CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Power Door Locks

I have a 2008 Ford Escape. My wife complains that no one in the back seat can get out of the car unless she unlocks all the doors with the power switch first. The child safety locks are not engaged. The lock stem is easily visible, and can be pulled up by hand for each door.

Is unlocking the doors by hand a bad thing for the power locks? Will it cause undue damage to the system and make it fail any faster than using the switch would normally?

Unlocking the door manually will not cause any problems or wear on the system. One thing that prevents some users from opening the door manually is physical infirmities like arthritis. Some younger children also have a difficult time pulling up on some lock stems because they are smooth and tapered on some vehicles. My door locks open and close with a horizontal slide but we rarely use them since it’s much easier to press a button.