A month or two ago, I started having problems with our Toyota Highlander’s automatic door locks. As I’d walk away, I’d click on the “lock” button on the key fob, but it didn’t always work. Or at least that’s what it seemed like.
At first, I though it might be a faulty key fob, or maybe a weak battery. But when I replaced the battery, there was no change, and swapping out the key fobs didn’t seem to help, either. Hmmmm… Okay.
Update: Problem solved. The lock mechanism on the driver’s side rear door had failed and needed to be replaced.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that the locks actually are locking when I click the button. If I’m close enough to the car, I can hear them click. But the car doesn’t beep, and the lights don’t flash. Strange stuff.
I’d chalk this up to a problem with the settings, except… This behavior has been intermittent. Sometimes it actually will beep (and flash) as expected. Other times, it won’t. It always beeps and flashes when I unlock the doors, but the behavior is erratic when I try to lock the doors.
To further rule out the possibility of a settings problem, I’ve played around with the automatic door lock settings (via “Setup > Apps > Vehicle” on the head unit), but… Nothing has helped. Needless to say, I’m frustrated.
For what it’s worth, I get the exact same behavior when I try to lock the doors using the door handle. I’ll hear the lock click, but no beep, and the lights won’t flash. But, here again, the problem is intermittent.
On the surface, this isn’t a huge deal. If the car is locking, then who cares about the beep? Well… If it doesn’t beep or flash, I have to be right next to the car to hear the locks click. Otherwise, I can’t be sure that it locked. And when I pay $40k for a vehicle, I expect the bells and whistles to work.
The worst part is that I can’t reliably replicate the problem. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. It will be messed up for a day or two, and then it’ll be fine for awhile. Thus, it may be hard for the service techs at the dealership to diagnose. Oh well, at least it’s still under warranty.
I’ll update if/when I know more…
As noted in the box above, I managed to identify the problem myself (a failed rear door lock) and have since had it repaired under warranty at the dealership.