My 2001 Toyota Camry wouldn't unlock this evening. If I turned the key to the "lock" position, it seems to lock OK, but it won't turn at all in the other direction.

I managed to break in to the car, but then after a short drive home the doors spontaneously locked. Any time I tried to unlock them by hand, they would lock again immediately.

It felt somewhat like my car was trying to trap me inside. Does this sound like a Central Locking issue? Electrics? Security System? I'm stumped.

  • I take it this is new behavior to you? Or is the car new to you and your are just now experiencing this? Jan 14, 2014 at 11:25
  • 2
    If it was a 1958 Plymouth Fury you would have bigger problems. Jan 16, 2014 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


It sounds like the lock on your driver's door is stuck (leading to the first symptom), which has led to it constantly sending the "lock" signal to the central locking, causing the second symptom.

If you can get the door open, you should be able to disconnect the central locking wiring from the lock to stop it locking the other doors, then investigate why it is sticking - it might be as simple as one of the control rods working loose. You'll have to remove the inside door trim to get to it, which is usually held on with several small screws and a set of clips around the edge.

  • That sounds like a likely cause. Will take a look! Thanks :-)
    – Alex
    Jan 15, 2014 at 2:13
  • Good to hear, glad you fixed it!
    – Nick C
    Jan 20, 2014 at 10:34

Some remote locking have rolling codes and if you operate the remote fob enough times out of range of the car it will lose sync with the on board ecu. It then needs to be synchronized again. Simply the code recognition goes out of timing between remote fob and vehicle. You can start to get difficulty opening or locking or both. Sometimes self locking needs re-synchronizing.

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