Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking While Driving – Common Reasons

If you’ve ever experienced your car locking and unlocking repeatedly while driving, you know how frustrating and distracting it can be.

This issue can happen to any vehicle, regardless of its age or make. What are the reasons that a car keeps locking and unlocking while driving? How to troubleshoot it effectively? Let’s discover.

Reasons For Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking While Driving

car keeps locking and unlocking while driving
Why Is Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking While Driving

Cars keep locking and unlocking while driving can be caused by extreme weather, electrical, and mechanical problems, such as a malfunctioning key fob, faulty door sensors, or electrical interference, a broken solenoid or a damaged actuator.

Electrical Issues

Malfunctioning Key Fob

Sometimes, the only cause of car locks on the fritz is a dead key fob battery or a fob with failing programming.

The reason behind the car’s continuous locking and unlocking could be a faulty key fob battery or a damaged key fob circuit board.

If the battery is low or dead, it may not be able to send the proper signals to the car’s locking system, causing it to malfunction.

On the other hand, once the circuit board is damaged, it may send random signals to the car’s locking system, resulting in the car door keeps locking and unlocking while driving.

Besides, key fobs are programmed specifically for your vehicle.

When the programming or microchip within the fob malfunctions repeatedly, the locks become unresponsive to the fob’s signals.

Faulty Door Sensors

A car keeps locking and unlocking can be triggered by faulty door sensors. A beeping signal on the vehicle’s dashboard will notify you of this malfunction.

The door sensor is a small component in the door latch mechanism that sends a signal to the car’s computer indicating whether the door is open or closed.

If the sensor malfunctions, it may send incorrect signals to the car’s computer, causing the locks to engage and disengage at random intervals.

In some cases, the faulty door sensor may trigger the car’s security system, causing the car locking and unlocking on its own.

Electrical Interference

The car’s locking system relies on a network of wires and fuses to transmit electrical signals and power to the locks.

Frayed wire insulation can lead to malfunction door controls.

The signal transmitted through the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) will be interrupted, making the door work improperly, and the car keeps locking itself.

A blown fuse also leads to this problem. It can stem from an electrical overload, which occurs when too much current flows through the circuit, exceeding the capacity of the fuse.

Another possible culprit of a blown fuse is a short circuit, taking place when a wire or other component comes into contact with a grounded surface or another wire, prompting a sudden surge of electrical current.

This surge can overload the circuit, causing the fuse to blow.

Mechanical Issues

Broken Solenoid

A solenoid is used to control the locking and unlocking of doors. When a solenoid is broken, you may notice the door locks keep locking and unlocking.

The most common root of a broken solenoid is wear and tear over time. As the solenoid is used repeatedly, its internal components can become worn down and eventually fail.

A broken solenoid might be also due to exposure to extreme temperatures or moisture, which can wreak havoc on the device.

Damaged Actuator

Why does my car lock and unlock itself? It’s due to a broken actuator. Common symptoms of a broken actuator to name are a loud noise from the lock when the actuator engages.

The main reason for this problem is that the wire and gear have been working for a long time and have worn out.

When an actuator is broken, issues with the car’s electrical system also arise.

It can include the battery draining quickly, battery disconnect, dashboard lights flickering or failing to turn on, or the engine failing to start.


Why do my power locks keep locking and unlocking? The weather can be to blame. Humidity is one of the most common weather-related issues that can cause this problem.

When the air is humid, moisture can get into the electrical components of the car’s locking system, leading to malfunction

It can result in the doors locking and unlocking unexpectedly or failing to respond to the keyless entry system.

Extreme cold temperatures can also take a toll on the locking system, as the freezing temperatures will make the mechanical components contract and seize up.

This can prevent the doors from locking or unlocking properly.

How To Fix If The Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking While Driving? 

door locks keep locking and unlocking
Way To Repair If Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking While Driving

Check The Key Fob

First, stand close to your car and ensure you’re within range of the key fob. Press each button on the key fob several times to ensure they’re not stuck

If the buttons on the key fob aren’t responding, check the battery power.

You should inspect the key fob to make sure the buttons on the fob are not stuck and replace the batteries if necessary.

