The Honda Accord has enjoyed several decades of success as one of the most popular midsize sedans in the market.
Although it’s known for its reliability and dependability, it can suffer from locking issues over time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some common locking problems Accord owners have had to deal with and ways you can fix them.
1. Honda Accord Locking by Itself
All Honda Accords made in the last 20 years have automatic door locks that trigger when you shift out of park or go over 10 mph.
If you unlock the doors but don’t open any of them in 30 seconds, it will also automatically lock again. This is a security feature in case you unintentionally unlock the car using the key fob or simply forget that you’ve unlocked it and walk away.
If one of the door lock actuators doesn’t lock properly, the automatic door locks will also keep triggering and cycling the door locks in stop-and-go traffic every time you go over 10 mph.
To fix this, you need to find out which door actuator is defective and replace it.
You can also disable the speed based automatic door locks through the vehicle settings. In older cars, it can be programmed manually by turning the ignition to the ‘On’ position and holding down the master door lock on the driver’s door for about five seconds.
Many Accord owners have also encountered issues that are not caused by the automatic door locks.
Here’s one owner’s experience on the Honda-Tech.com forums:
“So our 06 Accord EX V6 has started having an issue where it locks itself. If you unlock it, just a few minutes later it will lock itself back. Sometimes just a few seconds.”
Another Accord owner had this to say:
“I drive a 2007 Honda Accord and when I park it and unlock it to get out the doors lock themselves back up. Of course I try to hit unlock again and the doors continue to lock themselves. We’ve started just rolling down the window and timing it before it locks to get out.”
Common reasons why a Honda Accord’s doors could be locking on its own include:
- Stuck or broken key fob button
- Faulty driver’s door switch
- Broken door jamb switch
- Defective Multiplex Integrated Control Unit (MICU)
- Wiring issues
- Issues with aftermarket alarm systems
Older Accords from 2003 to 2005 are prone to having wiring issues between the driver’s door switch and the MICU, which is what Honda calls its Body Control Module (BCM).
The wiring harness that goes from the door and into the car’s body can wear out over time and cause intermittent electrical issues. According to a service bulletin from Honda, it’s usually the white and black colored wire that needs to be fixed.
If the wiring is all good, then you might have to replace the door switch, MICU or the door lock actuator.
2. Honda Accord Unlocking on its Own
If your Honda Accord is unlocking on its own, it could be caused by a faulty door lock actuator or exterior door handle.
A defective door lock actuator will often have trouble staying in the locked position. It will often spring back up as soon as you lock it. Although it’s rare for the actuators on all the doors to break at the same time.
Newer Accords equipped with smart entry systems can also unlock on their own if the key fob is within range even if you don’t touch the door handle.
Here is how one owner described their experience on the DriveAccord.net forum:
“I drive a ’14 EX-L V6. I was walking to my car this morning and I heard the doors unlock as I got within 3-4 feet of the driver door. I touched the sensor just to see if I had heard right, and the doors were indeed unlocked.”
The sensors on the door handle can be triggered by water. If it’s raining or you’re washing the car, there’s a higher chance that the doors will unlock on their own. It could also be caused by a faulty or stuck unlock button on the key fob.
It’s also possible that one or both of the front door handles have gone bad which can be expensive to replace.
You can try disconnecting the negative battery terminal for a few minutes to restart the car’s computers and electrical modules. This has been proven to clear up glitches and bugs with the door handles and the keyless entry system.
3. Honda Accord Not Unlocking with Key Fob
If your Honda Accord won’t unlock using the key fob, it’s usually caused by a weak key fob or 12-volt battery.
You should still be able to unlock the doors using the key. In newer Accords, the emergency key will be hidden inside the key fob. Once inside the car, you should still be able to start it by holding the key fob next to the start/stop button — if your car battery is still working properly.
Modern key fobs typically use up their batteries in about 2 to 3 years, and it’s not unusual for both key fobs to stop working at roughly the same time. Older Accords had key fobs that were simpler and could last up to 10 years or more.
Here’s how one owner described their experience:
“My remote key (both) stopped working a while back and have been using the key to open the door. Changed the battery, did not work.”
Early ninth generation Accords, which debuted as a 2013 model year, also had issues where the key fob buttons would stop working altogether. However, you could still unlock and lock the car by touching the door handle.
Here’s one owner’s description of the issue:
“This morning the remote part of my key fob failed. That means, I can still use the fob to start the engine and use the button on the handle to lock or unlock the door. But all buttons on the fob stopped working.”
This problem is usually caused by a faulty keyless access control unit which typically costs around $100 used.
In older generations of the Accord, the keyless entry system’s receiver is integrated into the driver’s door switch. If the car stops responding to the key fob, there might be an issue with the receiver, also known as the multiplex control unit.
Related: Honda Accord Alarm Going Off? (8 Causes & Solutions)
4. Honda Accord Not Unlocking with Physical Key
If your Honda Accord’s doors are not unlocking when using the key, the key lock cylinder may be worn out or seized up.
Here is how one owner described their experience:
“I’ve got an 04 Accord. I use my valet key a lot when I go surfing which I have to put into the drivers-side door to unlock the car. Recently this key has been sticking a lot in the door/tough to pull out/insert all the way/etc.”
