I bought a 83 Quantum about a year and a half ago and ever since I have not been able to get the locks to work on the doors or trunk. I have lived with it but it gets old not being able to lock the car!! I cannot push the door locks down from the inside and the key is very hard to turn on the outside, so I do not force it. It is this way on the trunk and front door. I can feel it start to turn, then it gets very stiff, I know they are the right keys!! Any idea what this might be? Does this car have a central locking system?
Yours may (probably does, but doesn't hurt to check) have central locking.
Quick check: the central locking pump is located in (using my wagon as an example) the right-rear corner of the cargo bay (for you, trunk.)
That said, your lock problem sounds more mechanical in nature - that is, the locks are binding. Three decades of crap accumulated in them will do that.
Easy fix, if that's all that's wrong:
- remove the lock (latch) from the door.
- thoroughly clean the lock. If you have access to a parts washer, great. Otherwise, soak it in parts cleaner, or a 50/50 mix of acetone & ATF (it's a great solvent, and penetrating oil.)
Rinse out with brake cleaner, and dry (compressed air helps, if you have access.)
- marvel at how door lock now operates better.
- lightly grease all moving parts. Wurth Tru-Glide works great (available at most shop-jobber stores); Sil-Glide brake grease also works.
- again, marvel at how well it operates (it'll be better still now at this point.)
- reinstall lock.
And, I speak from experience here. I flat-out could not lock the driver's door on my QSW. Pulled the lock, cleaned it out in the parts washer at work, blew it dry, greased it, and reinstalled it. Feels factory fresh now.
It works so well, that I've added 'servicing' the rest of its locks (as well as those on my 'rocco) to the to-do list.
It's the cool thing about odl-school tech (particularly, old-school VW tech) - often times, you can actually fix things (or, "service" them), and get them working properly again.