Door Lock Actuator Replacement Install

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner

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.

Actuators Problems

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.

Dock Actuators

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install

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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: Setting Up Tools + Hardware For Install

Tools Needed:

  • 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: Removing The Third Cover

This cover also doesn’t fully come out.

Remove Panel From Corner of Inside of Window

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: 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

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: Actuator Removal

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.

Locking Cables

Failed Door Lock Actuator Replacement Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen SR5 4Runner: Locking Cables

Be careful about removing the cables from the bad actuator and put on the good one. Repeat the process backward to finish the job.

Final Thoughts

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Matt
Matt
2 months ago

Jared,
Thanks for the article! I’m working on the passenger side front door and everything went smooth. I was able to get the door panel off, I was patient and able to get the cables loose, got the old actuator out and the new one in. I put everything back together and when I shut the door and went to open it and the outside handle felt loose like something wasnt right, and now it won’t open. It’s not opening from the inside either. I can hear the actuator working but it is not moving the door lock. I’m assuming I didn’t get one of the cables on correctly. Any thoughts on how I can fix this problem?
Thanks in advance.

Alex B
Alex B
1 year ago

Thanks for the awesome write up. Had both drivers and passenger front fail within 2 weeks of each other on a 2016 and this article gave me the courage to do it myself. Took roughly 45 mins for the first time and the second go around was about 20 mins. As stated be patient and this is a relatively easy fix. Thanks Jared.

Jeff L
Jeff L
1 year ago

I’m a former Toyota tech, done tons of these. I think the cause of the failure is the grease used when the part was manufactured. It melts and runs into the cheap electric motor and that’s that. Shame Toyota never stepped up but anyone can fix this just give it a try, good luck

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

Hey Jared, thanks for the write up this really helped out and I’ve got my lock back working! I wanted to share a couple things as I spent a good portion of time trying to get the keyhole rod back in.

There are 2 rods on the driver side. The easiest way I found is the push down on the lever on the actuator to release the long rod. If you look at the new actuator you will see what I’m talking about. There is a second one that connects to the key access hole on the door handle. I was able to get this out easy but lining it up after was a little tough. I found there is a rubber grommet one the side of the door, remove that with a trim tool and use a torx bit to unscrew it. Be careful not to unscrew all the way out as it might fall to the bottom of the door. You just need to get it out enough until the key hole piece on the door comes off. You can then line it up and tighten the torx screw back up. Hope this saves someone a little time!

mzimm
mzimm
1 year ago

Any idea how to accomplish this if you can’t get the door open? The panel is pinned in and doesn’t remove without the door open, and of course you cant get to the screws to remove the actuator. Even if I destroyed the panel, not sure of a way to get the jaws to release from the striker. Any suggestions would be welcome

Jared Whitaker
Jared Whitaker
1 year ago
Reply to  mzimm

Which door are you trying to work on?

mzimm
mzimm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jared Whitaker

Passenger front door. This is a possibility: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/4th-gen-t4rs/158166-door-lock-actuator-hell-2.html.

I just cant for the life of me figure out how he was able to pull the front panel off enough to drill the hole seeing how the panel has a lip down the side and across the bottom that is trappen between the door and the door jamb.

mzimm
mzimm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jared Whitaker

Front passenger door. The actuator locks and unlocks via the remote and manually. The jaws just dont release from the striker. The cables pull, the outside handle activates the actuator, can push on it with a slim Jim etc, the jaws just dont release. My only thought left is to cut into the b-pillar and cut the bolts off the back of the striker plate to get the door open. Just hate to cut into the pillar if there is another way. (Saw a video on that by a Honda Mechanic.

I did see a small write up on a guy that made a precise 1/2 hole through the door and through the plastic actuator case and popped it open with screw driver while pushing on the door. Cant for the life of me imagine how he got the panel off for enough to do that since there is a lip on the panel down the side and across the bottom, trapping the panel between the door and the door jamb.

I’d almost not mind doing that with a hole saw and then plugging to hole in the door panel with a rubber grommet or something.

Jared Whitaker
Jared Whitaker
1 year ago
Reply to  mzimm

Ok, so manually and electronically the door “locks and unlocks”. The door actuator just won’t release the striker. You may just have stretched cables. The actuator is just unlocking and locking, the cables and rods connected to the handles are doing the work. Try this. With the window down, take off your side mirror interior cover(like in the article). Remove all the mounting bolts that hold the panel to the door. Now, again with the window down. At the top of the door you can the channel where the glass slides into the door. There is that seal on the panel. Take a plastic trim tool and try and pull the panel up. Once it’s all loose, start trying to pull the panel back. Try and reach the connector to the interior door handle. One is for the lock, the other to open. See if you can pull the cable by hand. It might be stretched, so you have to pull it alittle further. Let me know

Tish
Tish
1 year ago

This is so awesome Jared!

Harrison
Harrison
1 year ago

When my driver’s side went out I found just the motor on amazon for around $7 (part #FC-280PC-22125). Cracked the case open and replaced it. I tested the old motor and it still worked, but was severely underpowered to make anything move. New motor makes everything move crispy and quick, so may be a quality issue with the motors themselves.

Colton
Colton
10 months ago
Reply to  Harrison

There’s a great step-by-step write-up with pics on t4r.org for the individual motor replacement if anyone else finds themselves this far down in the comments. Do a quick-search for “actuator motor repair” if the link gets pulled – should be the first non-sponsored result. Cheers!

Jared Whitaker
Jared Whitaker
1 year ago
Reply to  Harrison

I agree. That’s what my thinking. It’s awesome that you took it a step further and found the actual issue causing the failure.

13
0
Questions or Comments? x
()
x