Cars have improved since their introduction in the market, and most modern vehicles now have power locks that you can control remotely. Of course, you will encounter issues, such as the power door lock not working drivers side, no matter how innovative they become. There are also different reasons you would encounter this particular issue.
So why does the power door lock not work on the drivers side? With any car brand, the top and most common possible reasons one of your car door locks stop working are:
- The presence of obstruction
- The latch lacking lube
- A dead switch
- Loose or disconnected linkages
- Actuator wire, fuse, gear, and motor issues
With that said, it’s essential to determine whether all or just the driver’s side door lock not working to help you check the specific issue, so we’ll look into those. Then, let’s get into details about the eight possible causes why the driver’s door lock stopped working to help you identify the real cause and resolve it.
Power Door Locks Not Working: The Top Two Causes
Before you can conclude that the driver’s side door lock is the only problem, you need to check if the other locks aren’t working as well. Often, the primary issue is with the key fob battery and the key fob itself.
Cause #1: Dead Key Fob Battery
A key fob is a type of electronic device connected to the car key that you will use to unlock and lock your doors. Apparently, if it runs out of battery, which powers it, you won’t be able to control all your door locks remotely.
How Do I Know If the Key Fob Battery Is Dead?
Most key fobs come with an LED light indicator that will light up when you press any of the buttons. As such, if it doesn’t produce any light, there’s a high probability that the battery is dead.
To resolve this issue, you would need to replace the battery. Don’t worry since doing so isn’t difficult and you can do it on your own.
Cause #2: Faulty Key Fob
If you replaced the battery and the door locks still don’t work, the key fob might be the problem.
How Do I Know If the Key Fob Is Faulty?
You should bring the key fob to your car’s dealership. They would hook it up to a computer and check the fob’s program.
How to resolve the issue would depend on the professional’s recommendation. They can either reprogram the fob or recommend replacing it.
If, at this point, the other door locks are working and the driver side’s power door lock switch not working, then find the possible cause with the help of the guide below.
Driver Door Won’t Lock or Unlock With Remote Control: The Possible Reasons
The possible causes for the driver’s door not working discussed below have been arranged from the simplest to the most complicated one. This way, you don’t have to go through the hassles of removing and putting parts back if there’s no need to do so. As such, if the solution for reason #1 doesn’t work, proceed to #2, and so on.
Reason #1: Presence of Obstruction
The very first thing to consider when your driver’s side door lock stops working is the presence of any grime or dirt that can obstruct the lock mechanism.
How Do I Know If There’s an Obstruction?
To check for the possible presence of obstruction, press the remote to unlock the door. If you can hear the door lock trying to engage but remains locked, there might be something obstructing it.
The easiest and quickest way to loosen and eventually remove any dirt or grime is by spraying lubricant, such as WD40, into your door lock. Once done applying lubricant, try unlocking your car door again.
Reason #2: Latch Lacking Lube
Remember that moving parts always get exposed to friction. Thus, one possible cause of one auto door lock not working is an improperly lubricated door latch.
How Do I Know If the Lock Needs Lubricating?
For this, all you have to do is check your door’s latch mechanism if there is any corrosion that might be binding the lock.
Simply lubricating the door latch can resolve the issue. It’s best to use silicone-based spray since most latch mechanisms are made of non-metallic materials. Lithium grease and motor oil are also excellent choices.
All you’ve to do is apply lubricant and make sure you wipe any excess product. Then, if your car door has a keyhole or entry, insert the key and try to lock and unlock it. This way, the lubricant can go in between the plates.
Reason #3: Dead Switch
The switch might be one of the last things you’ll think about when the power lock doesn’t work on one door. However, it’s responsible for sending a signal to the locking mechanism when you press the lock and unlock button. Hence, if it’s malfunctioning or broken, no matter how many times you press your remote button or even the physical button itself, it won’t respond.
How To Know If the Switch Is the Issue?
For this, inspect the lock switch for any visible exterior damages. You can also try pressing the manual button. If it’s broken or malfunctioning, you’ll experience car, or Jeep Wrangler door lock stuck issues. Lastly, it’s common for both power windows and door locks not to work when the switch is the main problem.
