Probem with lock

I suddenly have a problem with my front door lock which i will blame on my sister as it was fine before she came to stay.

Its just a normal lock in a UPVC door. The type that locks itself on closing and you need the key to open the door from the outside. Suddenly when i turn the key anti clockwise to open it stops just before the point when it should unlock and wont budge any further. I feel like it would turn more if i was a contendor for strong man but im not.

Im reluctant to call a locksmith as god knows what they would charge. Any ideas?
23:03 Thu 02nd Feb 2012
 
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wd40 and pulling the door towards you when you go to turn the key. it might be the cold. I have trouble with our back door the key just will not turn some nights!
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Why didnt i think of wd40! Oh thats right, cos im dumb :)

Its a good job somebody has been home when i get back from work the past few days but if i crawl home after a night out tomorrow i wont be so lucky.
plastic doors are sods they dont half play up in this cold weather!
Open the door .. insert your key and rotate it through a full locking cycle. If it operates freely. Then more than likely your bolt is binding. Dont smother it with WD40... ( something tells me you have already done that) With the bolt stuck out of the side of the lock. Wipe a spot of vaseline on the bolt, making sure you get some under the bolt.
Then close the door and try it again. If it seems fo be eaier to lock. Then you will now know that the bolt was binding in the keep (thats the metal plate in the frame).
This problem is remedied by adjusting the hinges.

If when you open the door and turn the key through a full cycle... the lock sticks, then this tells you that the lock cylinder may be at fault.
Remove the cylinder, and put the key in and rotate it. If it rotates freely, then the problem may well be the locking mechanism..... and unless you can identify your locking mechanism ( there are hundreds and hundreds) it's time to call a locksmith.
and don't force the key too much they can snap off in the lock
If Alva's advice hasn't helped - Replacing the gearbox and repacking the door and adjusting hinges can be as low as £150. Discontinued or expensive mechanisms obviously can be much more to repair.

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