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What Causes Power Door Locks to Stop Working? (8 Reasons)

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

what causes power door locks to stop working

Power locks are the mechanisms used on car doors for security and automaticity. Needless to say, when your power door locks stop working, they will prevent you from accessing your vehicle, which in turn, delays your travel.

Fortunately for you, there is something you can do depending on what is wrong with your power door lock. In this article, I will present what causes power door locks to stop working and the solutions you can do to fix this problem.

Why Are Power Door Locks Not Working?


There are several factors that can be the culprit of your power locks not working, such as the duration of use and absence of power. The following are seven major causes why you have automatic locks not working:

1. You have a faulty key fob.

Mainly due to damage like broken contacts, a key fob can become faulty, which renders it unable to send a signal to lock or unlock your car on all doors. If you drop your key fob frequently or it has too much dirt inside, you are likely to end up with car doors that won’t work.

2. The battery inside the key fob is dead.


After four to five years of use, a key fob’s battery can drain and will not work anymore. The telltale sign of having a draining battery is the weakening of the signal strength.

3. There is a blown fuse.

If you have a power door lock problem only on one door, it can be attributed to a blown fuse. The fuse for power locks is often in the car hood, and you can pull it out with pliers.

4. There are wire problems.

If your door lock stopped working, there might be wire disconnections or short circuits inside your power door lock. This might happen during repairs and maintenance.

5. Your mechanism is frozen.


Under extreme weather conditions, freezing temperatures will result in your electric door lock not working. This is because the mechanism of your power lock gets frozen, which makes it harder for it to move.

If your power locks click but won’t lock, this is often the cause.

6. You have a faulty actuator.

Actuators are responsible for converting electrical signals that are sent from a key fob or a remote to physical forces or actions. A faulty actuator would result in the lock not working due to dead motors, gears, or a blown actuator fuse.

7. Your lock switch or solenoid is damaged.

The lock switch can incur wear and tear that renders it inoperable. If all switches on the passenger side and drivers side are fine, the solenoid which moves the steel rod that unlocks the door may be faulty.

8. Dirt or friction is keeping the lock from opening.

There might be dirt or corrosion that prevents the lock mechanism from working normally. In this case, cleaning and lubricating should solve the issue.

What Are the Ways to Fix It?


If you have already done power door locks troubleshooting and identified the problems that caused you lock to stop working, you can follow these simple solutions to access your car doors again:

1. Change the batteries.


Open your key fob, remove the drained or dead battery, and replace it with a new one. Your key fobs should work normally after battery change.

Note: Key fobs usually use 3-volt lithium coin batteries, which are commonly available and bought in hardware stores.

2. Replace your key fob.

Go to the dealership where you bought your vehicle and explain that you have a car door lock not working with key fob. They will diagnose what is wrong with your key fob, which will decide if it can be fixed or replaced.

3. Replace the blown fuse.

Open the car’s fuse panel and cover, remove the blown fuse, and install a new one. You’ll likely see labels for each fuse along with their amperage. Remember to size the replacement fuse correctly to avoid future problems.

4. Warm your car up.

If your Toyota Camry door lock problems are caused by extremely cold weather, you can use a hair dryer to warm the car door. You can also use a homemade anti-ice solution that is made of rubbing alcohol.

5. Call a professional.


If you can’t seem to pinpoint what’s wrong with your power door lock, call a mechanic. They can reset automatic door locks for you and get the vehicle going for 300 to 900 dollars.

Problems with the actuator, switches, and wiring are also better resolved by a professional. Usually, repair involves removing the switch and checking its wiring with a multimeter.

For the actuator, the mechanic will need to take out the car door panel and replace the wiring. Resistance and continuity checks may also be performed.

Tips and Notes to Prevent This Problem


Repairing the door locks of a Lexus RX 350 or any other vehicle might cost you time and money. In order to prevent future problems with your power door locks, follow these tips and notes:

  • Regularly change your batteries if the key fob’s signal is already weak.
  • Send your car to regular maintenance.
  • Don’t park your car outside, especially in extremely cold weather.
  • Be gentle with your key fob.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a fuse for automatic door locks?

Yes, there is a fuse for automatic door locks. The fuse is installed to protect your power door lock from excessive electric current.

How do I know if my door lock actuator is broken?

You will know that your door lock actuator is broken when your power locks keep locking and unlocking with noise. Determine what causes automatic truck door locks to quit working by checking the problems we listed above as well.

What controls the power door locks?

Power door locks are controlled by door-mounted switches and console buttons. For modern cars, they can be accessed through a smartphone application or a key fob.

Why power locks don’t work when car is off?

If the lock works fine when the car is on, check the wiring of your electronics or fuses to see whether there are electrical problems.


Inconveniences to your lifestyle, such as having your car door not opening when you need to travel, will cause negative emotions you wouldn’t want to feel. That is why you need to be vigilant of irregularities in your vehicle to prevent further hassle.

Knowing what causes power door locks to stop working will help you come up with solutions that solve your problems. No need to panic when something stops working.

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