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Bad Door Lock Actuators?

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by Blake, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Blake

    Blake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Knoxville, TN
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    OME Heavy Kit TRD Supercharger Borla Catback Exhaust
    A couple of months ago, my passenger door lock stopped working. The dealership says it's a door lock actuator. Now my driver side door lock actuator is messed up also.

    My truck is 2010, but I have 60k miles on it. My point to Toyota Customer Care is that these are issues one might expect to see from a Chevy or Dodge, not Toyota, regardless of miles, and certainly not within two years.

    Customer Care has been less than responsive in getting back to me regarding this issue. :mad:

    In addition to the door locks, I've had a few other issues:

    radio might be bad
    the AC/Heat fan still clicks despite being fixed per the TSB :confused:

    My 01 Taco had no ticky tacky type issues like this...even after 290,000 miles. I hope this is not a sign of things to expect with Toyota.

    Please let me know if anyone else has had premature problems with the door lock actuators. Thanks.
     
  2. jptros

    jptros New Member

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    No problems with the locks however I have had my radio replaced by the dealership (actually it turned out to be the amp when all was said and done, jbl) and I had my blower replaced once, new one is starting to tick again. My truck is also a 2010 which I bought brand new. My last Toyota truck was an 86 4wd. Didn't have any trouble I didn't cause myself (was a hand me down from my dad when I started driving, ragged on the old dog pretty hard).
     
  3. jptros

    jptros New Member

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    My last truck before this one was a s10 zr2 which I was pretty easy on all things considered and I had some serious problems (read: expensive) so while the little things are kind of annoying I'm greatly pleased with my tacoma. My transmission went out in the s10 leaving work one night. That was at 50 thousand EASY miles, no heavy loads, most action it saw was carrying me to the deer stand. I'm approaching 40k on my tacoma and hoping it'll hold up long enough for me to pass it on to my son when he starts driving.
     
  4. Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    My passenger rear lock just puked on me. I noticed it not working or I'd have to hit the auto locks twice to make it go and now its dead. :mad:
     
  5. snektaco

    snektaco Member

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    Ken
    San Jose
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    blk headlights, 3" EZ Lift, 32"s, maplight mod, turn sig mod..more to come
    So...I have been driving around for months with one of my rear door lock actuators totally dead on my 07 taco dbl cab. I have been avoiding replacing it - on part because of the cost ~$150 new and partly because
    of having to rip open the door to replace it.

    Over the past 3 weeks - my drivers side lock actuator failed as well. Before shelling out like $300-$400 for the two actuators...I gooogled around and found a thread over on a RAV4 forum on how to repair the
    RAV4 actuators. Supposedly - these fail most of the time because the
    smalll DC motor in the actuators fail due to the armature's commutator getting excessive carbon buildup. this is fancy talk for the motor gets
    dirty inside and needs a good cleaning.

    Warning up front...only attempt this is you are 1) pretty mechanically
    inclined and 2) if you are patient. Give yourself ample time (Removal, repair, and replacement took me 1 hour per door) and have a nice clean
    work bench or surface to open up the actuator on. Did I say this requires
    some patience...and having patience helps too :D. You will have to open the actuator assy, remove a small DC motor, then open up and clean the motor before reassembling and reinstalling. I had one totallly dead and one nearly dead actuator when I started and 2 hours later had these working like new and the truck all back together (...with a couple hundred $$ in my pocket for beer and that new Winchester pump 12 G I have wanted)

    The thread that got me going was at:
    http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-...actuator-repair-fix-your-door-locks-free.html

    ...Good detail and the RAV4 actuator is pretty much the same as the ones
    in the taco. Also - googling to why these fail so often told me that its likely the double lock pulse I programmed into my Clifford Matrix alarm when I installed it is causing these little DC motors in the actuators to
    load up with carbon due to excess arcing at the commutator. I reset the
    alarm to a single pulse - which should help hasten the wear on the actuators......have fun!
     
  6. Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    ^^Great post! I'll give this a shot and see if it fixes my dead actuator.
     
