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We are all used to locking and unlocking the car with the key fob once we want to exit or enter the car. However, if the car keeps locking by itself, you could be frustrated when you are trying to enter the car or when are loading the car. While the issue does not directly affect driving, fixing the issue is something you should consider.
The car actuator is one of the most important components of your vehicle and is responsible for signals turning into actions. The most common reason for your car locking or unlocking by itself is often due to the actuator being faulty, which prevents it from converting electrical signals into action.
We must have complete control over the locking and unlocking mechanism of the vehicle. This is not only for safety, especially when you have a kid onboard, but also for comfort purposes. To help you find the underlying cause of the car locking itself, we will explore some of the most common reasons for this fault occurring.
My Car Keeps Locking By Itself – Top 5 Causes And Fixes
As previously mentioned, you could be dealing with your car automatically locking and unlocking without any input from you. Not only does it become dangerous, but it is something you should fix even when it does not directly impact driving or the engine. Here are a few of the most common causes for your car locking by itself.
1. Faulty Actuator
Problem: The actuator should ideally receive the signals from the key fob and put these into action. This means that when you press the “lock” or “unlock” button on the keyfob, it should send the signal to the actuator, which opens or closes the locking mechanism of the car door. However, the actuator could lose the electrical signals when it becomes faulty, mixing them up and automatically locking the door.
Solution: The actuator is a small component located in the vehicle and you will spend plenty of time trying to find it. However, the signals are hard to understand if you are not versed in-car electronics. Visiting a mechanic would help to identify the issue while helping you to rectify the problem with a fix or replacement.
2. Central Locking Configuration
Solution: There is no real solution to this problem and it is a software program built into the modern car. You should be aware of the issue and work around this. You should not need to have any doors open when driving, which is a great safety feature. Be sure to check that it is not part of the car design before taking the car to a mechanic.
3. Car Battery/ Keyfob Battery
Problem: In modern cars, the car and keys are controlled by various batteries. In your car, you will need efficient battery power to activate all the electronic components. The key fob needs battery power to send the correct signals to your car. Should either of these batteries die, it could significantly affect your car.
Solution: Both these battery issues are things you should pick up. Your car might not start without the physical key or you might need to use a specific manner that allows you to start the car without a functioning key fob. It is best to test the voltage on both the key and the car to ensure that it is not simply a battery issue.
4. Faulty Door Sensors
Problem: Modern cars have hundreds of sensors, which are active at all times and help to indicate to the components whether something is wrong or when a door does not properly close. You often notice this as a beeping signal on the dash. However, these sensors could get damaged over time, sending incorrect signals and preventing the door from unlocking.
Solution: This is one of those significant issues that will be very hard to detect. The likelihood of this is so low that even mechanics we spoke to do not check this at first glance. However, your mechanic would be able to eliminate all the other possible causes and eventually stumble upon the faulty door sensor, which needs to be replaced.
5. Damaged Wiring
Problem: From the actuator, which receives the signal, your vehicle will have numerous wires. Much like the human brain, it would send signals via the ECU to the various components. Over time, these wires can wear or even fray, which damages them. This would hinder the electrical signal from traveling to the destination it should.
Solution: You will need to identify which wires are damaged and this would require you to use a voltage detector, which could check to see if any electrical current is present. Ideally, you want to test every wire, which could take ages. Fortunately, most mechanics will connect a computer to your vehicle and test the wiring, which helps them identify and fix the issue.
Why Does My Door Keep Locking Itself?
If you unlock the doors, only to find that when you eventually open the door, your door is locked again, it could be the DPI (door position indicator). The manufacturer often sets a time limit when the doors are unlocked to lock them in case the driver forgets. You could be taking too long to open the door after unlocking it for this to kick in.
Can A Car Lock Itself With The Keys Inside?
Nothing is more frustrating than locking your keys inside your car. However, the modern car features programming to lock the door after some time. The DPI would determine this. If you leave your keys inside while standing outside, it is possible that the keys can be locked inside. We would recommend keeping the keys on your person or leaving a window open.