Do you have this problem: Key Won't Unlock Door - Chevy HHR Network

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: 04-06-2009
Location: Georgia
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Do you have this problem: Key Won't Unlock Door

Both my key fobs do not work--rather than pay $150 to replace each one, I've been manually unlocking my door. It's been sticky in the past using the key, and I even took it to the dealer whilst still under warranty. They said it wasn't a common problem with the HHR, and since the problem did not present itself while there, they pretty much blew it off.

This summer, I've dealt with it being very sticky to unlock, and came to a crux two weeks ago when the key would not turn. Had to get a locksmith come by to break into my car. Afterward, it periodically worked fine. I took it to my local mechanic, who had a locksmith rebuild the lock and the key. Worked fine until this morning...once again, could not unlock the car. Called the same locksmith. He said the problem is not with the lock (turning the key gave him the clue), but with the latch itself.

Has anyone had this same problem, or posted a similar problem you could link to?

for reference, this is a 2008 HHR LT.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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When you took it to the dealer under warranty, why didn't they replace the key fobs?

Yes the latch is your problem, not the cylinder.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
Join Date: 09-08-2010
Location: Toronto
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On a note unrelated to the lock itself, I had a problem with both of my key fobs not working or working intermittently. I opened one up the other day, and found that the metal clip that holds in the battery had broken off, so it was no longer making contact with the circuit board. A drop of solder fixed the problem there. Probably won't solve your issue, but if anyone else has the same issue, way easier to sort out than just replacing them (and cheaper too).
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:52 PM   #4
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Sounds like you've got a problem with your dealer....

The bad solder is very common on the fobs... I think mine has that problem. I had to replace the battery, now since I did that it works half the time... I'm thinking something came loose when I had it opened...
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
Join Date: 09-08-2010
Location: Toronto
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My dealer is out of business. :p Right in the middle of the recession. Anyways, the fob thing wasn't a big deal, and I solder stuff all the time anyways (IT Tech) so it was a no brainer. I was debating getting new ones, but figured I'd see what the issue was myself first. Not like I could break it any more than it already was.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
Join Date: 06-10-2009
Location: ny
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Just had my cylinder replaced in the column. Key locked in it and would not come out. Only way to stop engine was to stall it with the brake on. Then had to disconnect battery. Dealer replaced and seems to work except now the key fobs work slowly and need to be hit several times to open. 8/31/10
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
Join Date: 09-20-2010
Location: ca
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I had this same problem happen to me a few times. I soldered both key fobs that had the loose battery connectors and they seem not to work at all even with new baterries and my key sometimes doesnt want to open manually. I just purchased the new door latch assembly and i hope this solves my problem with the key not unlocking my door.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
Join Date: 09-18-2010
Location: Lake Worth Florida
Posts: 87
It sounds like to me that you have a few problems not Just one.
First, if your dealer is doing the correct pm on your car when you bring it in for service
They will lube your door hinges, door latches, Hood hinges, Hood latch, Etc the list goes on and on. I used to work as mechanic For mistubishi and GM, and I can tell you It was very rare to watch the General service tech's really do everything that they were supposed to do on a PM. either due to lack of knowledge lack of time or lack of pride.
You name it. Your ride is not that old for all your latches not to work even if not lubed properly. so I must guess your only having this issue with the drivers door, Using the key. as far as the key fobs not working at all they probably have lost their programing
do you leave your keys on or near large speakers? it wont take long with a large magnet to screw up your fobs and other electronics. I am not sure if reporgraming
your fobs will help but it worth a try. I think this is covered in the owners manual.
if you have the fobs apart its worth while to clean the contacts with some rubbing alcohol and cutips. clean both side the rubber contacts and the circuit board. Install fresh batteries and then try to reprogram your fobs.
I hope this helps good luck.
If you ever wanted to know exactly what needs to be done on each service interval
you only need to look at the manual.either the owners or service. I use Alldata.
But there is Mitchel on demand, and if all else fails use common sense, if it moves lube it
if its dirty clean it.If is broken replace it. if all this fails you should have started the
job without the six pack first LOL.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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Hmmm..2 1/2 years and Ive never used the key to unlock....don't even know if it works!
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #10
Join Date: 06-09-2008
Location: Northern NJ
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Mine has left me stranded. I called onstar - they got me in.
Once the car was unlocked by them, my key worked again.
the latch is probably loose or jammed.
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