartment

29 Feb Repairing a Broken Glove Compartment

Your car’s glove box and console are places to keep things you need handy. They’re also good for stashing small items out of sight, reducing the temptation for thieves to break into your car. But when their locks and latches fail, they go from being hideaways to nuisances.

DIY with a Replacement Lock Kit and Common Tools

A certified locksmith can fix them easily, or you can take a stab at doing it yourself. You’ll need a replacement lock kit and a few common tools. Here’s how:

  • Buy a replacement kit at an auto parts store, a car dealer, or online. Be sure to have your car’s make, model year and model style to get a kit that fits properly. So-called universal kits are likely to need extra work and may not fit or work as well as model-specific kits.
  • Remove the lock cylinder according to the lock kit instructions. Depending on the lock design, this may involve unscrewing a mounting plate inside the compartment. Most lock cylinders will have one or more spring-loaded detent pins that hold them in place. Use a narrow pointed tool like an awl or even a piece of coat hanger wire to depress the pin(s), allowing the cylinder to slip out of the lock housing. You will need to depress each pin sequentially and slip the cylinder out past each pin until it is fully removed. You may need to manually move the lock latches to the closed position before accessing the detent pins.
  • Remove the exterior face plate of the lock by unscrewing it from the lock body. This may require a special tool, or you can probably improvise one of your own. You should now be able to remove the remaining lock body and discard it.
  • Install the new lock by reversing the process above. The lock cylinder will seat into place once the final detent pin is pushed all the way in.

If the compartment door is stuck in the closed position, you may be able to open the lock by inserting a thin object like a paper clip wire into a hole in the lock’s front. You may also be able to open the latch by sliding a flat-blade screwdriver or other flat object carefully into the door gap and tripping the latch mechanism. Trying to pry the door or force the lock open can result in damage to the trim and housing that’s costly to repair.

Avoid Risk of Damage with a Professional Locksmith

If you can’t open the door without risking damage, have one of our professional locksmiths do it for you. We can also install a replacement lock if you’d rather not tackle the job yourself. Call us 24-7 for help at 303-974-0215.

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