If you’re sure that the switch is the problem, you need to buy a new one, uninstall the old one, and then replace it.
Reason #4: Actuator Part Linkage Problems
The actuator is responsible for locking and unlocking your door with a simple push of a button. You can find it mounted inside your door’s panel and has several parts connected together. If your vehicle, such as Hyundai Accent, Jeep Rubicon, and Ford F150 door lock isn’t working, the parts might just be disconnected from each other, or some of the linkages are loose.
How Do I Know If There Are Disconnected or Loose Parts?
You can take your time to inspect each part and linkages, but jumping into trying to resolve the issue would save you time.
You need to disconnect all the links, ensuring you know where each one goes, and then reconnect them. You may also disconnect one link and then reconnect before proceeding to the next to be 100% sure you’re reconnecting each link correctly.
Reason #5: Actuator Wire Issues
The door lock actuator also comes with wires where the electric current would pass through and power the parts. Obviously, any part with broken wires will not work as expected.
How Do I Know If There Are Broken Wires?
You can check possible wire issues by holding the door lock’s switch up or down and then repeatedly opening and closing your door. You might have a broken wire if the lock works sometimes and not at times. Another way to check for broken wires is to remove the door panel and inspect them for any physical damages.
If the wires don’t have damages, you can try disconnecting and reconnecting them. If it doesn’t work, then it’s time to purchase a new set and replace the old ones.
Reason #6: Blown Actuator Fuse
The fuse is responsible for overcurrent protection and converts a large amount of electricity to smaller currents. Once blown, it won’t send an electrical current that the actuator needs for it to work.
How Do I Check for a Blown Fuse?
If you’re familiar with electrical parts, you can simply look for the fuse and check for any broken line. A broken fuse can also sometimes appear cloudy.
Purchase a new fuse for your actuator and replace the broken one.
Reason #7: Actuator Gear Issues
Apart from the wires and fuse, the door lock actuator also has pinion (circular) and rack (linear) gears responsible for converting rotational motions into linear ones. As such, the door lock won’t engage properly if the gear is problematic.
How Do I Check If the Gear Is the Problem?
Simply inspect the gears and look for any missing teeth or broken parts.
Purchase a new set of gears compatible with your actuator and replace the broken one.
Reason #8: Dead Actuator Motor
The next part of the actuator that you need to check if your car, such as Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Corolla, and Honda Accord power door lock not working is the motor. Remember that it comes with a specific lifespan that would depend on the frequency of use and other factors.
How Do I Know If My Door Lock Actuator Is Bad?
To test if the actuator motor is the issue, remove the wires and connect them to a 9V or 12V battery (view on Amazon). Let the probes touch the actuator’s input connection and start engaging the lock. Your actuator is in perfect condition if it makes a sound. On the contrary, if it’s dead or malfunctioning, the motor won’t try to spin and make a sound.
Apparently, you would need to buy a new actuator motor (view on Amazon) to replace the old one. You can install it on your own or have a professional do it for you.
What is the Cost to Fix Power Door Locks?
It goes without saying that the money you would need to have your door lock or locks replaced would depend on the cause. It will also depend on the parts that you need to purchase. Keep in mind that parts also come with different brands and quality, affecting their cost.
Whether you would hire a professional or not to diagnose and fix the issue will also affect the total cost of fixing an auto door lock not working issue. Lastly, your car’s brand and make will have an effect on the money you need to spend to get the lock fixed.
With that said, you should expect to spend an amount ranging from $50 to $200. If done professionally, you might spend between $200 and $700.
Power Door Lock Not Working Drivers Side: In Conclusion
With the many power door lock not working drivers side causes, you need to spare some time to find the primary reason. It will ensure you won’t waste effort, time, and money. At times, there can be multiple causes, so it’s best to check everything, even if one or two of the solutions already worked.
Determining the possible cause isn’t too complicated since they mostly involve simple inspections and the use of available tools. Even solving each of them is simple, but you can always seek professional help. Also, ensure you have the door locks checked regularly to prevent encountering single, or multiple power door locks not working.