I've had what sounds like the same issue with my bowdown racks; for me,
the cylinder rotates in the rack base, causing the plunger on the lock
to go out of position, the key turns, but it will not withdraw from its
slot, and the rack is not locked. The cylinder then needs to be rotated
back into position with a screwdirver.
If you are a new Bowdown owner, and have a chance to return them,
consider doing so. Then go buy the Thule model of the same rack. Will
fit Yakima crossbars and are much quieter when mounted and not in use
(which is about 99 percent of the time....) I like Yakima overall, but
this is not their best work.
Answered on 5/20/2013 by Anonymous