Our possessions are important to us. We work hard to earn the money used to buy ourselves nice things and do everything we can to stop others from taking them from us. Car theft is an unfortunately all too common problem, particularly in large cities but also, in recent times, expanding out into more suburban areas. Central locking has been around for some time now, aiming to increase the security of our cars with the press or turn of a single button or key. However, if it stops working you might struggle to access or secure your vehicle. Let us explain what can cause it to break and how you can fix it.
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What Is Central Locking & How Does It Work?
Central locking, or power door locks as they’re also known, is the mechanism that allows all doors on a vehicle, including the boot, to be locked simultaneously from one button or lock. ‘Central’ refers to the way that one single point of control within the car has power over every locking mechanism. Modern cars utilise remote central locking, the ability to lock or unlock your vehicle remotely using your key fob, only furthering the protective measures against theft that manufacturers now implement.
It works using electrical wiring to send signals that differ depending on whether the system is being locked or unlocked. These signals are then acted upon by a component called an actuator, which is the part that implements the action and unlocks or locks the doors.
What Causes Faulty Central Locking?
Speaking of which, it’s often a failing actuator that results in a faulty central locking. Because this component utilises physical components like pistons and gears, it really is at the heart of the whole operation. Therefore, when it gives out on you, it prevents the entire central locking system from working.
However, it could also be down to something as simple as a blown fuse. As we mentioned above, the system is electrically powered, so if a fuse ends up needing to be replaced the system can fail to operate. There are also solenoids that could have failed which will prevent doors from locking or unlocking, and these will need replacing.
These days, there’s also the possibility that your key fob isn’t working properly. It might have a dead battery, which is something many drivers probably don’t even think about every time they press the button on it, or it could be faulty. Key fobs are usually deemed to be faulty when they stop sending the required signals to the car.
What To Do If Your Car’s Central Locking Isn’t Working
Typically, the best course of action will be to get the car looked at by a professional as they will not only be able to diagnose the problem, but also fix it. However, you could attempt to identify the cause first to save yourself some repair fees.
If your central locking system seems to be working properly when the key is physically inserted into the door lock and turned, or when the locking button on the dashboard is pressed from inside the vehicle, then it’s possible that the problem lies with your remote key fob. This will need to be fixed or, more likely, replaced.
If you’re able to establish that the problem lies within the car itself, you’re probably best off getting it booked in with a garage to be looked at and fixed. You might consider yourself handy enough to have a go at fixing it yourself, like if it’s a simple fuse swap that’s required, but sometimes it’s best left to the pros.
The Cost To Fix A Car’s Central Locking
In the UK, the average price you’ll be facing to get your central locking system repairs is around £100. In the grand scheme of things, this is fairly cheap – after all, some repair jobs are so expensive that you’re better off scrapping the car altogether. This fairly low cost might also persuade some drivers to take the car in for a professional to work on instead of having a crack at fixing the problem themselves.
If your car is so old and worn out that thieves wouldn’t steal it even if you left the doors wide open, then get a price for it today from Scrap Car Comparison and sell! We track down the highest offers from scrap and salvage experts in your local area and present them to you, with free collection included! With 99% UK coverage, we’re sure to have a buyer on our network who is ready and able to take your car off your hands, and with the entire process taking just a few days from start to finish, you’ll have cash in the bank before you know it! So, give our sales team a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to find out what your old, unwanted or even broken car is worth today!