Q: Door lock switch or actuator failure?

asked by on December 09, 2016

I have a 2005 Honda CRV, over the past year or so, my door locks stopped working w/ the use of the fob and then eventually w/ the use of the interior manual switch. The rear doors stopped working first, then the front passenger door, then eventually the drivers side front door. When I push the fob or the interior manual switch, the doors still make a "clicking" sound as if they want to work, but ultimately none of the locks actually move. Now my exterior driver's side door lock won't even turn when the key is inserted which I know can be attributed to the tumbler. My concern is it sounds like power is getting to all of my door locks when either the button on the fob is pressed or the manual switch is pushed; however, none of the locks move up or down. Would this directly be due to failure of the actuators? Thank you.

My car has 171000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The only way to know exactly what is going on with your door locks is with a diagnosis. This should be done with a test light and a wiring diagram. Since the door locks failed in a progression of one or two followed by another, the most likely cause for this would be the actuators in the doors. Door lock actuators is one of the higher failure rate items on Honda’s. Even so, I would have a solid diagnosis done before I replaced them. This will be complicated by the fact that there are so many parts of this system that has failed.

The key fob is likely a problem with the fob itself. It could be a BCM (body control module) problem, but this will require testing to be sure. The fact that you hear a noise when you push the interior switch suggests the switch is working. It is very common for the door lock actuators to freeze up mechanically and still attempt to activate with the electrical portion of the system. The outside door lock can also be stuck as a result of the drivers door actuator becoming completely frozen. It could of course be the lock cylinder itself. The only way to know, again, is to remove the door panels and check for power and ground at the actuators. This will test the master window switch and confirm there is power and ground at the actuators.

Most likely all the door panels will need to be removed, but it is important to point out, this diagnosis will require some for thought before doing any disassembly in order to insure more labor that necessary isn’t done. You most likely have three failures, depending on how you look at it. The door lock actuators, the key fob or BCM and possible a lock cylinder issue. Again, this will require a well thought out plan in order not to confuse what is going on. This is the nature of diagnosing multiple problems with a single system.

If you require assistance with this, I recommend the following inspection. Electrical components aren’t working Be sure to send a note to the technician as to what your exact problem is.

Good luck!

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