Have you ever found yourself standing outside your Ford F150, key in hand, only to have the door refuse to unlock? You’re not alone.

This dilemma is widespread among Ford F150 owners and often stems from mechanical and electrical issues within the locking system.

If you’re keen on resolving door lock issues on your own, my article has you covered.

why a Ford F150 door won’t unlock with the key?

The Ford F-150 door won’t unlock with the key due to various issues such as a malfunctioning key fob, blown fuse, frozen actuator, or battery problems. To resolve this, you should first check the functionality of the key fob, inspect and replace any blown fuses, address battery concerns if necessary, and ensure the proper adjustment of the linkage clip.

In this section, I’ll explain the reasons in detail why your truck’s doors are stuck at first before moving on to the solutions.

1. Broken Button

Let’s start with the obvious one. If the unlock button on your key fob is broken, it won’t send the signal to unlock your truck. You’ll have to buy and program a new key fob for your f150.

2. Blown Fuse In Driver Door Lock 

Most F150s have a fuse dedicated to the driver door lock. Sometimes, it blows out, cutting off power to the door lock system.

This can happen if there’s a sudden electrical hiccup. When that fuse blows, the key fob can’t communicate with the driver’s door lock.

If you notice that the keyfob works for locking all doors and unlocks all of them properly except for the driver door one, then you’re likely dealing with this issue.

3. Frozen Or Corroded Actuator Motor

Sometimes, in freezing weather or if it gets too damp, the motor that helps your door lock move can get stuck or rusty.

When that happens, your key fob’s signal can’t make it through, and your Ford F150 passenger doors and driver’s door won’t unlock.

4. Truck’s Battery Or Key Fob Battery Issue

This is a thing with Ford trucks that have keyless entry systems. If your key fob battery is low, the signal from the key fob won’t be strong enough to unlock your ride.

No power means no communication between the components.

A dead truck battery can also make things go south, as it can sometimes instantly lock all the doors and other mechanisms of the system.

5. Shorted Wires

Shorted wires, often caused by exposure to moisture or rough handling, can disrupt the communication between the key fob and the truck’s door lock system.

This issue often arises from damaged wires within the wire loom connecting the door and the pillar.

6. Improperly Adjusted Clip

Your door has a linkage clip connecting to a metal rod. This clip is vital for proper door unlocking.

If it’s not securely linked to the rod, the pawl won’t work right. This pawl unlocks the door when you use the handle or key.

7. Non-Configured Key Issue

If you’re trying to unlock with a new remote you got, it won’t work until you program it correctly. You’ll need to make sure you have the original remote at hand before trying.

How To Fix F150 Door Lock That’s Not Opening With Key?

Make sure of the basics first—using the right fob for the truck. If you are, go ahead and try out some of the following fixes:

f150 door won't open from inside or outside Solution

1. Inspect The Fob Switch

Press the Unlock switch. It should make a click sound. If it doesn’t, you must program a new key fob for your f150.

2. Replace The Driver Door Lock Fuse

  • Find the fuse box behind the passenger kick panel.
  • Look for the 20A Fuse-3 inside the BCM Fuse Box.
  • Check if Fuse-3 is blown, and if so, replace it with a new 20A fuse.
  • Use the key fob to check if the driver door lock now works.

3. Replace Dead Batteries

I’ll start with the Key Fob battery first, it dying out is more common:

  • Press the front button to release the emergency key.
  • Slide out the emergency key.
  • Insert the emergency key into the slot on the back of the fob and pry up to remove the back cover.
  • Locate the battery and lift it out with a tool.
  • Insert the new battery with the plus side facing up.
  • Snap the back cover back in place.
  • Slide the emergency key back into its slot.
  • Test the key fob to ensure it’s working correctly.

If you’re unable to unlock your truck after that, you could try to unlock it with the manual key.

4. Charge The Truck Battery

If that doesn’t work either and the battery of the truck itself is dead, follow the following steps to jumpstart it:

  • Slide under the truck to access the battery.
  • Connect a battery charger: (+) to starter, (-) to the frame.
  • Turn on the charger and wait.
  • Try the remote to unlock the truck.
  • If the remote fails, manually unlock the driver’s side door.
  • If still not working, open the hood and locate the battery.
  • Use jumper cables: (+) to dead battery, (-) to unpainted metal on the truck.
  • Connect the other ends: (+) to a working vehicle’s battery, (-) to its negative terminal.
  • Start the working vehicle and wait a few minutes.
  • Attempt to start the truck with the dead battery and see if you can unlock it.

5. Fix Wiring Issues

  • Disconnect the truck’s battery for safety.
  • Locate and inspect the door-to-pillar wire loom for damage.
  • Seal any gaps in the wire loom if moisture is a concern.
  • If damaged, cut out the problematic section of the wire loom.
  • Strip insulation from the cut wires.
  • Splice in new wire sections securely using crimp connectors or soldering.
  • Insulate and secure the repaired section with electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing.
  • Reconnect the truck’s battery.
  • Test the door lock system with the key fob for functionality.

6. Change The Actuator

You can try turning your key slightly harder; that might be able to loosen the lock if it’s simply frozen. If that works, remember to lubricate after, and if not, follow these steps to do a full replacement:

  • Use a hook tool to expose the door handle.
  • Remove 8mm bolts and the cover inside the handle.
  • Take out 6mm screws at the panel bottom.
  • Disconnect handle cable and window switch connectors.
  • Peel back door insulation padding.
  • Extract two 10mm bolts holding the bracket.
  • Slide out the bracket.
  • Disconnect rods and cables from the old actuator.
  • Secure new actuator with three T27 Torx screws.
  • Connect rods and cables to the new actuator.
  • Reinstall window guide bracket.
  • Reconnect insulation padding.
  • Reattach the door panel.
  • Try to Lock/unlock using key and keyfob.
  • Confirm all connections are secure.
  • Test door lock with remote and internal switches.

7. Fixing Clip Issue

  • Locate the linkage clip inside the door connected to the metal rod.
  • Ensure the linkage clip is securely attached; adjust with pliers if loose.
  • Test unlocking the door with both the handle and key.
  • Check the linkage clip for damage; replace it if necessary.
  • Verify the pawl’s functionality after adjusting or replacing the clip.
  • Tighten any other loose components in the door mechanism.

8. Configuring A New Remote

  • Sit in the driver’s seat with both original and new remotes.
  • Cycle the ignition from off to on eight times.
  • After the eighth cycle, wait for doors to lock/unlock.
  • Within 20 seconds, press lock on both remotes.
  • Verify each remote locks/unlocks doors.
  • Turn off ignition and exit programming mode.


Is there a door lock recall for the Ford F150?

Yes, there are door lock recalls for the Ford F-150. One is about doors possibly opening while driving, and the other is about doors unlatching in a side-impact collision. It covers F-150s from 2015 to 2017 and some other F-Series trucks.

Parting Words

With the fixes I shared with you up your sleeve, unlocking your Ford F-150 will be a piece of cake.

Just follow these steps to the T, and you’ll be back in your truck hassle-free.

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