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Haynes’ World: Skoda Fabia locking issues

Haynes World Skoda Fabia Haynes Manual

Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the people at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles. This time, Euan Doig encounters a Skoda Fabia with a penchant for self-locking.

Skoda Fabia Haynes manual

Car: Skoda Fabia

Owner: Euan Doig

Unless you happen to run a beach buggy as your everyday vehicle, being able to lock and unlock your car is fairly fundamental to its day-to-day ease of use.

But of course, locking and unlocking the car has also become one of those things we don’t even think about. Just press the keyfob button, and the car does its usual ‘thunk-clunk’ and you walk away. Until the day the locking system decides to take matters into its own hands.

That was the case with my girlfriend’s second-generation Skoda Fabia, which suddenly decided to lock itself as she was driving along one day. Then it did it again a few days later.

Skoda Fabia central locking fault

This was an issue that wasn’t going to go away, and to compound the problem there was just one key. The main key was lost a couple of years back, and despite my protestations had never been replaced, with cost cited as the problem.

So, life became an endless worry about accidentally shutting the door with the key still inside, and the car locking itself.

I consulted Google, which suggested the problem could lie with the wiring in the pillar between the main body of the car and the door itself. This part of the loom is sheathed in a thick rubber ‘boot’, but nevertheless the regular movement when the door is opened and closed can cause the wires to chafe and short circuit.

I dug out the Skoda Fabia Haynes manual and began to look into things.

Skoda Fabia Mk2

Fabia issue fixed?

In fairly short order, I found some duly chafed and almost-separated wires. I soldered them securely back together, then wrapped them in harness tape and crossed my fingers.

It worked! The car remained completely unlocked on all subsequent drives. And relax.

Then a month later the phone rang. It was Tracey. “The car’s just locked itself again.” Yeesh.

Skoda Fabia wiring

In the meantime, a secondary problem raised its ugly head. The remaining key decided it would no longer unlock the car when the button was pressed. The key fob would lock the car at the press of a button, and the central boot button worked just fine, but as for unlocking? No chance.

So, we were reduced to unfolding the key and turning it in the lock, then quickly getting into the driver’s seat and starting the car before the alarm sounded.

Skoda Fabia key

Car key battery replacement

Eventually, I decided to replace the battery in the key fob, which was simply a matter of unfolding the key, prising off the cover and swapping the CR2032 battery for a new one.

The issue was immediately fixed – the car would unlock at the press of the button once more. Oh how I wish I’d made this my first stage of investigation.

There’s also been another change in the car’s behaviour, because since the battery was replaced, the car has not randomly locked itself once. Yes, weird.

We’d be interested to know if anyone else has experienced a similar problem, and if a new key battery resolved it, so please do let us know by emailing us at

In the meantime, we’re just starting to relax into life with the Fabia again, enjoying the simple pleasure of pressing a button to unlock the car, and being fairly sure it’ll remain unlocked.

And has a spare key been purchased? Of course it hasn’t.