Door Lock Actuator Instructions


Door lock actuators are small electrical components housed inside a car door that provide the kinetic energy necessary to lock and unlock the door. The actuator has a small piston inside that either ejects or retracts depending on the circuit input from the power door lock system. This action moves the door latch rod with locks or unlocks the door latch. As the piston ejects and retracts, it can draw foreign debris into the body of the actuator, eventually causing it to short out. When this occurs, replacement is necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Trim tool
  • Socket set
  • Close the window on the door with the faulty actuator. Pry the window and lock buttons out of the door panel with a trim tool. Disconnect the buttons from their wiring harnesses by hand.

  • Remove the hex-head screws from the door panel using a socket set. Depending on the year, make and model of the car, you might have to remove some trim covers with the trim tool to expose all the hex-head screws.

  • Pull the door panel off the door by hand. If you're working on an older vehicle, you may need to pry the panel loose using the trim tool before you're able to remove it from the door.

  • Grab the wiring connector where it plugs into the bad door lock actuator. Squeeze the retaining clip on the connector in and then pull the connector out of the actuator by hand.

  • Remove the actuator retaining bolt that holds the actuator to the door using a socket set. Unhook the actuator from the end of the latch rod by hand. Pull the actuator out of the door and set it aside.

  • Hook the new door lock actuator onto the latch rod manually. Bolt the actuator to the door with a socket set. Plug the wiring connector into the body of the new actuator manually.

  • Reinstall the car's door panel in reverse of how you took it off.

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