My Kryptonite Lock Won't Open

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: EsbenAF/iStock/GettyImages

Kryptonite bike locks do a good job of keeping others from taking off with your ride, but once in a while, the lock can jam and keep you out too. Fortunately, most issues are minor and are easily fixed in just a few minutes with simple tools. If you have a problem you can't solve on your own, like a bent or broken key, Kryptonite's famously helpful customer service department can help. If your key is bent or broken, just send the lock, key, and key number to Kryptonite and ask it to send a new lock.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Is It Locked?

Ironically, Kryptonite locks sometimes fail to open because they didn't lock properly in the first place. If you can't get your key into the lock, take a close look at the bottom of the shackle legs. On one side, you will find a metal piece known as the spline. This is the part that clicks into the lock and secures the locking mechanism.

Sometimes, the spline slips a bit too far down the shackle leg, preventing the shackle from clicking securely into place during locking. If that's the case, slide the spline up the shackle leg a bit and try closing the lock again. When the lock is properly closed, the key should easily slide in all the way and rotate 180 degrees.

Advertisement

Check the Disc Alignment

When you look inside the keyhole of your Kryptonite lock, you should see a series of small silver discs aligned down the side of the hole. Sometimes, however, these discs can get jostled out of place. When they do, they can prevent your key from entering the lock all the way. To solve this problem, grab a small screwdriver and insert it into the keyhole. Use it to gently push any misaligned discs back into place so that the key can once again slide unobstructed into the lock.

A Flush and a Lube

Sometimes, small pieces of dirt and debris can get stuck inside your bicycle lock and prevent the key from turning properly. Dirt can also gum up the works, making the lock stiff. The solution for both problems is to flush the lock thoroughly with a cleanser followed by a lubricant. Kryptonite recommends WD-40 for flushing and cleaning the lock followed by an application of a wax-based lubricant that contains Teflon.

Advertisement

Spray the lubricant generously into the lock and then allow it to sit for about 10 minutes so it has time to work. After letting the lock sit, give it another quick shot of lubricant and then insert your key, twisting it five to 10 times to work in the lubricant. Cleaning and lubricating your lock can fix it if you have a problem, but Kryptonite recommends doing so once a month to keep your bike lock in working condition and to prevent problems.

Is It Frozen?

During snowy weather, it's possible for water to find its way into your Kryptonite lock and freeze. This can be enough to keep the key from turning the lock. If your lock is frozen, the easiest way to thaw it is to bring it inside. This isn't possible, of course, if it's currently securing your bike. In that case, try exhaling on the lock a few times. Sometimes, the warmth of your breath is enough to thaw a minor freeze.

Advertisement

If your breath doesn't do it, pouring warm water over the lock may help. If you have some handy, you can also spray the lock with a car windshield de-icer. Whatever you use to thaw the lock, make sure it's completely dry before using it again. Otherwise, you risk a refreeze.

A Stuck Shackle

Occasionally, you may find that although your key seems to be working, your lock still won't open. In this case, it's possible that the shackle on your lock is stuck. Spray some Teflon lubricant into the area where the shackle slides into the lock. Allow the lubricant to sit on the lock for about 10 minutes and then give the end of the shackle a few light taps. This will free the shackle and allow your lock to open.

Advertisement

references

Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.

View Work