Chevy Impala Power Door Lock Failure: A Troubleshooting Guide

Even though broken power door locks are a minor issue compared to a lot of things that could go wrong under the hood, it’s still an inconvenience.

With this troubleshooting guide, you can finally leave behind the days of using your physical key to lock and unlock your car. To narrow down your issue, check out the list of problems below and see if you recognize any of them:

1. Broken Key Fob

Key fob

The most common reason behind a broken key fob is a dead battery. Let’s see if it’s the culprit in your case by answering this question: Do the power lock switches work in your car? If your answer is yes, then the key fob is the issue. If your answer is no, then you’re dealing with at least two broken doors (skip ahead to #3 on this list).

To replace your Impala key fob battery:

  1. Press the chrome button at the top of the key fob to release the ignition key.
  2. With your thumb, press down into the empty space where the ignition key used to be. The battery access cover should pop off.
  3. Replace the battery and then put the battery access cover back on.
  4. Enjoy your now-functioning key fob!

2. One Broken Door

Impala interior

Do you have three functioning doors and one broken door? If so, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a faulty lock actuator, which is a somewhat common problem in 2008 and 2009 Impala models. Each door has its own lock actuator, which is a motor that powers the locking mechanisms. Take a look at this list of symptoms of a malfunctioning lock actuator and see if you recognize any of them:

  • A buzzing sound inside the door
  • A delayed response when you use your key fob to lock or unlock the door
  • The door only being able to lock or unlock
  • Unprompted locking or unlocking

If it turns out that you may have a faulty lock actuator, you can fix the problem by replacing it. Here’s a detailed YourMechanic.com tutorial on replacing the lock actuator, and here’s another one on replacing the trunk lock actuator. TL;DR: Disconnect the car battery, remove the door panel, and then replace the door lock actuator with an OEM lock actuator.

3. At Least Two Broken Doors

Do you have two or three doors that quit working? Or does everything, including the door switches and the key fob, seem to be broken? If your answer is “yes” to one of these two questions, then you’re dealing with a big electrical problem only a qualified mechanic can accurately diagnose and fix. You can try to take matters into your hands but keep in mind that your Impala’s electrical system is complicated and one little mistake may fry the entire system.