Why Are Your Car Door Locks Not Working Properly?

Lisa Steuer McArdle
Dec 28, 2021 · 5 min read
Technological advancements like power door locks are a convenient security feature in most cars today. That is when they work right. At some point, the central power locking system may develop some electrical problems.
Read on to learn about what to do if you have trouble with your keyless entry.
If you are having trouble locking your car doors, there are a few possible causes of the problem.

Why is your power door lock causing trouble?

Several causes might lead to door lock problems. But let's first understand how the power door locking system works. 
When using a power locking system, the key fob or car central locking remote sends a signal to a receiver paired to an engine control unit. The receiver will then coordinate the system's function, which activates each door's solenoids to lock or unlock the door simultaneously. 
However, according to Autoblog, some common causes that may lead to malfunctioning of the car locking system include:
  • Dead key fob battery. Door lock issues can be as simple as replacing worn-out key fob batteries with new ones. The batteries are coin-sized in most cases, but it is crucial to reference your owner's manual for accurate size. 
  • Blown fuse. In any case, the power locking system pairs with the car's overall electric system. One or several fuses are connected to protect the system from short circuits or electrical damage. So, before taking your car to a dealer for power door checks, consider inspecting the door lock fuse to help avoid unnecessary costs. Remember, blown fuses will make sounds upon shaking and produce a burning smell. You can also tell by confirming whether the small metal squiggle present at the middle of the fuse is connected or not. Upon confirmation, replace the fuse with a new one and of the same  amperage as the old fuse.
  • Faulty key fob. Malfunctioning key fobs are more complex than replacing dead batteries with new ones. You may realize the problem still exists even after replacing the batteries. That will require experts to diagnose. The expert will connect the fob to a computer to confirm the proper signal response. If it fails, you will have to replace it with a new one.  

How to replace a physical door lock cylinder if it's worn out

A door lock cylinder is one of the crucial security features that protects your car from burglary or theft.
Whether you lock your car from the door from the passenger's side or driver's side, the mechanism is designed to ensure a smooth lock or unlock the door with no hitch. But over time, the lock cylinder gets worn out, making it hard to lock or unlock. 
Even worse is when the cylinder does not release the key or breaks off the key in the door. When carrying out car door lock replacement, consider ordering a new and a similar key cut. If you fail to get a similar lock cylinder as the old one, you will have to replace the ignition tumbler and the trunk cylinder if your car has a trunk. 
According to YourMechanic, the very first step is to inspect the condition of the door lock cylinder. Ensure you have tools and equipment ready, including a flat head screwdriver, door panel remover, torque bit set, cross tip or screwdriver, wheel chocks, ratchet with metric and standard sockets, needle-nose pliers, and a new door lock cylinder for your vehicle.  
Prepare your car by parking it in a flat or garage for easy and safe repair. Ensure you have engaged parking brakes and wheel chocks to prevent any movement. 
Remove the old door lock cylinder by manually unlocking the affected door. Then remove the window crank right after fully closing the window. 
Install the new door lock cylinder by assembling all pieces, like the old worn-out lock cylinder. After everything is in place, ensure you reconnect the battery to test the functionality of the cylinder.

Importance of regular car maintenance

Regular car maintenance is as essential as the gasoline fill-up when heading out on your daily routine. It reduces the chances of an unexpected breakdown and costly repairs. Cars are too vulnerable to minor things that could end up being a big deal. For instance, a dead battery, worn-out tires, dirty air filters, or corroded spark plug might cause problems when least expected. 
Regular car maintenance minimizes time and cost spent on repairs. Your auto shop will always work to ensure any minor problems are fixed and perform preventative maintenance service to your car. 
It is also important to note that vehicle maintenance helps your car last longer. Always change your engine oil regularly while inspecting belts and the hoses. That will help maintain car performance and prevent unexpected engine failure. 

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