Applying some graphite powder designed specifically for door locks should help the tumblers in the cylinder operate more smoothly.
If it’s already completely stuck, you can try spraying a small amount of brake cleaner inside the keyhole to clear out any debris and gunk that has built up over time.
Replacing the lock cylinder shouldn’t be too hard or expensive, but you’ll have to get it re-keyed first so you can still use the same key for all the doors and the ignition.
If it’s frozen stuck during the winter, here are some ways to deal with it:
- Apply some rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer on the key and the lock
- Heat up the key with a lighter
- Warm the keyhole with your breath or a blow dryer
If the key is turning freely but isn’t locking or unlocking the door, the linkages and rods of the locking mechanism may have been disconnected or broken. You’ll have to take off the door panel to check for any issues with the locking mechanism.
5. Honda Accord Not Locking with Key Fob
Many Accord owners have had issues with their key fob not locking the car, but it unlocks just fine.
Here’s how some owners on the DriveAccord.net forum described their experience:
“My key fob will not lock the doors or cause it to honk. If I press the unlock I can hear them unlocking. Using the key in the driver’s door will lock all the doors, so that’s all working.”
“I have a 14 Accord Sport. My key fob is not working. I try to lock my doors and it won’t lock, so I try hold the lock button for 10 seconds and nothing, it just unlock my doors, so I manually lock them.”
“My key fob will unlock all four doors. It will not lock any doors, but it still makes the lights blink and the horn honk.”
If your Accord’s key fob is unable to lock the doors using the lock button, but you have no trouble locking the doors using either the key or the door switch, it might be caused by a door that’s not closed properly.
The Accord’s remote locks won’t work if one of the sensors is detecting an open door, trunk or hood. If all the doors are properly closed, then one of the door jamb switches or the ones for the hood or trunk may be defective.
There should be a warning on the dash if one of the doors or the trunk is still open, but there’s no such warning for the hood.
You can verify if it’s a switch/sensor issue if the factory remote start also doesn’t work using the key fob.
Locking issues can also be caused by a broken or stuck lock button on the key fob. Replacing the key fob battery might also help resolve the issue.
If all else fails, you can try reprogramming the key fob or getting a new set altogether.
6. Honda Accord Not Locking with Physical Key
If your Honda Accord’s physical key is able to unlock the doors but is having issues locking it, there might be something wrong with the door lock cylinder’s switch.
Although the Accord’s doors can be unlocked mechanically using the key, the power door locks are triggered by an electronic switch that’s connected to the driver’s door lock cylinder.
If this switch isn’t working properly, the door lock actuators won’t get the signal to lock the doors no matter how hard or how many times you turn the key.
If it’s just the door lock cylinder switch that’s defective and not the door lock actuator or the power door lock’s control unit, you should still be able to lock the car remotely using the key fob.
However, if you are unable to turn or properly insert the key, then the door lock cylinder might be jammed or worn out. In which case, you’ll have to get the cylinder replaced and re-keyed.
7. Honda Accord Not Beeping When Locking
Pushing the lock button twice on a Honda Accord’s key fob will normally make the car beep or honk its horn to indicate that the security system has been armed.
Modern Accords equipped with Smart Entry systems will also beep several times to warn you of a possible issue with the keyless entry system. One example is when you walk away from the car too fast and the car loses the key fob’s signal before the doors are able to automatically lock.
If the car suddenly stops beeping altogether, one of your doors might not be closed or locked properly. A defective hood latch switch, which is fairly common in many Hondas, will also cause issues with the keyless entry system and prevent the doors from locking remotely.
You can also check in the vehicle settings if the keyless beep or answer back option is enabled. It might have been reset if you’ve recently taken it in for maintenance.
It also could be caused by a disconnected wire or the speaker module similar to what this owner experienced:
“I finally have an update on my 2016 Accord. After my car was repaired from the accident the car would not beep when locked or unlocked. I took it back to the dealer and now it’s fixed.”
“They unplugged and replugged several wires and then it beeped. weren’t even sure which wires were at fault but everything is working now.”
The keyless entry systems speaker module is normally located inside the rear bumper if you want to check it out for yourself before you take it in for further diagnosis.
Related: Honda Accord Beeping? (8 Common Causes & Solutions)
8. Honda Accord Trunk Not Unlocking
If you’re unable to unlock or open the trunk of your Accord, you might have turned off the trunk main switch in the glove box.
Older Honda Accords have a key lock located right next to the trunk release lever instead of a switch.
The glove box and the key lock on the trunk lever can only be unlocked using the master key (and not the valet key) so you can keep your valuables safely stored.
Other possible reasons your trunk won’t unlock include:
- Broken trunk actuator
- Stuck or misaligned latch
- Faulty release handle or button
- Broken or disconnected linkages
- Dead 12-volt battery
In newer Accords, you can still unlock the trunk using the emergency key by popping off the square plastic cover on the driver’s side of the rear shelf. This should reveal a keyhole that will open the trunk manually.
You can also fold down the rear seats and get inside the trunk compartment to access the emergency release lever.