Besides, examine the circuitry in the key fob. In case the issue persists, you may need to repair or replace the key fob.

Clean Or Replace The Door Lock

Step 1: You’ll need to remove the door panel using a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the panel.

Next, pry the panel away from the door frame and detach any wiring connections if necessary.

Step 2: If the lock is dirty or clogged with debris, use a can of compressed air or a brush to clean it. Make sure to remove any dirt or debris from inside the lock mechanism.

Step 3: Reattach the door panel. Line up the panel with the door frame and use the screws you removed earlier to secure it in place. Test the lock to make sure it’s working properly.

You’ll have to replace the lock once it is worn or damaged. Purchase a replacement lock that matches the make and model of your car, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Check The Wiring System

Loose or damaged wiring connections can entail problems with the locking mechanism. Thus, you should inspect the wiring system and repair or replace any faulty wiring.

Besides, check the fuse panel for blown fuses, which can indicate a wiring issue. Replace any blown fuses with new ones of the same amperage.

If you’re uncomfortable working with electrical systems or unable to identify any issues, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

They can use specialized diagnostic tools and techniques to identify and fix any wiring problems in your car.

Replace Solenoid/Actuator

To fix a broken solenoid, it is typically necessary to change the entire component.

Step 1: Before removing the old solenoid or actuator, disconnect any electrical connections to prevent electrical shock or damage to the car’s electrical system.

Step 2: Use a wrench or screwdriver to remove any bolts or screws holding the old solenoid or actuator in place. Remove the old solenoid or actuator and install the new one.

Secure it in place with bolts or screws. Reconnect any electrical connections that were disconnected earlier.

Step 3: Test it to make sure it’s working properly. Test the locking and unlocking function of the car’s door and make any necessary adjustments.

Step 4: Verify the operation of the car’s lock system by testing it with the key fob or car door lock button.

Regularly Maintain Car Parts

To prevent weather-related issues with the car’s locking system, keeping the electronic components and mechanical parts well-maintained and regularly inspected by a qualified mechanic is important.

It may also be helpful to use a lubricant on the door locks and hinges to prevent power door locks not working due to moisture buildup and rust.


my car keeps locking and unlocking itself
Question of This Problem

Is It Possible If My Car Keeps Locking And Unlocking Itself When The Keys Are Inside?

Yes. This can happen if the car has a feature that automatically locks the doors when the keys are left inside, and the car is locked from the outside.

Some cars have a proximity keyless entry system that allows you to unlock and start the car without physically inserting the key into the lock.

In these cars, the key fob communicates with the car’s computer and unlocks the automatic doors when you approach the vehicle.

However, when the key fob is left inside the car and the car is locked from the outside, the car’s computer may interpret this as an attempt to lock the car, and it will automatically lock the doors.

Thus, it’s important to have a spare key if the keys are locked inside the vehicle.

What Is The Cost Of Repairing A Door Lock Actuator?

The cost of repairing a door lock actuator can vary depending on the make and model of the car, as well as the mechanic’s or repair shop’s labor costs.

On average, repairing a door lock actuator can range from $250 to $350, of which the new part accounts for $200.

If the car is still under warranty, the manufacturer may cover the repair. 

Otherwise, it’s important to shop around and compare prices from different repair shops to find the best deal.

In some cases, replacing the entire door lock mechanism may be more cost-effective than just the actuator.

How Much Does A Key Fob Repair Cost?

Repairing a key fob can cost you from $50 to $100. If the key fob needs a battery replacement, this can usually be done for a relatively low cost, ranging from $5 to $20.

However, the repair cost may be higher once the key fob is damaged or malfunctioning due to a more serious issue, such as water damage or a broken circuit board.


In conclusion, a car keeps locking and unlocking while driving can be a frustrating and potentially hazardous problem.

While the causes of this issue may vary, including electrical, mechanical, or weather-related factors, it’s essential to fix them promptly to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your car.

If you experience this problem, you can consult a professional mechanic or dealer to diagnose and fix underlying issues.

By taking proactive measures, you can prevent potential accidents or security breaches and enjoy a smooth and comfortable driving experience.

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