Power door lock problems

Written by shanan miller
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Power door lock problems
Power door lock problems can sometimes be fixed by the car owner. (key image by Fantasista from Fotolia.com)

Many power door lock problems can be handled by a small amount of troubleshooting and correction. Power door locks are meant to provide safety and convenience, and most issues are simply owner misunderstanding of function. However, power door locks can malfunction and may need repair by a professional. But most power door lock issues can be handled by the owner.

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Key Fob Issues

Key fobs provide convenience to an owner by allowing for locking or unlocking the vehicle at the touch of a button while walking towards or away from a vehicle. Key fob issues may include the inability to unlock all doors by touching the unlock button. Also, having a hatch-type vehicle may also be a problem if not unlocking at the press of a button. Also, having to be very close to the vehicle to use the key fob can defeat the purpose of its convenience.

Key Fob Solutions

Key fob problems are the easiest to solve. When the unlock button is pressed once, only the driver's side door will unlock. When pressed twice, all doors---including the hatch---will unlock. Pressing the lock button one time will lock all the doors at once, and pressing it twice will set the passive alarm, if equipped. To correct distance issues, change the battery in the key fob.

Automatic Locking Issues

When hitting a speed of 5mph (or more, depending on the vehicle), the doors will automatically lock. This is considered a safety feature. When stopped at a stop sign or traffic light, all doors will be locked, preventing the rare occurrence of hijacking or robbery. Shifting the vehicle into "park" causes the doors to automatically unlock, without driver interaction. All of this is normal, although not always desired by the driver.

Automatic Locking Solutions

Along with automatic door locks, equipped vehicles often have an information centre either on the dash, radio or other middle-dash location. An information centre allows a driver to change the setting on the car. Scroll through the menu until the feature for "door locking" comes up, and then change accordingly. See the owner's manual for more details, as some vehicles are more difficult to personalise.

Other Issues

If the battery has been changed in the key fob and it is still not working, it may need to be reprogrammed. This can only be done at a service station, most likely at a same-make dealership. It is best to set an appointment to have any unresolved issues taken care of. Visit a shop for issues such as complete failure of automatic door locks. An electrical problem or part failure can be the cause.

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