9 Honda Odyssey Locking Problems (Solved & Explained)

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most recognizable minivans on the market.

Despite being very reliable, it is susceptible to door locking issues.

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

1. Honda Odyssey Central Locking Not Working

A commonly reported problem from Odyssey owners is the central locking does not work when using the key fob – only some of the doors will unlock/lock or none at all.

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.

If you have multiple fobs, to be on the safe side change the battery in them also.

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.

Faulty Door Locking Module

A faulty locking module can cause a wide range of issues with the power door locks.

The door control module is located in the door panel, fixing these can be quite technical and it’s often better to just buy a replacement and have it fitted by a trained professional.

“Finally got the dealer to fix it. Turns out the locking module was bad. There’s one that controls 3 locks and another for the one remaining door. They replaced it.” – OdyClub.com

“I believe the door lock/latch module inside the driver’s door would or could affect all 4 door locks. I’ve replaced mine twice for similar issues, including random alarms going off and door ajar light on dash staying on. It is not an easy part to access or replace, but it can be done.” – OdyClub.com

Faulty Door Switch

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

“Door switch problem, if the system thinks that a door is open, it will not lock. most likely the driver door switch.” – OdyClub.com

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 Odyssey and test across the fuses with a voltmeter on the continuity setting – it should beep showing that the fuse is still intact.

“I spoke with the dealer and although I checked fuses, they pointed out there was a fuse panel on the passenger side. Checked the PDL fuse and it was blown. Changed it. Works good now.” – OdyClub.com

Clean & Lubricate The Door Locks & Latches

Try cleaning and lubricating the door locks and latches.

A quick clean and some WD-40 might be all it takes to resolve the issue.

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.

2. Honda Odyssey Unlocking Itself

Some Odyssey owners have reported problems with one or more of the doors unlocking on their own when they shouldn’t.

Key Fob In Car

If you’re Odyssey 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.

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 it’s 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 Odyssey 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.

Auto Door Unlocking

The Odyssey 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.

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 Odyssey 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.

Related: Honda Odyssey Alarm Going Off? (14 Common Causes)

3. Honda Odyssey Keeps Locking Itself

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

Auto Door Locking Feature

The Odyssey 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 the auto door locking setting using the driver information interface.

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

Water Damage

Some Odyssey owners have reported water damage as a cause of locking issues.

This is often when water has seeped in through the window and damaged the electrics in the locks.

Other Common Causes

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

4. Honda Odyssey Not Locking With Key Fob

A Honda Odyssey that does not lock with the key fob is often caused by not shutting the rear hatch properly.

Owners on OdyClub.com had this to say:

“My problem was solved (every time) with the rear hatch. It seems it has to be closed real tight. It’s odd that it doesn’t show its open on the “door open display” on the dash. Otherwise, I believe you might need to reprogram the remote.”

“I had the exact same problem a few weeks back and it was due to the rear hatch not closed properly as described in the above post.”

If your Odyssey is not locking it can also be caused by a weak 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.

5. Honda Odyssey Not Unlocking With Key Fob

If you’re unable to unlock your Honda Odyssey 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 Odysseys, you can simply unlock the car using the physical key, on newer models there is a physical emergency 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 start/stop button.

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.

Related: Honda Odyssey Beeping Problems? (7 Common Causes)

6. Honda Odyssey Door Not Locking

If your Honda Odyssey 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 Odyssey Tailgate Not Locking

If you’re having issues locking your Honda Odyssey’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.

Other Common Causes

  • Bad actuator
  • Something caught in the latch
  • Misaligned hatch.
  • Power connector not connected

8. Honda Odyssey Tailgate Not Unlocking

Some Odyssey 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.

9. Honda Odyssey Not Beeping When Locked

If your Honda Odyssey 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 Odyssey 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.

Resources

https://owners.honda.com/vehicle-information/manuals

https://owners.honda.com/vehicle-information/information/2020/Odyssey/manuals

https://owners.honda.com/help/customer-relations

https://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/recalls

Author:

  • 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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