I have a 2008 Honda Civic EX. Today the power lock buttons do not lock or unlock the driver door (but the rest of the doors are locked/unlocked accordingly). In addition, the remote's lock/unlock button doesn't lock/unlock any door (the horn chirps when hitting the buttons so I know the signal is getting to the car).

The only thing I can think of is the door lock actuator for the driver's door. What I don't understand is how that would make the remote lock/unlock stop working for all of the doors. Could the lock actuator cause both issues, or is there another potential cause?

I want to make sure that I know what the cause is to avoid buying wrong parts chasing down the real cause.

Edit: Solution and Causes

The causes were the lock actuator, key battery, and my stupidity.

  • The lock actuator was what was causing the intermittent failure for the power lock/unlock to not work and partially responsible for the remote not locking/unlocking.
  • The key battery was also part of the cause as it was dying, and was why part of the time it wouldn't remote lock/unlock.
  • My stupidity comes into play when I tried ruling out the remote battery. When I was testing the remote I had the door open and was sitting right inside, and it turns out Honda won't let the remote lock the doors when a door is open for some reason. This meant when the doors were unlocked, hitting the lock button did nothing, and hitting unlock also did nothing since it was already unlocked (although I could hear it try to unlock and so I thought they key was fine). Sitting inside the car also meant that the dying battery signal reached the car for the test, but wouldn't when standing at a distance when the doors were closed.

It was quite the adventure for me, but thankfully after replacing the lock actuator and key battery it is all working properly now.

  • Does the door lock/unlock via the door controls? Aug 7, 2021 at 1:36
  • Using the key in the lock and flipping the physical lock (switch?) both work.
    – FreakyDan
    Aug 7, 2021 at 1:40
  • 1
    Do you usually have to press the remote once to get the drivers door to open and then again to get the other doors to open?
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 7, 2021 at 7:45
  • Just to make sure we're talking apples-to-apples ... I'm talking about the switch found in this panel. Aug 7, 2021 at 11:57
  • @HandyHowie I do, and I have tried pressing twice. Pressing lock should lock the doors (which it doesn't) and twice makes the horn chirp (which it does) so I believe the remote is working.
    – FreakyDan
    Aug 7, 2021 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The problem would seem to be the solenoid which activates the door lock. Since all others work regardless of method (switch or fob), while the lock itself works via key or manual switch, this is the only thing which could be wrong.

  • The solenoid is in the lock actuator, correct?
    – FreakyDan
    Aug 7, 2021 at 13:03
  • 1
    @FreakyDan - Yes. Unfortunately it looks like the solenoid is built into the actuator, so you have to buy it as a unit. Aug 7, 2021 at 13:22
  • What about a broken wire to the door? I agree the lock mechanism is the most likely.
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 7, 2021 at 13:49
  • @HandyHowie - Agreed, but less likely (IMHO). Definitely something to test prior to replacing the part. Aug 7, 2021 at 14:56

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