Mercedes Myth: Manual Unlocking Car Doors After Locking Them Electronically Can Damage the System

Giancarlo Perlas April 4, 2022

Automobiles, having been in existence for more than a century already, have evolved greatly over the years. Modern cars have become more complex that they are no longer just equipped with features that will only take people from point A to B, but also with advanced tech aimed at bringing about a high level of convenience, luxury, and safety.

Like every other product out there, it has its share of urban legends. In this article, let us examine a Mercedes myth that I encountered just recently.

The claim goes, “If you have electronically locked your Mercedes doors, manual unlocking frequently could damage the car’s locking mechanism.”

For nearly a decade now, I’ve been driving the same car, it’s only now that I heard this. For all those years, I have been doing the opposite of the above-mentioned statement, and my locks still work like a charm. However, it made me reassess my driving habits because I may have been doing things wrong.

With that, I have consulted people working in the automotive industry for their take on the matter as well as car forums, other long-time car owners, and other secondary sources for a good measure.

Based on their response, problems with car locks have no relation to the habit of unlocking doors manually after locking them automatically or electronically. Instead, friction issues mostly crop up when the solenoid mechanism has accumulated sufficient dust. These can be usually addressed by using a lubricant like WD-40 or by cleaning the lock actuator using a solution. Replacement of the parts may be necessary when the vehicle has already accumulated significant wear and tear due to its age.

It’s a different story though if you have forced the lock against its design, you have simultaneously operated the manual lock while the electronic lock is ongoing activation or deactivation, the location of the lock has been impacted by collision, the hardware itself is defective, the doors are consistently slammed shut with excessive force, or your child has frequently messed with it. Other causes of malfunctioning electronic locks are also attributed to loose wiring, faulty car fob, and broken actuator.

Remember that the manual locks are there for a reason. They are mainly for convenience, emergencies, and safety. Furthermore, their design is a product of decades of progress in R&D and wasn’t just installed by the automaker on a whim. The worst thing that could happen if you have manually opened your car doors after you have locked them electronically is that you will trip the alarm and people will think that you are robbing someone else’s property.

Despite these, it’s best to always consult your vehicle’s manual or an authorized Mercedes mechanic if you are unsure about a specific feature of your Mercedes car.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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