9 Honda Insight Locking Problems (Solved & Explained)

The Honda Insight is a sensible small hybrid with great fuel economy.

Although generally reliable, it can be affected by door locking issues.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the Insights most common locking problems and how to resolve them.

1. Honda Insight Central Locking Not Working

If you are having problems with the power lock doors on your Insight, here are some likely culprits.

Key Fob Battery

The first thing you should do is change the battery in your fob and give the inside of the fob a clean.

A low key fob battery can cause a wide range of issues, especially with central locking.

It is also possible the fob is faulty or may need reprogramming.

Check The Fuses

A blown fuse can cause issues with the door locks.

You can find a list of fuses online for your model year Insight and test across the fuses with a voltmeter on the continuity setting – it should beep showing that the fuse is still intact.

“When I blew my auxiliary fuse 2 years ago I had to lock and unlock each door separately.” – InsightCentral.net

Clean & lubricate The Door Locks & Latches

Try cleaning and lubricating the door locks and latches.

Make sure all the doors all open and shut properly and there is nothing obstructing them e.g. bits of dirt, leaves, grime etc.

Faulty Door Lock Actuator

Its not uncommon on any car for the door actuator to fail as it is subject to a lot of wear and tear from continually being used.

If you are mechanically inclined and you can pinpoint the faulty actuator you can replace these without too much trouble, otherwise it might be best to leave it to the professionals.

“Unfortunately for us, the locking mechanism had to be replaced on the door.” – InsightCentral.net

Faulty Door Switch

The door switch (sensor) is designed to detect whether the car door is open or closed. If these are broken or faulty they can relay incorrect signals and affect the locking of doors.

12V Battery Issues

A faulty or weak 12V battery can cause a wide range of problems including those related to the power locks.

The best thing to do is to have a battery health check or simply replace the battery.

Be sure to check the battery connections are tight and free from rust, dirt and grime.

Related: Honda Insight Beeping? (14 Common Causes & Solutions)

Key Fob In Car

If you’re Insight is not locking 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.

“The doors (and trunk) won’t lock if key fob is still inside, so the locking scenario definitely sounds related to that. The fob is pretty large (?) so hopefully it surfaces from the purse sometime soon.” – InsightCentral.net

2. Honda Insight Unlocking Itself

If you have noticed that your Insight unlocks itself, here are some common causes.

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 actuators and run some diagnostic tests.

Electrical Issues

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

  • Damaged wiring
  • Faulty Body Control Module
  • Faulty Keyless Access Module
  • Weak 12V battery

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.

Auto Door Unlocking

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

All doors will unlock when the driver’s door is opened when this setting is enabled.

You can turn off or change to another auto door locking/unlocking setting using the multi-information display.

Related: Honda Insight Alarm Going Off (13 Common Causes)

3. Honda Insight Keeps Locking Itself

If you’re Insight keeps locking itself it could be caused by a number of reasons

Auto Door Locking Feature

The Insight can automatically lock the doors every time the vehicle’s speed reaches about 10 mph. This is part of a feature that can be enabled/disabled called “Auto Door Locking/Unlocking”.

On newer models you can turn off or change to another auto door locking/unlocking setting using the multi-information display.

On older models its not quite as easy and you’ll need to consult the manual for your specific model year Insight.

There is also another auto locking feature as described by the owner below:

“It does have an auto lock feature, but not an auto arm. For example lets say you unlock the doors, but take too long to get in the car, it will lock them back. Now if you exit your car it wont lock them.” – InsightCentral.net

Other Common Causes

  • Defective door lock actuator
  • Key fob issues
  • 12V weak or faulty
  • Faulty wiring harness
  • Defective tailgate switch
  • Issues with aftermarket alarms
  • Water damage

4. Honda Insight Not Locking With Key Fob

A Honda Insight that does not lock with the key fob is often 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.

It may also be caused by signal interference, if you have an electronic device too close to your fob, like your phone.

“I have had experiences like this when the key fob is in the same pocket as my cell phone. It may be some signal interference.” – InsightCentral.net

5. Honda Insight Not Unlocking With Key Fob

If you’re unable to unlock your Honda Insight 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 Insights, you can simply unlock the car using the physical key, on newer models there is a physical key 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.”

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.

6. Honda Insight Door Not Locking

If your Honda Insight 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. 

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.

7. Honda Insight Rear Hatch Not Unlocking

If your Honda Insight rear hatch won’t open it may be caused by a broken plastic part that allows the rear hatch to unlock known as the ‘trunk latch clutch’.

This is a commonly reported problem with the Insight.

“Just wanted to give an update on this problem. It turned out it was the infamous plastic part that is known to break and cause the hatch not to open. A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Scott’s shop to have him look at my windshield and set up a time to replace it. He also looked at my rear hatch issue and pretty much knew what the problem was. I think it took him about 15 minutes or maybe less than that to fix it. The job looked pretty involved, but Scott made it look super easy.” – InsightCentral.net

“If your trunk won’t open and you only hear a ‘whirring’ noise when you press the button, then your trunk latch clutch (TLC) is broken.” – InsightCentral.net

“Yes, there is a tiny 3D printed cam in the hatch unlock motor which frequently causes the problem. One fellow here in the states prints the part and charges a modest price. You can learn a lot about the problem by typing “Repairing the hatch latch” in the search line at the top of every page. I just did that and I see that the very first thread displayed is very helpful..” – InsightCentral.net

Faults with a relay or the actuator are also common causes.

8. Honda Insight Rear Hatch Not Locking

If the rear hatch on your Honda Inisght is not locking it may because you have a spare key fob left in the car somewhere.

“Inside is an electric trunk lock. The cause of the problem may be incorrect operation of the system that checks for the presence of the key. The designers made it so that the trunk lock would not close if the system seemed to “see” the key inside the trunk. What can it cause? – some kind of electronic device that the sensor took for a key, a failure of the body control system, errors in the operation of the sensor or wires to it, and so on. It could also be a mechanical reason.” – InsightCentral.net

Another common cause if a faulty latch, you can try giving it a clean and some lubrication.

Other Common Causes

  • Bad actuator
  • Something caught in the latch

9. Honda Insight Not Beeping When Locked

If your Honda Insight does not beep when you lock the doors, this means that the Keyless Lock Answer Back feature is turned off or it may also be caused by not closing your hood, rear hatch or a door properly.

When you exit your Insight 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.







  • 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...

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