Remote door locks not working

Remote door locks not working

Recently I had a perplexing issue with my 2013 Toyota Highlander. My remote locks stopped working. All of them at the exact same time. I did what any good techie would do and Googled it. I found a long list of potential issues but none of the symptoms were an exact match for what I was experiencing.
Some folks were complaing about an actuator going bad in a door. I didn’t think it was an actuator because the issue was happening for all doors. I couldn’t imagine all the actuators going bad at the same time.
Others were saying it was old wiring going bad but I wasn’t getting the kind of sporatic functionality that supposedly happens in this scenario. Some people were saying it was a bad motherboard. I didn’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars for a replacement or dealing with my dealership.
So, I went and sat in my car without it running. I had the keys in my hand and I was clicking on the remote fob to see if I heard anything. Then, I noticed something. There was an interior light on. Not the normal overhead light but the little pinhole light that lights up your cup holders while driving. Normally this shouldn’t be on when the car is not running but it was. For some reason my car “thought” it was running. Could it be that the battery bank plugged into my cigarette lighter that was causing some issue. As soon as I unplugged the battery bank, the remote locks started working. When the car was off, the battery bank was giving power back to the car’s electronics. It was just enough juice to make it “think” it was running and when the car is running, the remote locks do not work
I wonder if anyone else has had this issue?


  1. Maria

    I admire your problem-solving skills! It’s good to know at least one other person out there is using that grey matter inside their skull!
    This is your long-lost cousin, Mita btw.
    Cool blog. I’m on my third article.
    P.S. I hate these damn ads lol

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