Kwikset Lock Keeps Jamming (Reasons And Troubleshooting)

Kwikset smart lock jamming is a somewhat well-known issue that is generally easily fixable.

Kwikset lock jamming is typically caused by misalignment that causes binding or low battery level. Removing obstacles preventing the deadbolt’s free movement, recalibrating the lock, and replacing old batteries fixes most jamming Kwikset locks.

However, there are a few important caveats that are worth knowing, as Kwikset smart locks do have their peculiarities.

Kwikset Lock Keeps Jamming

Common Causes of Kwikset Smart Lock Jamming

Go through this troubleshooting checklist.

Those are the common issues that can cause Kwikset jamming.

Alignment Issues

If your Kwikset lock works well when you open the door, this is a good sign that an alignment problem could prevent the lock from operating smoothly when the door is closed.

Anything that is misaligned can potentially lead to binding, causing the lock to jam.

  • Ensure the deadbolt latch and strike plate are not misaligned.
  • Check the lower latch (for the lever or knob) and its strike plate. You might have to readjust the tab on the lower strike plate if it is throwing off the deadbolt latch alignment.

The problem can also be connected to the Kwikset lock.

  • Remove the lock and remove the adapter ring. Install the lock without the adapter ring and see if this fixes the issue. This can fix jamming issues caused by a misaligned door hole.

Be thorough and ensure the alignment is really good.


Physical Obstructions

Another very common problem causing jamming is if there is something in the way preventing the deadbolt from fully extending.

  • Check the latch deadbolt hole in the door frame and ensure that nothing gets in the way preventing or limiting the free movement of the deadbolt.
  • The strike plate hole should be at least 1 inch (or 25 mm) deep, as per Kwikset recommendations.

Be nitpicky here.

Even tiny obstructions can cause issues such as debris or tiny wood splinters. In other words, you want the setup to be spot on.

Due to the weather throughout the year, doors can warp just enough to prevent the lock from working normally. Temperature swings, especially really hot weather, or humidity changes, among other causes, can all cause a door to warp.

If you have to push or pull on the door in order to close or lock it, this could mean it has warped.

If necessary, bore a bigger and deeper hole. You may also have to readjust or widen the strike plate.

You can also contact Kwikset to order a Warped Door Kit.


Overtightening Issues

This is an issue that can be observed with many different types of locks, not just smart locks.

Try locking the door using your keys. If you cannot lock it easily, remove the interior assembly and try again.

If you are unable to lock the door again, this could mean the mounting plate is screwed in too tightly. Loosen the screws a bit and see if you are now able to operate the lock.


Low Battery Level

It is not always obvious that the batteries need to be changed.

This one peculiarity about Kwikset smart locks can catch many by surprise.

The lock may become difficult to operate manually due to a low battery level. Then, when the lock is left to lock automatically or remotely, the result is frequent jamming.

This can happen at different points in time, but it has been generally found to occur when the battery level gets around 55% to 30%.

Use quality disposable AA alkaline batteries from any major brand.


Disengaged Clutch

Sometimes, the clutch can become disengaged, or the turn piece can be rotated past its normal range, preventing the lock from working properly.

To fix this, remove the battery and interior assembly from the door.

Check if the lock operates normally using a key.

Next, check if the turn piece on the interior assembly can be turned to the vertical position. If you are unable to do it, this means that the clutch has indeed become disengaged.

To fix that, put the battery cover back into the interior assembly. Depending on the lock model you are working with, ensure the turn piece and the shaft are aligned.

Then using a little force, rotate the turn piece 180 degrees clockwise until you hear a click. This process re-engages the clutch.

When ready, reinstall the lock back on the door. Remember to align the turn piece with the torque blade.


Using the Wrong Deadbolt

The SmartCode Kwikset locks require a special tapered latch bolt to function properly.

Older deadbolts are typically not tapered, and using the wrong type of deadbolt can cause jamming.

So make sure to use the latch bolt that came with your Kwikset.


Re-calibrating the Kwikset Smart Lock

Handling is the process of latch calibration.

This process can fix a number of different issues, such as clicking noises, deadbolt going in the wrong direction, and lock jamming.

The first time the lock is powered on and the first time it is operated through the Kwikset app, it will automatically perform the calibration process.

However, in some instances, it is entirely possible that the calibration process does not happen automatically or that it needs to be repeated later on.

To manually re-handle your Kwikset lock:

  1. Take the battery cover off and remove the batteries.
  2. Press and hold the program button.
  3. While holding the button, insert the batteries.
  4. Release the button after 3 seconds.
  5. The LED light will flash red and then green.
  6. Press the Program button.
  7. This will prompt the lock to operate the deadbolt to ensure the deadbolt throw is correctly set up.
  8. The LED will flash green if the procedure has been successful and red if there is an issue operating the deadbolt.

The re-handling process typically takes 10 to 20 seconds and will finish with the deadbolt fully extended out.

For a quick take on what this process looks like, check out this video below.

Certain locks are re-handled by pressing the (physical) lock button on the keypad. Here’s a quick example with the Kwikset Aura.

Kwikset False Jammed Notifications

There are cases where a Kwikset smart lock will keep sending jammed notifications even though it works just fine. This can happen even when the door is left completely open, and there is nothing that can possibly block the deadbolt.

Here’s what you can do to fix the false jammed notifications:

  1. Remove the lock from any 3rd party apps it may have been added to (i.e., Ring App).
  2. Factory reset the Kwikset smart lock.
  3. Go through the re-handling process (outlined above).
  4. Ensure there is enough space for the deadbolt to move freely without anything creating any friction or obstructions.
  5. Check if the batteries are in need of a change. I recommend changing the batteries if they are near 50% charge, just in case.
  6. When changing the batteries, start by manually locking and then unlocking the door. Then remove and replace the batteries.
  7. Use the Kwikset App or press the lock button on the keypad to lock the door.


What to Do if Nothing Works

If you have gone through the troubleshooting steps outlined here and nothing works, it is a good time to call Kwikset Customer Support or the store where you bought your lock from.

You may be dealing with a faulty product, in which case it may be possible to return the lock for a new one.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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