  7. snektaco

    snektaco Member

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    Yea...give it a shot. If, like me, and your taco is fairly new - I will bet you
    that you can fix it. Its takes time to not mess up the actuator dissassembly - After removing it from truck and putting it on bench - you need
    to remove a series of screws that hold the top and bottom of the casing together. The part that actually latches the door shut (plastic and heavy metal) gets removed carefully (cut or peel foam weather stripping if holding it together)..it just pops out to the side as a single assembly. Then you have to unsnap a bunch of clip points to separate the top and bottom shell - do this slowly and carefully - there are a few linkages that
    can get skewed - but pretty easy to find where to put them back if you have to (look of wear or 'black' points of contacts where white greese is gone) and open on a flat surface. Once open - you will see gears, some linkage, and a little DC motor not much different that what you woould see
    in motorized kids toys. STOP - take a few pictures of the internals - its good insurance in case you are confused when putting back together...
    ok - you may now proceed...

    For the front actuators - carefully push the two metal contact bars back just behind the motor - then carefully with a very small screw driver pop the motor out. If the contacts are below the motor (will not see them until the motor is removed - you are home free - just pop out the motor. With motor out - slide the worm gear off the end of the shaft. Looking from the back of the motor - you will see where they
    crimped the metal casing around the plastic housing block to hold the motor together. Get a small screw drive and slowly (AND CAREFULLY) press the metal on both sides of the motor so they are no longer crimping the metal and plastic motor casing together. Slowly work the metal and plastic halfs apart. The shaft have the larger section calll the armature and at the other end (the end that came out of the plastic side - there will be a much smalled copper colored area (that will be all coated with what looks like burnt on carbon - this is called the commutator and is where two small contacts (brushes) in the plastic housing transfer electricity to the windings in the armature and make the motor spin. This
    carbon is what has either killed your motor or is in the process of killing it as no juice can get to the windings and make the motor spin. You will
    need to carefully clean the carbon off the commutator. I used a thin strip
    of fine (600 or higher grit) sandpaper which is wrapped around the commutator. Be careful not to nick the little copper wires running up to the armature. turn the shaft assy so that it 'resurfaces' the copper surface of the commutator and makes it shiny like a new penny again. Cleaning most of the carbon buildup off is enough - you do not
    have to nor do I suggest removing material for the purpose of cleaning off every last trace of carbon. When done - blow the dust off commutator and proceed to carefully reassemble the motor. Slow insert the shaft back into the plastic housing with the commutator end first. The commutator
    will butt into the the pair of brushes - just wiggle and twist the shaft a bit and it will pop the brushes up onto the commutator surface where they belong. Now slip the metal casing end onto the other side of the shaft - but hang onto the armature and plastic housing - as the strong magnetic
    pull of the armature will pull the commutator end right out of the plastic housing and you will have to start assumbly over. When back together - you need to re crimp the motor halfs together. I opened my bench vice about 1/4 an inch, stood the motor up with the plastic end up and front shaft point to the floor - then took a straight slot screwdriver and
    gently taped it with a balll peen hammer just enough to push the metal
    crimps back over the slot in the plastic housing - just as it was before taking it apart. With this complete - you can test your motor with a 12 VDC source if you want to be sure it works - but that should not be a problem if you were careful with cleaning the commutator and reassembling. Now slide worm gear back all the way onto motor shaft until it stops - snap motor back into actuator shell and make sure two metal contact bars make good contact with contacts on motor. Look at linkage assembly to make sure everything looks in order - refer back to pictures if unsure. Carefully snap the top shell back onto the actuator so clips are secure. Snap metal lock assembly back into the side. Replace screws and then exercize the linkage arm that connected to the cable for the door lever - check to make sure there is no binding and that side lock bolt where the lock grabs the look hoop on the door fram opening. If you
    feel good about its operation - reinstall the actuator, connecting cable linkages first, then bold it back into the door, reconnect rod linkages, window tracks, power connector plug ..STOP....Check window
    to make sure it goes up and down without binding and check door locking mechanism to make sure actuator works and all linkages behave as expected. If happy - button up the rest of the way and go buy yourself something nice with the $400 you saved from NOT having the dealer replace it (might I suggest a nice Winchester shotgun!) - if not working properly - dont panic - you can get it right - check all linkages to make sure connected to actuator properly. If not the problem - remove the actuator (consider this practice - the taco actuators are problemmatic
    and you will likely be replacing others in the future) Take it to the bench, open it back up - and look carefully at whats going on in there - you'll figure it out if you just patiently play with it for a bit. If your motor was dead after reassembly - you have the choice to go buy a whole actuator
    assembly from the stealership or just buy a new little DC motor - there are places that sell them on the web and ebay for about $5 a piece...its up to you my friend. Best case scenario - your truck and locks are all fixed and you can drink beer. Worst case is that you learned more about how your truck is put together and you have to buy that actuator you figured you have to anyways. If the latter is the case - no foul....have some beer! :cool:
     
  8. taco084gb

    taco084gb No matter where you go there you are.

