CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Doors Locking and Unlocking While Driving

While driving down the road, my 2013 Murano door locks are locking and unlocking and the dash flashes that the back hatch is open (when it’s not). Also, my car alarm will randomly go off in parking lots. We had it to the dealership who ran a diagnostic and no codes showed up. He said if it was the back hatch the part would cost $700 + labor. Confused as to what may be causing these problems. Any help is appreciated. Would just hate to spend $700 on a part and that not be the issue.

Is there a car alarm? Is it aftermarket or OEM?

If that alarm is not factory remove it and see if that solves the problem.

The car alarm is OEM. Never been changed. We bought the car with 15K
miles and this is the only thing we have experienced that has caused any
problems. It now has 80K miles.​

Julia Tallent

I doubt the alarm or locks would show up in the codes, puzzled as to why the dealer would even try that. The mechanic that said to replace the back hatch has no clue. Try to find an independent mechanic that has higher competency than the dealer. With the doors locking and unlocking and the rear hatch showing open I would suspect a loose connection somewhere, will be a PITA to find. The alarm is doing it’s job as it triggers because it thinks the doors are being opened. Find the culprit that causes the doors to unlock and unlock and you will solve everything else. Unfortunately finding the loose wire will take some detective work by a patient and competent mechanic.

That makes sense and thank for the information!​

Julia Tallent

The technician was probably suggesting that the liftgate latch may have to be replaced as it contains the gate ajar switch, I don’t think anyone would suggest replacing the hatch.

Were they able to observe the condition that you described?

No they didn’t. They actually drove it but it wouldn’t act up for them.
It comes and goes and isn’t consistent. For example, when I leave for work
it will start the unlocking/locking while driving, flashing on and off
showing the back hatch isn’t latched, and series of beeps. When I get down
the road after driving it for a few miles it usually stops, although
sometimes it has continued during my entire trip to work. Also, when
opening and closing the hatch I can actually hear the motor functioning
like it always has. It also doesn’t have a problem closing completely
using the key fob, the switch to the left of the steering wheel to
open/close, or manually pressing the button on the back of the hatch.​

Are you unable to leave the vehicle at a repair shop until the problem can be replicated?

Yes, I probably can. That may be what I need to do.​

The parts associated with power doors can be very expensive, someone will need to take their time diagnosing this.

Thanks for the helpful information!

You may have two separate problems. The rear hatch unlocked (when it isn’t) may be unrelated to the locking and unlocking symptom. For the latter, the locking/unlocking, that could be a wire inside a door that the insulation has rubbed off, or where the wire inside the door goes out the door & into the car’s body, near the door hinges usually. Take a look in that door hinge area, are there any wires that look to be in bad shape? Twisted, misshapen, missing insulation? For 2013 my guess for the locking/unlocking though is there’s a problem in the door switch or the wires in that area, inside the driver’s side door panel. As mentioned above, it can take quite a bit of time to debug as the wiring tends to be complicated for automatic doors and windows.

Suggest you focus on getting a good shop diagnosis, rather than making a guess and hoping it works. Tell your shop you’d rather spend more on the diagnosis if it would help assure that the fix really works.

This vehicle has one problem, let’s not try to sell two.

Each time a door is opened and closed while the vehicle is in motion the body computer will lock the doors once again. When a malfunction like this occurs customers claim the doors unlock but I have never witnessed this, they just lock again.

The problem with this vehicle seems to be with the door ajar switch for the liftgate which unfortunately may be part of the liftgate latch assembly.

1 Like

I have run into this problem before and all it was, was corroded battery terminals.

This vehicle…the doors would lock and unlock as you drove down the road. Because the bat terminals ware so corroded the connection to the battery would fail, charge, fail etc…

enough electricity could flow thru the connection to keep the engine running, but that was it.

Easy enough to try cleaning those terminals before you spend a wad of money.

Yosemite

3 Likes

I am having the same exact problem with my 2014 Murano. Same locking/unlocking while driving and same back hatch alarm. What ended up being the problem and what parts were replaced? Thank you.

I have no idea what solved the first posting problem, but I’d first replace the battery in the remote key fob. After that I’d make sure the vehicle battery terminals are clean and tight.

Yes, I saw that you mentioned those items earlier and I did verify all. I’m hoping jhtallent can fill me in on what he did to solve the locking/unlocking issue.

Could be a faulty latch or actuator, whose function is to turn an electric signal into a mechanical movement. All the central locking systems, no matter how simple or complex, can suffer this problem when they lose the signal.

Faulty door sensors can also cause this problem, and until they are replaced, the system will continue to act up.

Worn-out and exposed grounding wires found in the system, which aid in the closing and opening of the doors, can cause this problem, especially if one of the wires touches the body of the vehicle.

I opened up the back hatch and go a visual of everything. Felt around, tightened bolts, and looked for exposed wires. All seemed good. I found 2 little green spring sensors on the latch assembly. I tightened the screws holding the sensors. I also ensured they were making proper contact with the associated moving item, and ensured they were making the clicking sound when engaged. All seemed good. Test drive today. If it still fails, it looks like I might be able to adjust the green sensors tighter to the associated moving part…