How to Repair the Lock Cylinder on a Dodge Caravan

Updated February 21, 2017

The Dodge Caravan has a number of lock cylinders installed within it. There are the ones in the front doors and the one for the ignition switch, but there is also the lock cylinder for the liftgate in the rear. If any of these lock cylinders need repair, you need to know how to remove the old cylinder and install the replacement. Please note that if you replace one cylinder, it will require a different key than all the others.

Prepare the front door trim panel by rolling up the window and removing the window controls. Remove the window crank by inserting a hooked tool into the hole behind it and disconnecting the clip, or pry off the power controls with a trim stick and unplug the electrical connector.

Remove the trim panel by removing all the retaining screws--they are usually located within the door handle, pull handle and bottom of the panel--prying the panel off its fasteners with a trim stick and disconnecting the inner door handle's lock rod and electrical connectors.

Peel away the plastic watershield behind the panel, making sure you don't tear it.

Release the clips for the door latch and the lock linkages and remove them from the door handle. Remove the nuts holding the outer handle to the door, remove the handle and release the clip holding the lock cylinder to the handle to remove it.

Install the clip for the lock cylinder into the door handle. Position the link arm toward the back of the van, push the lock cylinder into the handle until it snaps into place.

Re-install the door handle and door panel in the reverse order of removal.

Remove the liftgate's trim panel by removing the upper frame moulding with a trim stick. Remove the screws for the pull handle, remove the handle and pry the panel off its fasteners with the trim stick.

Release the clip that holds the latch link to the lock cylinder. Disconnect the electrical connector if one is equipped, then rotate the cylinder's plastic nut by a quarter turn to remove the cylinder.

Install the cylinder into the liftgate and rotate the plastic nut in the opposite direction to secure it. Reconnect the electrical connector and latch link.

Attach the trim panel back on the reverse order of removal.

Take off the knee bolster, which is covered by the steering column. Remove the mounting screws. The steering column cover screws are on the lower half only.

Insert the ignition key into the cylinder and turn it to the "On" position. Press the retaining tab for the lock cylinder with the needle-nose tool and pull the lock cylinder out.

Reconnect the trim panels you removed.

Insert the lock cylinder into the steering column with the key in the cylinder. Make sure the cylinder and key are inserted in the "On" position.


Disconnect the van's negative battery cable before you proceed with any of these Steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Hooked tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Trim stick
  • Needle-nose tool
  • Lock cylinder(s) with key(s)
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About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.