8 Common Honda HR-V Locking Problems (Solved & Explained)

The Honda HR-V is one of the most popular subcompact SUVs on the market.

Despite a reputation for reliability, it can suffer from door locking issues once in a while.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common locking problems owners have reported and how to fix them.

1. Honda HR-V Unlocking Itself

In many cases, the doors automatically unlock as soon as you lock them whether the engine is running or not, so people can easily open the doors while the vehicle is parked.

However some HR-Vs owners have reported problems with one or more of the doors unlocking on their own when they shouldn’t.

Here are the main reasons why this may occur:

Key Fob In Car

If you’re HR-V is unlocking itself when leaving the vehicle then one possible cause is that you have a spare key fob left in the vehicle.

This feature is designed so that you don’t inadvertently lock yourself out.

Here’s what one owner on hrvforum.com had to say:

“Since the car was purchased used, I wonder if a spare key fob was left in the car somewhere.”

Faulty Door Lock Actuator / Door Switch

Another common cause is simply a faulty door lock actuator or door switch (sensor).

Over time these can fail due to simple wear and tear and in some cases these parts have recalls issued on them so its always a good idea to run a VIN check on your vehicle.

Similarly if the wiring is damaged or faulty, this can cause the car to unlock itself too.

The best thing to do is visit your dealer and ask them to inspect your door latches and run some diagnostic tests.

“I had a similar issue with my 2016 EX. Figured out it was a faulty door switch on the driver side. Turns out the switch wasn’t fully engaged when the door was closed, so a small bump and the vehicle would open the switch. “ – hrvforum.com.

Electrical Issues

There is a wide range of electrical issues that could cause your HR-V to unlock unwarranted, such as:

  • Damaged wiring
  • Faulty Body Control Module
  • Faulty Keyless Access Module

Ask your dealer to run some diagnostic tests.

Faulty Key Fob

A faulty key fob can cause a wide range of issues including unlocking the vehicle when it shouldn’t.

It may just need a new battery or need the inside cleaned.

You can also try removing the battery and using your spare fob to see if the problem persists, although it is possible that both the fobs are broken and/or low on battery.

Related: Honda HR-V Alarm Going Off? (13 Common Causes)

Auto Door Unlocking

The HR-V has a feature that can be enabled/disabled called “Auto Door Locking/Unlocking”.

With the ‘Driver’s door open mode’ enabled, all doors and the tailgate unlock when the driver’s door is opened.

You can customize the auto door locking/unlocking setting to your liking using the master door lock switch.

Signal Hacking By Thieves

It is not completely uncommon for thieves to use an electronic signal relay device to infiltrate keyless entry systems. Reportedly, the HR-V is vulnerable to this gadget.

The signal can be retrieved through walls so even in your home it’s not safe – the solution is to keep the key fob in a metal container.

On hrvforum.com one owner had this to say:

“I used the pouch today when I went to the gym (I ordered it from Amazon) I locked my doors with the key fob, then put the key fob in the pouch.I checked to make sure the doors were locked. The pouch works. And when I came out the gym the doors were still locked. They wouldn’t open until I took the fob out of the pouch. I totally believe someone was hacking my signal. The device is easy to get from Amazon and Ebay.”

2. Honda HR-V Keeps Locking Itself

If you’re HR-V keeps locking itself it could be because there is a fault with the vehicle or it could simply be the auto door lock feature.

The HR-V can automatically lock the doors every time the vehicle’s speed reaches about 10 mph (15 km/h). This is part of a feature that can be enabled/disabled called “Auto Door Locking/Unlocking”.

You can turn off or change to another auto door locking/unlocking setting using the master door lock switch.

In older HR-V’s, you’ll need to program it manually.

To disable all the auto door locks:

  1. Make sure you’re in ‘Park’.
  2. Turn the key to the ‘On’ position.
  3. Hold down the front switch of the master door lock on the driver’s door for 5 seconds or until you hear a click.
  4. Release the switch, wait a few seconds, then turn the key to ‘Lock’ position.

To disable the auto locks when shifting out of Park:

  1. Make sure you’re in ‘Park’.
  2. Turn the key to the ‘On’ position.
  3. Hold down the front switch of the master door lock on the driver’s door for 5 seconds or until you hear a click. Keep holding it down until it clicks again.
  4. Release the switch, wait a few seconds, then turn the key to ‘Lock’ position.

To disable the auto lock by vehicle speed:

  1. Make sure you’re in ‘Park’.
  2. Turn the key to the ‘On’ position.
  3. Hold down the brake pedal and shift out of Park.
  4. Hold down the front switch of the master door lock on the driver’s door for 5 seconds or until you hear a click. Keep holding it down until it clicks again.
  5. Release the switch, and within 5 seconds, turn the key to the ‘Accessory’ position.
  6. Shift into Park.
  7. Wait a few seconds then turn the key to ‘Lock’ position.

HR-Vs also lock the doors automatically if you unlock it with a key fob and none of the doors are opened in 30 seconds, but this doesn’t include the tailgate. If you unlock the doors and someone opens the tailgate, the doors will lock again after some time.

If the doors are still locking themselves after disabling the auto lock feature, it could be caused by:

  • Defective door lock actuator
  • Key fob issues
  • Faulty wiring harness
  • Defective tailgate switch
  • Issues with aftermarket alarms

3.Honda HR-V Not Locking With Key Fob

Some HR-Vs have door locking issues when the key fob is used. 

This is most commonly caused by a depleted key fob battery, or by excess dust/dirt buildup inside the fob.

It’s also possible that your key fob is not working properly.

The lock button may have worn out over time or the key might have to be reprogrammed.

You’ll also want to check for broken, disconnected or frayed wires in the wiring harness under the door panels and going into the body.

