Is It Expensive to Repair a Car Door Lock?

There’s an old joke among professionals that if a customer asks how much something is and they don’t know the answer, the best response is, “Well, that depends.” It is said that this answer will befuddle a customer long enough for the professional to look up the answer. On the bright side, this answer is perhaps the best one when it comes to someone asking, “Is it expensive to repair a car door lock?” In this case, however, the question begs more information, simply because there are many factors involved in what might be wrong with the car door lock that needs to repaired and, further, what are you calling expensive?


Obviously, if you want to have a repair done on your rusted out and being held together with bailing wire VW bug, it will cost you significantly less than for a brand new Rolls Royce. This should be a given. As for the other side of the equation, what is wrong with the lock, the answer will prove to be significantly more complicated. Thanks to our friends at


Parts vs. Labor


car door lockJust as is the case with virtually any repair that is to be made, there is a significant difference between the cost of the parts used in the repair, and the labor performed to make the repair. The particular shop you are having do the work needs to be added to the figure as well. For example, if the lock of your 2004 BMW 330Ci won’t work, chances are good that your door lock switch needs to be replaced. For this particular repair, labor might cost from $107.50 with $50.72 for parts. This would bring your cost to $158.22. This is not an unreasonable cost. On the other hand, if you took the same car to a dealer, the cost might average between $140.72 and $175.72 or more, a difference in a saving or cost of $17.50. A small independent shop might cost you about $123.00, a savings of about 22 percent.


There are other options, however. For example, some might argue that this type of situation would require a locksmith more than a mechanic, but whomever you choose you should always make sure that they are well qualified to perform the work you need done. After all, even if someone hangs out a sign as a mechanic or a locksmith, doesn’t mean that they are qualified to do the job. As a result, if the repair isn’t done well, chances are good that you will not only end up paying for the job that was done incorrectly, but you will need to find yet another person to do the job right.


The Right Know-How


car door lock repairIf you need to get a car door lock repair made, it might be well worth your time to look at others who might be well qualified to do the work. For example, car audio installers and repair people have a lot of experience working with everything inside of a door panel. This includes locks. Further, you can mitigate the cost of many door lock repairs by purchasing your own parts, which cuts not only the cost of the actual part, but also the markup that is almost always included in the repair sale. After market actuators such as Napa Auto Parts charges from $10 to $75 for partial to complete assemblies. This compares to $50 to $350 from a dealer for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) bought parts.


A problem that often follows with this alternative, however, is that anyone who decides to buy their own parts to repair their car door lock should do so only after they are sure what is wrong with the part. If there is a mistake or some other factor that is incorrect, there’s the additional problem with returning incorrect parts, refunds, and purchasing the right part, however many times this takes.


Having a car repaired, whatever the problem might be, is never fun. This is only complicated more by encountering problems and pieces that are often unfamiliar to the customer. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache by working as close as possible with your mechanic or locksmith to determine exactly what is wrong with a part, making sure that quality replacement parts are used for the repair, and that the most qualified person is being used to make it. By using these guidelines, you will far more often than not get a good repair done.

Author: Larry White

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