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    Sub'd since my driver door in my 08 might be going out. Already changed the battery in my key phob since I thought it was that but is still not always opening the door. I have 92,000 miles on my truck. So might half to do this soon. Thanx for the detailed info Snektaco (Ken).
     
  9. RichieW13

    RichieW13 Well-Known Member

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    Did anybody take a picture (that they can post) of the inside of the actuator mechanism? I have mine apart and cleaned out the motor, but as I am re-assembling, there is one lever that I can't figure out where it goes.
     
  10. jjones

    jjones Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone who posted here. This worked like a charm and saved me a good deal of money (The cheapest actuator i could find it used at an auto parts recycler was $80). I will say everything while everything came apart pretty easily i had a hell of a time getting the plastic cover snapped back together nicely. There are a couple of metal "hinges" on the outer plastic cover that wanted to bind the mechanism every way i put it on but I eventually got it. I have posted pictures of both the mechanisms and the innards of the cover piece.[​IMG]
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/78829479@N03/6910915806/
     
  11. jjones

    jjones Well-Known Member

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    Here are the pictures.

    20120407_154102.jpg
    20120407_154111.jpg
     
  12. RichieW13

    RichieW13 Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out how to put mine back together, but something didn't go right. Mostly the actuator works, but sometimes when I pull the handle from the outside, I have to pull twice for the door to open (not a problem from the inside). I need to take the thing apart again and see what I can find. Not sure if I put something together wrong in the actuator or the mechanism between the external door handle and the actuator.

    I am concerned about the little spring on the left side of your first picture. The spring is kind of shaped like a pair of crossed fingers. with a round end. I can't figure out exactly what it does or the precise way to put it in there.
     
  13. jjones

    jjones Well-Known Member

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    I would bet you have an issue with the rod and connector to the external door handle not fully engaging. When mine was not going together correctly it was fairly obvious because the whole mechanism would bind and the external door handle lever would not budge. The way the door handle works is that on the "spring" that i think you were mentioning(circled below) there is a flat end that contacts the door hinge opening the door when the handle is pulled. If the lock is engaged the rod end (arrow) is swung away so that this contact is no longer possible, locking the door.

    Well good luck let me know what you find out

    Untitled.jpg
     
  14. RichieW13

    RichieW13 Well-Known Member

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    The spring I was asking about is just below and to the left of your circle.
     
  15. jjones

    jjones Well-Known Member

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    Ok well i guess i cant offer you any help on that one. i only took apart the components on the right side of the picture and the ones in the pic i posted above.
     
  16. RichieW13

    RichieW13 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose I should mention that I used the tips offered in that Rav 4 thread posted above. I took the motor out and apart and cleaned it with electrical parts cleaner. I am having trouble with the door opening portion, but it appears that the part that LOCKS and UNLOCKS the door is now working properly.
     
  17. bookmonke

    bookmonke Well-Known Member

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  18. jjones

    jjones Well-Known Member

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    That definitely looks like the right part but to replace it you still have to tear down the assembly which is the bulk of the work. Cleaning the commutator and brushes seems to do the trick so why not save the money and ship time. Although for 5 bucks you really cant go wrong with a new one either.
     
  19. Danmassman

    Danmassman Member

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    My 2010 Tacoma has about 38K on it now and the drivers side door lock actuator has stopped working. Now I just manually lock the drivers door before I exit the cab. I too sense that this is another one of those annoying issues that one would expect from any vehicle besides a Toyota. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at my 40K service I can have it replaced under my extended warranty...Has anyone else had any luck with the Toyota warranty coverage relating to the door lock actuators?
     
  20. Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Has anyone confirmed that this is the correct motor? Also, are the front and rears the same?

    I tore apart my door lock assembly, cleaned the motor out and it actually started working for a couple weeks! I got excited too early because now it's dead as a doornail. I've got 2 that are dead so I'd rather buy 2 $5 motors vs. 2 $200 door lock assemblies.

    Edit: I already ordered 2 so I'll find out if they fit soon enough.
     
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