Replacing a power door lock actuator isn’t something that will need to be done regularly but this repair will need to be done by a professional mechanic. Door lock actuators are replaced when they no longer function to lock and unlock the vehicle’s doors.
The door lock actuator replacement cost will likely fall between $288 and $330, although some estimate it to be slightly higher. The parts will cost between $201 and $220, depending on the make and model of your car while the labor will usually cost between $87 and $110. This doesn’t include taxes and other fees and could change depending on your location and your type of vehicle.
Read on to find out more about replacing a power door lock actuator.
What’s a power door lock actuator?
There is a power door lock actuator in each door of vehicles that have power door locked. In simple terms, the actuator is a motor that locks or unlocks doors, the rear hatch, or the truck when someone pushes either a remote, a lock or unlock button in the car, or uses a key.
Actuators are electronically controlled so they are like a mini-computer. Vehicles can use different systems that include hoses or vacuum motors but all work as a tiny computer that receives signals to lock or unlock the doors.
The actuator sets a series of gears in motion with the final gear setting a rack and pinion set of gears into play. That converts the motion of the motor to unlock or lock the door.
Some actuators come as a complete assembly so you can’t replace a part. You will need to replace the entire assembly in these cars and that can cost more.
Symptoms of a faulty power door lock actuator
The first symptom is your doors will not properly unlock or lock. You may notice the interior lights stay on after you close the door. The security system may malfunction too.
You will know the actuator has completely failed if you hear noises from the door when you try to lock or unlock the car. There are some cases where the actuators will drain the battery because they never stop moving.
What to Do
You will need to take your vehicle to a mechanic to get the actuator checked out. It doesn’t take a long time to fix the problem but your mechanic may need to order the parts and that can take a few days.
The sooner you get it fixed, the better off you will be.
How often will a power door lock actuator need to be replaced?
These are parts that are used a lot because they go into motion every time you lock or unlock your vehicle. It isn’t uncommon for them to fail.
Some vehicles will need to have one or several replaced while it’s still under warranty, or within five years. Others won’t need them replaced until the car hits a high mileage mark. How often you replace a power door lock actuator depends on how much you are in and out of your car and the type of car you have. Every make and model is different.
Can I continue to drive with a door lock actuator problem?
Yes, you can drive with this problem until you can get it fixed. A malfunctioning power door lock actuator doesn’t affect the performance or safety of your vehicle.
The one thing you will need to do is manually lock and unlock your car until you get it fixed.
How much does it cost to replace a blend door actuator?
It will cost between $100 and $300 to replace a blend door actuator, not including the labor costs. The part usually costs around $150 but the final cost depends on your car’s make and model.
How long does it take to replace a power door actuator?It takes about 1.5 hours to replace a power door actuator on most vehicles. It depends on how experienced your mechanic is with this problem.
Why do actuators fail?
Usually, it’s either an internal issue within one of the actuators or something has gone wrong with the wiring. The problem with actuators is if any one of them fails, your doors can do weird things like lock quickly or unlock when you don’t want them to. They become erratic and can make you feel like your car is haunted.
Some of the factors that can cause an actuator to fail are a failure of the main door lock switch, a blown fuse, a broken wiring harness, a failed control model, or a bad connector.
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Can I replace a power door actuator myself?
It is possible to replace a power door actuator as a DIY project if you are handy and have a few tools. You will need to install a 9-volt battery save, take off the door panel, and remove the bolts and screws to the actuator.
Then, you will need to disconnect it and take the motor apart if you want to clean and reuse it. Some actuators are just filled with gunk from stuff seeping into the door over time.
Otherwise, you will replace it and reattach the clips and cables.
Can I test my actuator?
Yes, you can test a power door actuator using a car battery jump and alligator clips. You will need to remove the actuator to test it.
You will need to attack the alligator clips to the car battery charger and then touch the side with both the positive and negative clips to open and close the actuator. If it opens and closes, then you don’t have a problem with the actuator.
Why do my door locks make a clicking sound?
You either have a bad door lock switch or a bad power door actuator. Find the fuse and try to replace it. If that doesn’t work, you can pull it to avoid electrical problems until you can get to a mechanic to check it out.
How many actuators do cars have?
Today’s vehicles have a minimum of two actuators. One is either in the door panel or in the dashboard.
The other is usually on the key itself.
Most are located on the inside of the door frame near the door latch. It has an electrical plug that powers it. Most will come out by just using your hands.
One of the problems is the actuator on the key can run out of battery power and that can mean the locks aren’t functioning. This is usually the problem if the other actuator is working.
Why did my car lock itself?
Cars will automatically lock in certain situations as they are designed to do that for safety. One may be to lock all doors when you hit a specific speed.
Some will also automatically lock if you’ve unlocked the car but haven’t opened the doors.
Those who notice unusual patterns with their door locks could have a problem with their door sensors.
What all does a door actuator include?
A power door actuator includes an electric motor, linkage, and gears. It may also have a cable that moves to operate the locks.
Why won’t my driver-side door lock work?
You probably have an electrical issue causing the problem. The most common electrical issue concerning door locks is the plastic around the wiring breaking down, causing a short.
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