The part where the wiring harness goes into the door gets stressed repeatedly and can deteriorate over time.

Trace the wiring back to the Body Control Module or fuse box and inspect for possible issues.

4. Honda HR-V Not Unlocking With Key Fob

If you’re unable to unlock your Honda HR-V using the key fob, try holding down the unlock button for a few seconds. Otherwise, the car’s 12-volt battery or the key fob battery itself might be weak or the fob might be faulty/dirty.

In older HR-Vs, you can simply unlock the car using the physical key, but this may not be as obvious in newer cars. 

  • Newer HR-Vs that have a smart key still have an emergency key hidden inside the fob.
  • There should be a switch on the fob that you can press so you can get the key out from the top.
  • To start the car, place the key fob right next to the start/stop button and push the button down.

From the manual:

“The built-in key can be used to lock/unlock the doors when the smart entry remote battery becomes weak and the power door lock/ unlock operation is disabled.”

Before the key fob battery goes completely dead, you should get a warning on the dash that the battery is low. But this doesn’t work all the time so you might still get caught out with a dead battery.

The Honda HR-V’s key fob uses CR2032 size coin batteries which you can easily find online or at any parts/electronics store.

You can access the key fob battery by pushing the button or switch that takes out the emergency key.

Once the emergency key is out, you should be able to easily separate the two halves of the key fob housing.

Honda HR-Vs might also have unlocking issues using the key fob if it’s left running while locked. In such cases, just restart the car using the start/stop button or the key. 

If it’s only one of the doors that doesn’t unlock, then you might have a bad door lock actuator or a wiring issue.

In HR-V’s equipped with a smart entry system, you can program the doors to unlock just the driver’s side or all the doors when touching the door handle by going into the vehicle’s settings. Each key fob has its own settings, so you’ll want to program both fobs to do the same thing.

5. Honda HR-V Door Not Locking

If your Honda HR-V door locks don’t work at all, you might have an issue with the door lock actuator or the locking mechanism.

Before you take off the door panel though, check if you can lock the car using either the key, the door switch or the fob. If only one of these methods doesn’t work, just focus on troubleshooting that first. 

Here is how one owner described their experience:

The key cylinder can go bad over time which would prevent you from locking the door using the key. If you can still lock the door using the key, it might just be the door actuator that needs to be replaced. If the door switch doesn’t work, the switch itself or its wiring might be bad. 

Signs of a bad door actuator include:

  • Strange electric motor noises
  • Keeps unlocking on its own
  • Becomes harder to move by hand
  • Door doesn’t latch closed properly

Over time, the locking mechanism’s linkages can also get caught on something or just get disconnected, which would prevent the door from locking properly. Once you take off the door panel, check if the locking mechanism still works smoothly.

Door locking issues can also be caused by a faulty BCM (Body Control Module) or what Honda calls a MICU (Multiplex Integrated Control Unit).

The BCM controls the car’s electrical accessories and can cause strange electrical gremlins if it’s shorted. Your dealer or mechanic should be able to diagnose this properly.

6. Honda HR-V Tailgate Not Locking

If you’re having issues locking your Honda HR-V’s rear tailgate, it’s usually caused by a faulty tailgate switch.

Some Honda models are known to have issues with the tailgate switch not properly detecting that the hatch is closed because it’s slightly out of position. If the car thinks that the tailgate is still open, it won’t trigger the tailgate actuator.

Typically, you’ll also notice a warning on the dash and the dome lights turning on indicating that the tailgate is still open.

In most cases, the switch itself is still working properly, but it’s just not being moved far back enough when the tailgate is closed. You can pull back the switch, loosen the screw a little bit, and move the switch closer to the tailgate.

Many people also just wrap some tape or a rubber band around the ends of the tailgate switch which allows it to get pushed back far enough.

If you’re experiencing issues keeping the tailgate closed, it could be caused by:

  • Bad actuator
  • Something caught in the latch
  • Misaligned hatch.

7. Honda HR-V Tailgate Not Unlocking

Some HR-V owners have had issues with their tailgate not unlocking or opening properly.

It’s usually caused by either a faulty tailgate or door actuator.

The tailgate actuator itself may be broken and not locking properly, but it also won’t work if one of the other door actuators is broken and the car thinks that it’s still locked. 

You also won’t be able to open up the tailgate if the tailgate handle/switch is broken. 

To quickly open the tailgate, go in through the back seats and pop off the plastic cover on the bottom of the tailgate. This will reveal the latching mechanism which you can slide free with a screwdriver.

8. Honda HR-V Not Beeping When Locked

If your Honda HR-V does not beep when you lock the doors, this means that the Keyless Lock Answer Back feature is turned off.

When you exit your HR-V and lock it using the fob, you have the option of having beeping ‘on’ or ‘off’. This can be adjusted using the Keyless Lock Answer Back feature.

This can be set from the display unit.

  1. Go to menu
  2. Using the scrolling wheel, go down to ‘Settings’
  3. Then scroll down to ‘Vehicle Settings’
  4. Then scroll down to ‘Door/Window Setup’
  5. Then scroll down to ‘Keyless Lock Answer Back’

If it’s on ‘Off’ the car will make no sound when you lock it.

If its ‘On’ it will beep when you lock it

Then just use the return / back button to get back to the main screen.

It may also be caused by not closing your hood, rear hatch or a door properly.

Here’s what owners on hrvforum.com had to say:

“Same thing happened to me yesterday, but it was the back hatch not properly closed.”

“Make sure your hood is closed properly, not just the doors and back hatch.”

“Yep. Hood not properly closed [why it didn’t beep].”

Related: Honda HR-V Beeping Problems? (7 Causes & Solutions)







  • 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...