Car with Lock Symbol on Dash – All You Need to Know

The car with lock symbol that appears on your dashboard is an indication that an alarm system protects the car.

This feature is essential when the car is either locked or unlocked. But the moment it starts coming up while driving, or when you unlock the car, there is an issue that needs to be fixed.

In this article, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about this symbol, possible reasons why it can come on, and what you need to do.

What Does Car with Lock Symbol Mean?

A car with lock symbol on the dashboard is a preventative security element in current automobiles that enhances your car security and decreases car theft.

A vehicle with a lock icon flashing on the dashboard implies the anti-theft security mechanism has been activated. This system is designed to protect against unauthorized use of your vehicle.

The locking feature is triggered when you leave your vehicle unattended for more than 5 minutes. When this happens, the lights will flash, and the horn will beep continuously, alerting anyone who tries to use your car.

The Symbol also includes a proximity alarm that will sound if someone approaches while you’re not in the car.

This alarm can be turned off if desired but will automatically turn on again if any tampering is detected when you return to your vehicle.

Possible Reasons Why the Lock Symbol Light May Come On

1. The Key is Too Close

The immobilizer system may be triggered, and the lights are turned on even when the key is close enough for the code to be relayed. You must either get a new key or reset the car’s computer.

2. Bad Key

The immobilizer system may also be triggered if the key is bad. This is especially true if your car has had its ignition system replaced by a locksmith or dealership.

If this happens, you must have your car’s immobilizer/transponder codes cleared before continuing with any further service on your vehicle.

3. Damaged Immobilizer

If you’re seeing the car with lock symbol when attempting to start your vehicle, it’s probably because the immobilizer is not receiving the code from your transponder key.

This can happen if you have a damaged immobilizer or if something is wrong with your vehicle’s electrical system.

If you continue to experience problems, it is recommended that you take your car to an auto shop for inspection and diagnosis.

4. Damaged Car Door Lock

If the car door lock is damaged or broken, you’ll notice that the key will not turn in the lock when you try to open it. The door itself may have been jarred open in a crash and won’t close tightly, so there is no way to secure your belongings in the car’s trunk if it is not properly latched.

How to Reset The Car with Lock Symbol

1. Examine the Key and Cylinder

When you’re ready to insert the key into the lock cylinder, ensure it’s the right one. If it isn’t, turn on your car and try again.

Check that there are no cracks or chips in your key. These can cause damage to both your door lock and ignition system if inserted incorrectly or become stuck within either of those components.

Next, ensure that no obstructions prevent you from fully inserting your key into the lock cylinder (such as dirt). If so, carefully remove these obstructions before trying again.

2. Take a Closer Look at the Door Lock Cylinder

The door lock cylinder is the device that opens and closes your doors when you turn the key. If it’s not working correctly, you won’t be able to open or close your doors by turning the key in the door.

To figure out what’s wrong with your car, we need to take a closer look at how this piece works and try our best to stay focused on its clean design.

3. Use Your Actual Key to Turn the Latch on the Driver’s Side Door

If you have a car with lock symbol on your dash, you may have noticed that your key won’t go in all the way and turn. This means that the latch is locked and needs to be unlocked before you can open the door.

To unlock it, use your actual key to turn the latch on the driver’s side door. You should hear a clicking sound when it opens, and then pull out your key when it opens.

Do not try to force open your vehicle by using screwdrivers or other tools, as they could damage its frame or lock mechanisms.


What is an Immobilizer?

An immobilizer is a security device that prevents a car from starting if the key is not in the ignition.

An electronic control unit (ECU) communicates with an antenna, typically hidden under the dashboard.

The ECU monitors signals from this antenna and determines whether or not you have inserted your key into it. If it detects that you have, it allows power to flow to certain parts of your car’s electrical system; if not, it does not.

How Do I Get My Car Out of Anti-theft Mode?

Many cars have an anti-theft device to keep car thieves from accessing and stealing a car. This feature is most commonly found on new vehicles.

However, lots of older cars are now included. Understanding how to turn it off is necessary, especially if you’ve locked yourself out of your own vehicle. You can get your car out of anti-theft mode by doing the following:

  • Insert your key.
  • Turn the key in the ignition and hold it until the door unlocks.
  • For the next 30 seconds, keep the key there.

Doing so will let your car know you have the correct key and disable it from anti-theft mode.

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The car with lock symbol indicates that a car’s doors are locked. When you see this symbol on a vehicle, it means that the driver has activated the car’s alarm system and will not be able to open the door or trunk until they turn it off.

The lock symbol light can come up for several reasons. It may be because of a damaged car door clock, a bad key, or an immobilizer.
You can fix it by examining the key and the door lock cylinder.

Also, you should check the car battery to detect if there is an issue over there.

Finally, use your actual key to turn the latch on the driver’s side door. If you have tried all these and the problem is not fixed, it is time to visit your auto-mechanic.