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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

Glove Compartment Lock Replacement: Tips For Fixing A Broken Glove Box Lock

by Ralph March 7, 2018

A broken glove compartment lock causes a lot of hassle in your day to day driving. Whether the glove box won’t open or the glove box won’t close, there is a solution. Glove box lock replacement can get your car back to effectively carrying all of your important documentation securely. Whether you have a keyed glove box lock cylinder that is not working, or you want to install one, there are some information you need to know about glove box lock replacement.

The Basics of a Glove Compartment Lock

Not every glove box has a keyed lock, many times there will only be a handle that manipulates a latch. This latch secures to a catch (often a rectangular loop). When the glove box is working fine, the latch grabs hold of the catch. It is not until the handle is pulled that the latch retracts, pulling free from the catch.

With a glove box lock, you can interrupt the handle’s ability to freely retract from the catch. A glove compartment lock often has a default position of unlocked and must have a key inserted into the cylinder and turned to lock. When the glove box lock is opened, you will need to use the key again in order to lock it.

This does not mean that you cannot lock your keys in your glove compartment. Similar to when you have locked your keys in the trunk of a car by accident, you can unlock your glove box lock, and while it is open, lock it again. Because the latch is free moving (unlike a standard deadbolt) it can secure while the cylinder is in the locked position.

How is your glove compartment lock broken?

When there is an issue with your glove compartment lock, it inevitably comes down to two very different concerns. There are several causes for each of these complications, so look into your problem to better solve the issue with your broken glove compartment lock. Before you go for a full glove box lock replacement, you should know what you are looking to fix. Not every issue will be solved by getting a new glove compartment lock.

1. Glove Box Lock Won’t Open

There are several different ways that a glove compartment lock can break so that it does not open properly. Firstly the cylinder could have issues such as a continuous spin or preventing the key from fully inserting. The latch could also no longer communicating properly with the cylinder or handle so that even when the glove compartment lock is in the unlocked position, it cannot open.

With a glove compartment lock stuck, you need to get the container open before you can address the issue. If you want a full glove box lock replacement or are hoping to merely fix the issue, you still need to get the box open. This allows you to access the set screws for the full assembly of the glove box lock so that you can view all the components and see where connections might be failing.

2. Glove Box Lock Won’t Close

The first thing that you should do when your glove box lock will not secure adequate enough for the glove box to remain shut, is make sure the latch and catch are not being blocked. An overstuffed glove box can leave a wide enough gap, or significant enough pressure to prevent the latch of the glove compartment lock from securing to the catch.

Besides impediments from overstocking your glove box, you catch might be slipping. This means that as you push your glove box closed, it moves the catch back and out of the way of the glove compartment lock. Some of the plastic could have also sheared off so that the catch cannot be properly gripped by the glove box lock.

Glove Box Lock Replacement

A glove box lock replacement starts with the removal of the current glove compartment lock. This requires your glove box to be open. As has already been mentioned, if you are experiencing a glove compartment lock broken in a way that is keeping the compartment from opening you might need to seek professional help.

Opening a glove box lock will be a separate service than a basic car lockout, and therefore, you should not expect for it to be the same price to open a locked car. If you are hoping to get around this cost, there are some things you should know about opening a stuck glove compartment lock.

Glove Compartment Lock Stuck – Quick Tips

  • If you have just lost the working keys, contact a locksmith for some new car keys. (Even if the glove box takes a separate key than your car door, the right locksmith can help you out).
  • Each make and model of car will have some variation in the way the glove box is installed. (What works in one instance will not always work in another).
  • Using a screwdriver, you can open the glove box lock of several Honda and Acura models.
  • With almost every glove box lock, you are trying to gain access to the latch so that you can depress it. (If you can find a way to depress the latch, the glove compartment lock will open).
  • Call a professional before you go THIS far.

Who should handle your glove box lock replacement?

Glovebox Lock

Once you have your glove compartment lock open, it is time to determine who will handle the ultimate glove box lock replacement. You can undergo this process yourself or contact a professional. Both of those options have certain considerations.

Contacting a Professional

The main professionals that will properly handle a glove box lock replacement are a locksmith and your dealership. Both will likely need to order the replacement parts. Even if you have a newer car, it is unlikely that the dealership will be prepared for your request. In this regard, the dealership and the locksmith do not differ.

As long as you contact an auto locksmith and explain to them that you need a glove box lock replacement, you are sure not to be wasting your time. You might be able to save a little bit of time on research by going to the dealership, but that is likely to end up costing more than the locksmith service. It is up to you if you would rather spend a bit of time on research or spend more on the part and the service.

Do It Yourself

The largest concern with handling the glove box lock replacement yourself is getting the right parts. You need the glove compartment lock assembly that will fit properly with your existing glove box. Without this, you will need another glove box altogether. You might also buy more or less than you need if you are not fully aware of the problem confronting your glove box lock.

In terms of your replacement glove box lock cylinder, you will almost certainly have to carry around a key other than your car key. It is near impossible that your replacement glove box lock cylinder will be keyed alike to your car doors and ignition. It is also unlikely that you will have what you need to rekey the new glove box lock cylinder.

If you are looking to only buy a glove box lock cylinder instead of the entire glove box lock assembly, be sure that the cylinder will fit in the lock housing. You also need to be able to fit the pieces together so that locking and unlock the glove box lock works smoothly. Between fit and key concerns, there will be quite a bit of research before you get to the actual process of replacing a glove box lock.

As long as you are replacing one assembly for another, glove box lock replacement is as simple as removing the set screws for the broken glove compartment lock, fitting in the new one, and then screwing it in. The tricky part can be disassembling everything to the point that you can remove the broken glove box lock. While prying everything apart be very careful not to break any plastic latches.

Can I add a lock to a glove box?

Yes, you can add a glove box lock to a glove box that does not currently have a lock. You can do this by either getting a new glove box or making changes to your existing glove box. Getting a new glove box will be more expensive, but it would not necessarily be more difficult than having to rework an existing glove box.

Should I use a universal glove box lock?

As far as universal glove box locks go, the most you are going to get is a universal glove box lock cylinder. Even these are not universal (strictly speaking). If you are hoping to add a lock, it is possible to use a more universal glove box lock, so all you need to do is drill a mounting hole into your glove box.

What do I need in a glove box lock kit?

The main thing you need in a glove box lock kit is the replacement parts for what has broken. With a glove compartment lock broken and no solid idea on what has gone wrong, you will need a full replacement. This means that everything about the currently broken glove compartment lock needs to be replaced.

If only the cylinder is broken, be sure you get a replacement cylinder and a key that will work with that lock. Not every replacement glove box lock cylinder comes with a working key. Just as there are dangers of buying aftermarket electronic car keys, saving money by getting an aftermarket glove compartment lock has its own risks. As long as you go through a locksmith, you can avoid this potential hassle.

Parting Thoughts

Based on your understanding of how a glove compartment lock works, you can glean the particular complication that you lock is experiencing. For glove box lock replacement, you need to get your glove box open. The ways to do this vary to the degree that it is impossible to go into much of any detail. It can be rather complicated, so we recommend contacting an automotive locksmith to help you through the process.

Category: Automotive, How To's

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