How To Solve If The Driver Side Door Won’t Unlock With Remote?

How to fix when the driver side door won’t unlock with remote? This situation is a common problem for all drivers.

It stems from many reasons, either from your car or your remote. Let’s dig in and discover the reasons and the solutions to handle the problem.

6 Reasons Why Driver Side Door Won’t Unlock With Remote

driver side door won t unlock with remote

Dead Remote Battery

The first simple reason the driver side door won’t unlock with remote is that your key fob or car remote is out of battery.

After a long time of use, the key fob battery can be exhausted, usually from 3 to 4 years.

Normally, your remote will respond or send a signal when you request it within a maximum distance of 15m. However, the signal reception distance will decrease when the battery is depleted.

Therefore, if you have to press the button on the key fob repeatedly and get close to your car to unlock it, your remote may run out of battery.

Malfunctioning Remote

Sometimes, some unnecessary technical errors in some key fobs are also the cause of the side door not unlocking.

The reason is that these remotes are more complicated than regular remotes. Besides, it needs to be connected to a computer to test its signal system.

It is because car manufacturers want to personalize each remote so that it will be manufactured separately, just for its owner.

Therefore, not all key fobs are programmed the same, so the possibility of programming errors is inevitable.

Blown Fuse

Fuses in automobiles may explode after a long time of using or overusing.

If one side door can be opened while the others can’t be, the problem might be caused by a blown fuse in the fuse box and requires a fuse replacement.

Excessive electric current can be triggered by faulty wiring or a damaged wiper, resulting in short shocks and a blown fuse.

The fuse is most likely blown if you notice that the wipers move slower than normal.

Some vehicle parts that might cause blow fuses include fan engines, motorized recliners, mechanical fuel pumps, and air conditioners.

Solenoid Malfunction

The next reason the driver side door won’t lock or unlock with remote is solenoid malfunction. Therefore, the signal can’t be transmitted.

When an extremely high power source passes through the solenoid for a long time, a large amount of heat will ignite the starter solenoid.

Besides, if the humidity in the car is too high, the solenoid contacts will be corroded, reducing the conductivity.

Therefore, when you send a signal to your car with the key fob, you can hear a flashing sound in the engine indicator light, and then it goes off completely.

Wiring Problem Or Connector Broken

Sometimes, the rods or plastic connections might have snapped due to repeated opening and closing doors.

Besides, because plastic hardens over time, it can become brittle and break under extreme weather conditions.

If you try closing the door many times and the door lock only works a few times randomly, the door wiring may have broken.

Faulty Actuator

A lousy lock actuator is one of the reasons why the actuator does not work. Thus, the key fob does not receive the signal, and you can’t unlock the door.

After repeated use, damaged board connectors will damage the electronic actuator by shrinking and expanding.

These connectors will break, and the actuator issue of burning out will arise when you detect it heating up.

How To Fix The Driver Side Door Won’t Unlock With Remote?

1. Swap The Remote Battery

Swap The Remote Battery

First, you need to find the seam where two halves of the key fob are tied together and separate them.

Normally, on the seam that divides the key fob in half, a groove will make it possible to open it with a little effort.

For special designs, you need to use a flat-blade screwdriver or a thin, flat metal object to separate the two halves of the remote.

After that, you can remove the old coin-shaped battery and replace it with a new one. Note that the battery has positive and negative terminals, so you need to install it in the correct orientation.

2. Replace The Broken Remote

Replace The Broken Remote

After checking that your key fob is damaged, the best way is to go to the automobile shop to get a new one.

If your power lock is custom-made, you need to go to the dealer where you bought the car to rebuild a new fob.

You’d better program many key fobs at the same time. It will save you some money as auto dealers will charge extra for programming.

In case your key fob is commercially available, you can search for a replacement online. Besides, you can ask a locksmith to rebuild a new one if your vehicle is over five years old.

3. Reprogram The Remote

To reprogram the remote’s system, you can turn the key several times when the door is closed. However, it would be best if you reprogrammed it properly.

After getting in the car and closing the door, you need to put the key in the ignition, but do not start the vehicle.

Gently turn the key to the drive mode and back to the closed position multiple times. The number of times is based on your car type.

After turning the key a few times, you need to press a lock button on the key fob to unlock it. You have successfully reprogrammed your remote if you hear the familiar chime coming from your vehicle.

