9 Acura RDX Locking Problems (Solved & Explained)

The Acura RDX is popular because it is quick, reliable and relatively affordable for a compact luxury SUV.

Like other cars, the RDX will have door lock and keyless system issues from time to time.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common locking problems owners have encountered with their Acura RDX and check out some possible solutions.

1. Acura RDX Locks Not Working

If your Acura RDX’s locks aren’t responding to the key fob at all, check your 12-volt or key fob battery first.

Batteries in modern cars can get drained in around a year due to all the electronics and modules that they have to keep running.

You should still be able to get in your car even if your battery is dead using the emergency key inside your key fob.

Door lock actuators are also a common weakness of many Honda and Acura vehicles. It’s not unusual for them to go bad in less than 10 years.

The driver’s door lock actuator is usually the first that goes because it’s the most used. It’s not uncommon for these to break after 5 years of regular use. Multiple actuators can also break at roughly the same time.

Before you change the actuator, check the fuses and relays first and replace them if necessary.

Try to troubleshoot the issue first before buying a new door actuator.

“My 2011 RDX recently stopped allowing me to unlock any locks using the driver door lock button. It will, however, allow me to lock the doors, including the driver door. The passenger side door button will lock and unlock all doors.”

In the example above, it’s likely an issue with the driver’s door switch panel since the car’s locks work properly using the passenger door switch.

Other common causes you can check out include:

  • Door mechanism and linkages
  • Wiring and wiring harness problems
  • Key fob issues
  • Worn out key lock cylinder or tumbler
  • Body Control Module (BCM)
  • Weak 12-volt battery

A broken door lock actuator usually makes a buzzing or groaning sound before it completely stops working.

New OEM door lock actuators are around $50 to $$60 while replacement units are around $25. 

You’ll have to take off your door panel to replace the old one, which usually only requires a screwdriver.

2. Acura RDX Unlocking Itself

 In most Hondas and Acuras, a faulty door lock actuator usually has trouble staying locked.

The door locks might pop back to the unlocked position as soon as you lock them or slowly after a few seconds. Either way, they will stay unlocked and leave one of the doors open while the car is parked.

Here’s how one RDX owner on the AcuraZine forum described their experience:

“Recently my driver’s side remote door lock stopped working. I didn’t know it until my son told me. There were many times I assumed it was locked and I had valuables in the car!”

The car will also repeatedly lock and unlock the doors after you reach a certain speed if it sees that one of the doors is unlocked. 

It’s possible to disable the auto locking and unlocking features, but you’ll have to replace the defective door lock actuators to fix the unlocking problem once and for all. 

Other things that could cause your doors to automatically unlock include:

  • Faulty external door handle
  • Electrical and wiring harness issues
  • BCM (Body Control Module) problems

You could also just be hitting the unlock button on the key fob while it’s in your pockets or bag, which is usually the first that people check.

Related: Acura RDX Alarm Going Off? (11 Common Causes)

3. Acura RDX Keeps Locking Itself

There are a few situations where the RDX will automatically lock the doors on its own.

The doors will automatically lock on their own if you don’t open any doors within 30 seconds of unlocking the car using the key fob. This keeps the car safe and locked if you accidentally hit the unlock button.

The tailgate doesn’t count as a door so the car will still lock itself if you just unlocked the car and got something out of the back.

Shifting out of park or going over 10 mph also automatically locks the doors.

Although the doors shouldn’t lock themselves if the engine is running or when the key fob is inside the car, some owners have had their cars lock on their own on certain occasions.

However, there are instances where the doors lock themselves for no reason.

Here’s how one Acura RDX owner described their experience:

“My wife’s 2007 RDX is suddenly having an issue where the doors immediately relock every time I attempt to unlock the car. Whether I am using a key fob, or lock/unlock button inside the vehicle, issue is present. The only way I am able to get in the door is by timing it perfect as there is a millisecond where the door is unlocked before all locks cycle shut again.”

This issue could be caused by any of the following:

  • Defective door lock actuator
  • Locking mechanism (linkage) issue
  • Key fob issues
  • Faulty wiring harness
  • Door switch issues
  • Issues with aftermarket alarms

Due to the nature of the symptoms, it’s possible that a faulty door actuator,  door lock mechanism issues, or wiring problems might be causing the doors to lock on their own.

While troubleshooting the problem, you can disconnect the 12-volt battery for 10 to 20 minutes to force the electronics to restart and try to clear out any glitches and strange electrical gremlins.

If the car locks the doors while the keys are in the car, you’ll have to call a locksmith if you don’t have your spare keys. 

The RDX normally doesn’t automatically lock the doors if it detects that the key fob is inside the cabin, but it can malfunction from time to time. 

To troubleshoot this, try changing out your key fob batteries first because the car might be having trouble detecting its signal if it’s low on battery. You can also disconnect the 12-volt battery for a couple of minutes to try and clear out random bugs in the system. 

