Need Help With 1996 VW Polo Door Lock Cylinder!?


My driver’s side door lock had been pretty temperamental over the last few months, it used to take a couple of turns of the key to get the thing to open. The pin used to rise but nothing would happen until the 2nd turn of the key or if you tried to open it holding the handle at a different angle. Now today, it just completely gave up on me. My passenger side lock just spins and spins anyway so I was forced to clamber through the boot to open the door.

The door opens fine if you don’t lock it or at least I think so.

I went to VW and described the problem, they said I probably need a new lock cylinder on both sides as something on the back of them had probably gone. It would have been £50 each side inc fitting but I have decided to go for the cheaper option and just buy the lock cylinders for £15ea. I told the guy I wanted to be able to use my current key with it and he said something about keeping the key in while you take the old lock out, and then he went on to say that with the new locks you need to insert the key bit by bit and adjust some springy things. But what do you do inbetween that?!

It all sounds very complicated and fiddly and the Haynes Manual was not much help in that department. I won’t be getting the lock cylinders til Thursday so I haven’t seen them yet but I’m panicking lol.

Has anybody else had experience of doing this or does anyone know of a decent guide if one exists? Were they right about it being the lock cylinders?

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4 Responses to Need Help With 1996 VW Polo Door Lock Cylinder!?

  1. Paul

    Probably best fitting new barrels. After all,its a VW and still a great little car but cars are money boxes anyway. I used http://www.vwvortex.com. Got great help regarding similar prob. on my ’98 Golf.

  2. Alfonzo

    your lock cylinders MAY be beyond hope but,
    I’d check to see if the retaining clip is present, or fell into to door panel. this may be the problem because the pass side turns around and around,
    (it’s also disconnected from the metal slider bar that releases the locking mechanisum in the door)

    And yes, if you go ahead and replace the lock cylinders you will have to get them “keyed” for your key or get a new key for the new cylinder.

  3. tweek639

    i had this happen me about a year ago. what happened is the pin that attaches the lock barrel to the door pin mechanism has snapped. this happened to me on both sides of my 97 jetta. the dealer wanted somewhere along the lines of $500 to fix this and said it would take several days. I got the parts and did it myself (i needed new lock barrels and the pins that attach at the back.

    After removing the cylinders from the door handle i carefully removed each of the “pins” and their corresponding springs, they are tiny so be very careful, and put them in the proper place in the new barrels. The first side took me about 35-45 minutes because i needed to figure out how to take the things apart. the second side i had assembled greased, and reinstalled in 20 minutes.

    I would not suggest doing this yourself if you don’t know about locks. get someone that knows what they are doing to have a look at it first.

  4. lachlan

    Surely it would be cheating, and cheating yourself if you got other people to help you? The whole point of this test would be to test your suitability for that Uni…

    It is people like you that devalue the University qualification and there are a lot of people who work so hard for themselves so they can get a good career. Just do your best, and don’t expect other people to do your hard work for you.

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