A Nissan Altima’s locking problems shouldn’t alarm you. Usually, this issue has fairly straightforward causes. They include the following:
1). The Key Fob Battery is Dead
People are quick to blame the key fob. But why would the key fob stop working? These devices run on coin batteries, which last two to four years. The exact duration will vary depending on the frequency of use.
But they won’t die suddenly. Instead, the key fob’s functionality will slowly deteriorate. The range of the device will gradually reduce, proving that the battery is failing. This gives you time to get a new battery. You can’t blame the battery if the key fob stops working suddenly.
Check the connection between the battery and the contacts. If the retaining clips wear out, their connection with the battery will deteriorate. Test them. Determine whether they have any tension.
A poor battery connection is the only reason why a battery would stop a key fob from suddenly working.
2). Water Has Entered The Key Fob
Key fobs are water resistant. In other words, they can tolerate water exposure for a limited time. For instance, a key fob can survive in a light drizzle for a short while. But it can’t keep the moisture out if you submerge it in a pool.
Water that penetrates a key fob’s seals will damage the internal electronics. This is particularly true for salt water. This doesn’t mean the key fob is dead. However, it will stop working until you take steps to dry and clean it. Naturally, you can cause permanent damage if you permit the water exposure to persist.
3). The Car Battery Is Dead
You can’t blame everything on the key fob. A car’s electronics won’t work without a healthy battery. Like the key fob battery, a car battery’s lifespan will depend on various factors, including temperature and charge/discharge rates.
NREL(Transportation and Mobility Research) has published models and diagrams that attempt to predict a battery’s lifespan. A dead battery will kill all the electronics in the car. But if the battery is merely defective, you may only notice the consequences in a few areas, such as the locking mechanism. Fortunately, a dead battery won’t prevent you from manually locking and unlocking the door.
4). The Fuse Has Blown
A fuse responds to surges by blowing. This prevents the current from flowing. You can blame a faulty or unresponsive door lock actuator on a blown fuse. The power door lock system won’t work once the lock actuator stops running.
Watch this video to know more about Nissan Altima door lock fuses:
5). You Have Interference In The Signal
The key fob works by sending a signal to the car. Unfortunately, that signal is susceptible to interference. People usually blame physical objects. But transmitters and poor weather conditions are just as problematic.
Do you see radio towers in the area? What about large-scale satellite systems? Any number of emissions from a variety of sources can disrupt the key fob’s signal, preventing it from unlocking the door. However, this issue is typically restricted to specific locations. It shouldn’t persist when you drive to new areas.
6). The Solenoid Is Dead
If you’ve ruled out signal interference, consider the solenoid. You find this component in the car door. Without the solenoid, the car can’t turn the key fob’s signal into a mechanical action. A solenoid malfunction will prevent the door from locking or unlocking.
7). The Key Fob Is Dead
Keyless entry systems are not perfect. Advanced Piezoelectric Materials 2010 has a section examining the many instances of hackers breaching keyless entry systems. However, with conventional key fobs, you have a more immediate threat.
Key fobs are essentially plastic, which means they can break. Technically, a key fob can last the car’s lifespan. John Paul mentions on Boston.com that he had a 10-year-old key fob that worked just fine.
However, some key fobs will fail within months, possibly even weeks, depending on the quality and the way you handle them.
How To Fix Nissan Altima Door Lock That Is Not Working?
Don’t rush to replace the key fob simply because the Nissan Altima’s door lock has stopped working. Try the following solutions:
1). Test The Key Fob Battery With A Multimeter
This is the easiest problem to solve because coin batteries are inexpensive. If you have doubts about the necessity of this step, remove the old battery and test it with a multimeter. If it isn’t dead, you can continue troubleshooting the problem.
But if the battery is clearly dead, insert a new one. Low-quality batteries won’t last. Ask Nissan for a recommendation. Pay attention to the specs. You don’t want to use the wrong voltage.
2). Dry Key Fob
If you exposed the key fob to water, clean it. Don’t allow the device to dry naturally. The moisture may attract corrosion. Remove the battery and use a paper towel to dry everything. Salt water requires an electronic cleaner.
3). Test The Car Battery
Like the coin battery, test the car battery. Don’t just throw it away. You can salvage some batteries if you remove the corrosion on the terminals. Make sure the connections are firm. If you need a new battery, pay attention to the specifications. The wrong battery can ruin the car’s electrical system.
4). Reprogram The Key Fob
While it sounds like a sensible decision to replace a key fob that doesn’t work, you should start by reprogramming it. This assumes that you have an OBDII scanner. Otherwise, take the device to the dealership.
Tom’s Key Company has a video showing drivers how to program their Nissan Altima Key Fob.
5). Replace The Blown Fuse
Find the fuse box and locate the door lock actuator’s fuse. Test it. If it fails, replace it. Fuses are even cheaper than coin batteries. Keep in mind that the door lock actuator can also fail. These are the gears that control the locks. The doors won’t open or close when the actuator fails. You need a mechanic to troubleshoot this component.
6). Check The Electrical System
The electrical system is complex. This is another challenge that requires a mechanic. They can look at the logic board before searching for broken, loose, or worn-out wiring. Additionally, the mechanic will determine whether a defective solenoid requires repairs or replacement.