Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner
How bout it fellas. Jared here. Has this ever happened to you?
You are running late (as usual), rushing out the door. Your minions are lackadaisically trailing behind you. You are looking for your keys, they start tugging on the handles. You cringe and pray they don’t snap one-off. You manage to find your keys, unlocking the doors and help them into the cab. All while performing a balancing act with everything you have in your arms, barely holding on.
You are just ready to dump everything into the passenger seat and get on with your already crazy day. Reaching for the handle, you stop. You take one last look at your rig in all her beauty before climbing into the cab. You pull the handle, nothing. Your door is still locked. And for your next trick, you unlock your door manually without dropping a single thing. Hopefully.
This seems to be a common occurrence amongst 4Runner owners. It happens with enough regularity, Toyota has done its own investigation.
I can’t tell you if this just at a dealership or corporate level. I would imagine Toyota owners as a whole have the same issue.
This is due to the fact that these actuators are used across Toyota’s lineup. After speaking to a Toyota Service Director here in town, it has been speculated that this is only an issue in 4Runners. Something along the lines of, the way the actuators react in the 4Runners.
The overuse of silicone-based products is the cause of these failures. Not from external silicone applications, like lubricating the locks themselves.
It is from internal usage that is the cause, detailing products. What?!
These actuators are behind a door panel and sealed weatherproofing. The actuator’s drive motor itself is inside a sealed housing. How in the world is it making its way to the actuator? I call B.S. on that fellas.
When and Where to Replace an Actuator?
Ok, this isn’t a day breaker but you expect something like this to work forever. Well at least while it’s still under warranty, well it’s not covered under the warranty anyway. It has one function and only used a few times a day. My actuator went out before I had to change the battery in my key fob.
So what do you do? I called the dealer.
It’s $279 for the part, not including labor. That’s a no go. I got to thinking if this is an issue with these 4Runners. What’s to say it wouldn’t happen again. So I started calling around and looking online. The parts stores were around the same price as the dealer.
I found the best prices on Amazon ($32+/-), what a big surprise. I don’t know about you guys but that dog will hunt. Even with my commercial prices at my local parts store, that doesn’t touch Amazon’s price.
Door Lock Actuator Replacement
Specs and Part Numbers
- OEM Design: Manufactured to the OE specification to provide direct-fit
- High-Quality: Long life-span matters, that is why our door latch is crafted from reinforced plastic to provide maximum durability and excellent performance. Engineered with an electro-mechanical exterior latch release mechanism to ensure a more efficient and sleek operation
- Fitment: 2010-2015+ Toyota 4Runner, 2007-2016 Camry, 2009-2013 Corolla, 2008-2013 Highlander, 2006-2015 RAV4, 2012-2014 Sienna, 07-16 Tundra | 2010-2015 Lexus IS250 IS350 (Convertible), 2011-2016 CT200H, 10-16 GX460, 07-12 LS460 | 12-15 Scion iQ, 08-15 Scion xB and more.
- Other Part Numbers: 69030-06200, 69030-0C050, 69030-42230, 931-403. The latch actuator has undergone a rigorous test to ensure excellent performance, which features a high-quality electric motor
- Warranty: 12-Month Warranty – If for any reason at all, you are not fully satisfied with the front door latch motor, you can rely on our service of free replacement or refund.
If you have ever removed the panels for any installs or mods, 95% of the process you already know. If you haven’t, I got you covered. Let’s get started.
Note: Make sure to purchase the correct actuator for the door you need.*
Setting Up Tools + Hardware For Install
- Trim Removal Tool
- Phillips Screwdriver/ Bit (Optional)
- Torx Screwdriver/ Bit (Optional)
- Impact Driver (Optional)
Note: I suggested the bits/ impact driver as optional. You may need a little extra torque when loosening up the fasteners. Be careful not to strip the heads of the fasteners with the impact driver.
Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install
These are the three covers hiding the screws that secure the panel to the door.
Note: Use the plastic trim tool, not a flathead screwdriver. This prevents you from marring the plastic.*
Removing the First Cover
Take your trim tool and ease it between the lock and panel to remove the cover. Remove the screw with your Phillips screwdriver.
Removing the Second Cover
Again, ease the trim tool in and pop the cover out. Now this one doesn’t completely come out. It is attached to the panel.
Removing The Third Cover
This cover also doesn’t fully come out.
Remove Panel From Corner of Inside of Window
You can pull this off with your hands or trim tool.
Release Bottom Portion of Door Panel
You can use your trim tool or hands. Start pulling the bottom of the panel away from the door. Work your way all the way around the panel.
Note: There is a hand full of the plastic pins holding the door panel to the door itself. Make sure you have cleared them all before going to the next step.
Remove Door Panel
Once you have cleared the bottom. Grab the interior door handle and pull up, like you are taking it off the lip of the window frame where it meets the glass. I’m just letting you know. It will sound horrible like you broke something. You didn’t, maybe. Hopefully not. If any of your pins pop off, secure them back on before reinstalling the panel.
Unplug Connectors + Release Lock Control Cables
Don’t drop or pull away with the panel. You have the locking control cables and wire connectors still holding the panel to the door. There are cables that are connected to the handle/lock assembly on the backside of the panel. Try not to kink these cables. Once that’s done you can put the panel to the side.
Remove Door Lock Actuator Unit
Now that the panel is out of the way. Peel the plastic weather seal down far enough for you to work comfortably with your hand inside the door.
On the outside edge of the door where it meets the striker. There are three Torx screws that hold the actuator to the door. Break loose those fasteners. Then reach your hand inside to support the actuator. Finish removing the screws.
Once the actuator is loose. There is a rod that connects to the exterior door. This controls the door’s functions from the outside. You have to maneuver the actuator inside the door to release it. It is a little difficult but you’ll get it.
Note: Don’t damage the rod attached to the actuator, patience.
Be careful about removing the cables from the bad actuator and put on the good one. Repeat the process backward to finish the job.
To finish up the door lock actuator replacement install, reassemble everything back on, including all door panels and hardware for the door lock actuator on the 4Runner.
Overall this repair can be done within an hour. It does take patience at times but doable.