Modern cars come with power door locks that can be activated automatically with the push of a button. While these locks are incredibly convenient and secure, they come with their own share of problems. When they malfunction, they can lock you out of your car or leave you with no means to lock and secure the vehicle. This is why it's paramount to identify the underlying problem before you get stuck. With this in mind, here are three common causes of faults in power door locks and how to fix them.
Faulty Power Door Actuator
The actuator is the heart of a car's power door locking system. When you push the button on your key fob or input the code on your door, the actuator receives the signal and locks or unlocks the door. Thus, if it is faulty, it can fail to receive the commands. The following are the signs indicating your door lock has a faulty actuator:
- Lock takes time to respond to commands
- Unusual noises when you lock or unlock your car door
- Door lock that locks or unlocks erratically without any commands
Each lock in your car has its own actuator. Thus, test the rest of the locks to see if they're working. If they are, the problem lies in the individual door's actuator. However, if other locks aren't working, you may have a dead car battery.
Old or Worn Door Lock Wiring
Car locks have wires or cables that extend or retract to lock and unlock the door. Years of use can cause the wires to wear out. As a result, they won't be able to respond properly to locking and unlocking commands. Thus, if your lock is responding slowly or failing to work entirely, you may be dealing with faulty wiring. This problem is usually common in old cars. Luckily, replacing worn wiring is an easy and affordable task that can be performed by an automotive locksmith.
Malfunctioned Key Fob
The problem with your locks could be with the key fob. Programming issues with the fob can cause it to fail to send a signal to the door locking mechanism. With no signal to act on, the actuator won't activate the locks. Also, if the fob's battery is dead, it won't send commands to the vehicle. In this case, none of the door locks will work. Replace the fob battery if you haven't done so in a long time. If the battery isn't the problem, you need to reprogram the fob.
Failing car locks are not only an inconvenience, but they can also expose your car to theft. Thus, contact an automotive locksmith if your power door locks aren't working correctly.