My Honda Civic Won't Unlock

by Kirk Maltbee
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Car key image by Corneliu C from

Honda Civic owners appreciate their vehicle's styling and gas mileage, but, just like any other auto, sometimes things can go awry. One such frustration is when the Civic won't unlock, despite the best of efforts in getting the key to turn or the keyless remote to work. Luckily some do-it-yourself methods exist to help you unlock the car and hopefully not have to call a locksmith or take your car to the dealer's shop.

Step 1

Press in on the locked door to make sure the door is fully in contact with the frame. If the door isn't making full contact, the lock will only partially engage, meaning the internal mechanism won't line up properly and will become stuck. Try unlocking the door with the key.

Step 2

Spray a coat of industrial spray-on lube onto the key and insert the key into the key lock on the door. Don't turn the key yet; instead, remove it and re-lube the key. Repeat the process a few times before attempting to turn the key. The key will lubricate the tumblers inside the locking mechanism and may help engage the teeth and unlock the door.

Step 3

Check the batteries on the keyless entry remote if your model of Civic has this feature. Older or spent batteries could be the culprit, so use fresh batteries as recommended by the owner's manual included with your Civic.

Step 4

Consult a locksmith or an auto shop if the door will stop not unlock. They should be able to ascertain the problem, even though there will be a charge for any parts and labor. If you're not familiar with car door locking mechanisms, do not attempt to pry open the door to fix it yourself, as the door's internal components are both delicate and expensive and you may damage them.

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