4. Acura RDX Not Locking With Key Fob

You can only lock the RDX’s doors remotely using the key fob if all the doors are closed.

If you’re unable to lock the doors using the key fob, you might have just left a door, the hood or the tailgate open. 

If the doors still won’t lock after making sure every door is shut closed, one of the door switches or the hood latch might be malfunctioning. 

You can try cleaning the fob out with some electronics cleaner or just replace the fob and have it reprogrammed.

If only one of the doors isn’t locking with the key fob, it’s likely just an issue with the lock actuator or the locking mechanism.  

Related: 6 Most Common Acura RDX Problems (Explained)

5. Acura RDX Not Unlocking With Key Fob

If your Acura RDX is not unlocking or even responding to the key fob at all, the fob’s batteries and/or the 12-volt battery may be weak.

Before doing any repairs try your spare fob or replace the batteries first. Sometimes, you just need to get closer to the car so it can recognize the key fob’s signal once the batteries start dying out. 

It’s also common for the unlock button to wear out over time. 

Here’s how one RDX owners described their issue:

“On the #1 remote for my 2008 RDX, the unlock button stopped working. The lock button works without a problem. I tried changing the battery but it did not help.”

You can try opening up the key fob and cleaning out any debris or corrosion using electronics cleaner and some light brushing. 

In some cases, the only solution to the unlocking and range problems is to replace the key fob altogether.

You can also try disconnecting the 12-volt battery for at least 10 minutes to reset the car’s electronics. Reprogramming the key fob and pairing it again to the car can also sometimes clear up keyless entry glitches.

6. Acura RDX Door Not Locking

If you’re unable to lock your doors using either the key fob or the door switch, then you’ve still got a number of possible issues.

Common reasons why the doors won’t lock at all include:

  • Fuse or relay
  • Wiring problem
  • Lock actuator
  • Mechanism or linkages
  • Latch

The first thing you’ll want to check is the fuses and relays. When one of the door lock fuses blows, the doors can still be unlocked but the locking stops working for all the doors.

If the fuses look ok, then you’ll have to take off the door panels to check out the door lock actuator, linkages, and wiring, among many other things.

The next step would be taking the car to an experienced mechanic who has the tools to properly troubleshoot the issues.

7. Acura RDX Tailgate Not Locking

If your Acura RDX’s tailgate won’t lock there might be an issue with the lock actuator or the wiring harness that controls the electronics in the tailgate.

The wiring inside the harness can break over time as it gets strained whenever the tailgate is open or closed.

In some cases, the power tailgate can also have trouble closing completely.

Here is how one RDX owner described their experience:  

“I have a 2013 RDX. When I activate the power tailgate, it closes but does not latch and then comes right back up again. I have cleared the trunk space so there is nothing that should be keeping it from latching. I can close it manually, however. I cleaned the parts off to no avail.”

Problems with the power tailgate sensors and tailgate switch could also cause your tailgate locking issues. 

If the car has been in an accident, the tailgate might get misaligned and cause the tailgate to not properly hit the latch that locks it closed. 

Related: Acura RDX Beeping Problems? (14 Common Causes)

8. Acura RDX Tailgate Not Unlocking

A few first gen RDX owners have had issues with the tailgate not opening and basically locking them out of the rear cargo area.

Here’s how one owner described their experience on the AcuraZine forums:

“I have an issue with my 07 RDX with Tech package in regards to the rear tailgate. My tailgate will not open with the exterior switch above the license plate frame, and yes I have tried with all of the doors unlocked.”

Common causes of unlocking issues with the tailgate include:

  • Fuses and relays
  • Tailgate wiring harness
  • Lock actuator
  • Trunk button

In a lot of cases, it’s usually the tailgate actuator or the exterior release button that’s preventing the tailgate from opening up.  

You should also check the wiring harness that goes into the tailgate. Signs of corrosion, cuts or breaks means the wiring inside is compromised and could easily cause different electrical problems.

If you need to open the tailgate manually, there’s an emergency release lever hidden behind a plastic cover on the interior side of the tailgate. Pulling this lever will unlatch and open up the tailgate.

9. Acura RDX Not Beeping When Locked

The Acura MDX will beep at you if you press the lock button on the key fob twice. This is a confirmation sound that lets you know the security system is set.

However, an unlocked door or an open hood will keep the security system from arming itself so you won’t hear the confirmation beep.

Any of the following can cause problems with the car’s security system and door locks:

  • Door actuators
  • Hood latch switch
  • Door switch
  • Tailgate switch
  • Wiring

However, before you go and troubleshoot the issue, make sure the ‘Keyless Access Beep’ is enabled in the vehicle settings.

Related: 17 Best & Worst Acura RDX Years (With Facts & Stats)







  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...