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Doors lock automatically while outside of car

Today, the car doors of my 2005 Toyota Camry suddenly locked while I was outside the vehicle talking to someone. I thought I had touched the lock button on the key remote so I unlocked the door and continued talking. The doors locked again, several times while we talked. I then placed the car keys on top of the car and we continued talking and the doors locked again. What gives? A passerby suggested I had an electrical short. A short in the car’s electrical? In the remote? Could a sensor be going awry? I’ve never changed the battery in the remote.

I have noticed on a few occasions that the car doors were locked while the car is in the garage even though I don’t lock the doors when I"m in the garage, so I guess the same thing has been happening for a while. I worry that something might stick on and wear down the battery or burn up the car (and my house). Should I be worried? Thanks for any suggestions.

I like the remote theory best.
Moisture or gunk trapped in some switch somewhere. I’ve taken apart many a remote for battery replacement and have seen many that were very wet in there.
Not only take off the back to access the battery but take out the little circuit board from the rubber bottons. You may find it moist in there. Dry off and reassemble.
Dry all the remotes in this manner.

If it’s not them , it could be a similar issue in the door switches that are more work to dry out. After you get them out of the door panel you may find they’re not disassembleable ( if they appear to be, be careful when prying the back out by those little tabs. Parts tend to fly out , then you don’t know where they go back to. ). try to spray electrical contact cleaner inside, then air from one of those cans for computer cleaning. ( all Radio Shack stuff )

Thanks. That makes sense. I’ll try a new battery and clean off the contacts on the remote. I think I can handle that. Fiddling with the door switches, though, is way out of my league!! In fact, I’m not even in a league. I’ll have to take it to my mechanic for that. Thanks again.

Does your car re-lock after 30 seconds? My 07 RAV does…security feature. I have also noticed that on occasion it “spontaneously” locks … on those occasions I think I have touched the remote button when removing the key from the ignition. Nothing to be concerned about unless you leave the keys on the seat of the car when you get out.

Oh my! you’re absolutely correct. I just read the manual and there it is. It relocks in 30 seconds. I guess I have never unlocked the door and stood by it talking for 10 minutes before. Thank you thank you thank you!! It just goes to show you gotta read the manual. You just saved me a trip to Radio Shack to find new batteries.

It should also tell you that if you open one door right after unlocking, it won’t relock until all doors are closed.

Well, after re-reading my manual for the umteenth time, I find it does not say that, but I know mine works that way.

My Matrix works the same way.

Wow, what a semi-worthless “feature” that could cause a person to repeatedly lock their keys in the car.

I work on technology all day and despise it when it’s programmed to think for me using the faulty logic of whatever executive or well-meaning engineer thought it was a great idea.

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I think it only relocks automatically if you unlock and then don’t open a door within 30 seconds. I think (hope) opening a door will override the feature so you can’t unlock, throw your keys on the seat (which I do sometimes), shut the door and have it automatically lock. I’ll test that out today and report back.

Thanks again for all the comments.

This Was All Predicted In 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
"Open the pod bay Doors HAL."

CSA :wink:

:wink: Well, I’ve never been able to settle on a name for my car but I guess now it’ll have to be HAL!!

I’ll know it’s time to sell if it ever tells me “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

That’s the way my mother’s Sienna works. If you unlock the doors and don’t open any of them, the car will lock itself. All you have to do to prevent this is unlock the car, open the door, and close the door.

I think this is a great feature, not worthless at all. Think about it, oblivion. If you unlocked the car, you have the keys. If you open the door, it won’t lock itself. Therefore, it would be extremely difficult to lock your keys in the car. If you leave the keys in the ignition, and try to lock and close the door, it will unlock itself, preventing you from locking the keys in the car.

I have a 2009 Toyota Matrix and a 2008 Rav 4. One of these, at least, does the “I’m gonna lock the car even if you don’t want it locked” trick.

I believe this is a deliberate “security” behavior.

I have traditionally left my keys in the car while at work. Had to stop this practice.

Experiment with:

  1. unlocking the car explicitly on the inside driver’s door, then get out and wait

  2. get out. close the doors. then explicitly unlock the doors with the key remote. wait.

see what happens.

You’re right. Another commenter made this observation further back in the thread and it’s even in the owner’s manual which I hadn’t looked at in a few years. I haven’t yet had a chance to experiment with the various ways to open, close, lock and unlock but I’ll get to that later today. Thanks for your comments.

It’s programmed that way. It’s a security feature. If you unlock the door using the FOB and don’t open anything within about three seconds it assumes it was unlocked in error and locks the car back up.

Mine does that too.

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Guess what! My 2006 Volvo XC 70 does the same thing. Relocks after 2’ unless you open the door.

I have a Tuscon 2017 model. I opened the car, threw the key on the passenger front seat. Strapped my son into his booster seat, closed his door,walked to the front driver side…in a matter of seconds, and all doors were locked. Imagine the panic my kid inside, the sun was hot and keys locked in. In addition, it cost me almost $400USD equivalent to $2300TTD to replace the back quarter glass, which had to be broken to open the van.The company said I must have pressed the key for doors to lock, but how could I, if keys were on the seat. I believe this is a very costly and inconvenient feature.

No reason to tell Wenganna , He/She has not been on this site for 9 years .

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Yup, I started reading this thinking it was new until I got to Radio Shack! Then I checked the date.

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