4. Change Broken Internal Contacts

The wirings, battery terminals, and rubberized buttons are often broken. Once you observe that these battery terminals are not damaged, then the solder buttons at the two terminals are loose.

So you need to solder these buttons to their original positions.

The rubber buttons can be damaged after getting dusty for a long time. You need to take them off and wipe them clean. If it comes loose or cracked, you have to get a new one.

Another part that must also be replaced when it breaks is the wirings. These cords are fairly easy to change, but you’d better refer to the car dealership.

5. Change The Starter Solenoid

Change The Starter Solenoid

If you find your car won’t start, it’s advisable to replace the solenoid. First, you need to open the hood and disconnect the battery to avoid electric shock.

After that, you should find the location of the solenoid to remove it from the starter by unscrewing the surrounding bolts.

Finally, you can install the new solenoid. You should pay attention to reattach the antenna wire to the correct position and turn on the electrical connection to start the vehicle.

6. Defrost The Door Lock

Defrost The Door Lock

Vehicles left outdoors under low temperatures are easy to freeze the doors. The only way to solve it is to start the car’s heating system.

However, if all the doors won’t open, you can use a de-locker solution. It helps to warm all the components in the door and the lock. When the ice melts, you can easily open the door quickly.

These solutions have two types: spray form and nozzle form. If your car door is freezing too much, the nozzle form is most suitable.

7. Try A Distant Unlocking Service

The next way to help you start the car if the driver door not unlocking with remote is using a distant unlocking service.

Each key fob has a certain programming system so that you can boot directly on this system.

Still, you need to call the car dealer where you programmed your remote. After confirming your information, they will use the system to start the vehicle for you without a key fob.

8. Open And Close The Driver’s Door

Open And Close The Driver's Door

The last option you can consider is opening and closing the driver’s side door. If the door lock doesn’t work, you should hold the exterior switches then close and open the door to check at the same time.

The most common scenario is a broken wire or two in the door’s hinge, causing the lock not to work. You should take it to a car repair dealer to have the mechanic fix it for you.

How to Diagnose The Problems Of The Car Remote?

It Doesn’t Work Consistently

If you have to press the car square button multiple times every time you open the car door, the key fob has a problem.

It is a sign that the key fob has lost connection with the car due to a failure of internal components.

Another sign is the narrowing of the distance between the car and the remote. If it’s getting closer and closer, the problem stems from the battery.

Your Spare Car Key Is Not Work

Checking your spare car key fob is the next way to help you find out exactly where the problem is. When your spare remote can start your car within a maximum of 15m, your car is working normally.

The problem lies in your key fob. It may be having a battery problem once the maximum distance it receives the signal is less than 15m, or its receiver is malfunctioning.

There’re Some Broken Pieces In Your Car Key Remote

The next sign that your key fob has been damaged is broken pieces inside. It can happen when you replace the battery or inspect the internal components improperly.

If you use hard metal pieces to disassemble the two key fobs to replace the battery, they are easy to break.

Therefore, the best way is to ask a repairman to remove the battery to avoid damage to the remote components.

Your Remote Is Unresponsive

If the key fob does not respond for newly purchased cars, it is most likely not programmed.

Each car type, for example PT Cruiser or Chevy HHR, has their key fobs programmed individually by the car dealer. However, it’s not always the case.

It is why the remote does not respond when you press the button. When you have this problem, you need to contact the car dealer to tell them to program your key fob.


How Long Do Car Remote Batteries Last?

Normally, fob batteries have a lifespan of 3-4 years for every battery size if used properly. That said, the remote life will be shortened if it collides with other things many times and gets wet.

In addition, in case your driver door won’t unlock with remote, or you have to get close to the car for the key fob to work, this is a sign that you should change to a new battery.

My Remote Won’t Unlock Or Lock But Opens The Other Doors. Why?

The key fob only unlocks driver door when it is triggered by an electrical malfunction or a blown fuse that gives power to side doors.

Thus, even if you turn on or close the key fob, the side door will not receive the signal.

Usually, this problem is caused by closing the door too hard or getting wet. When this happens, you need to call a car mechanic to help.


How to fix when the driver side door won’t unlock with remote? We can change the remote battery, broken internal contacts, the starter solenoid, or even the key fob.

Besides, you can check and reprogram the remote system, try a distant unlocking service, or defrost the door lock if it’s under low temperature for a long time.

We hope you find this article useful. See you in the next one.

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