The History And Evolution Of Front Door Locksets In Cars


When Did Front Door Locksets In Cars Appear?

Believe it or not, the earliest automobiles didn't have any security at all. Remember how the first cars did not have canopies and locks? It wasn't due to the lack of thefts or break-ins. The simple explanation was that these cars were often guarded by drivers and owned by prestigious families who kept the vehicle in garages, or had someone on guard at all times. Some automakers had an ingenious idea - how about a detachable steering wheel, one that the owner could carry with him at all times? Then that person could leave his or her vehicle unattended while they go about their business.

The Evolution Of Car Doors And Locks

As time went on, it became quite obvious that car security should be stepped up to prevent car theft and burglary. Car latches were first employed upon to provide a measure of security. You can easily see the car latches, as most car doors are fastened to the vehicle's body with a latch that can be locked (manually or electronically, in the later times). This allowed an easy opening mechanism, as well as providing an option to lock in the car from the inside. The door locks themselves have evolved over time, with the front door locksets either individually or centrally operated by switch or remote control. The difference in security between the front and rear doors is simple- rear passengers may be fitted in with kid safety locks to prevent children from exiting the vehicle without notice, while the front takes care of the overall security of the automobile.

The Two Main Front Door Locksets

Electronic lock types are taking over newer car models, but almost every car you see has a mechanical lock primarily located on the front door. The two most common lock types are the following:

Pin Tumbler - This car lock has metal pins which vary in size, located in the lock cylinder. Much like your front door's lock, a key that has the appropriate cut height is the only key that can open the car door. The right height fits into all the pins, raising them so that the key can be turned.

Wafer Tumbler - Similar to the Pin Tumbler, but this lock has flat wafers that vary in size. When the right key is inserted into the lock, the wafers align and the key can be turned, unraveling the lock.



Modern Electronic Car Locks

Technology has evolved so much that most newer cars have built-in electronic locks. A keyless entry system is one example - it can provide access to the owner without so much putting in a mechanical key. The security provided is usually a keypad that can be found at the driver's door, from which the owner can put in a pre-determined key combination to unlock the door. It can also refer to remote control locking, in which the car owner can press a button to either lock or unlock their vehicle within close proximity. These newer front door locksets have computer chips embedded in them to prevent unauthorized access via a fake or duplicate mechanical key.