17 Oct Car Door Actuators Part 2: Replacing an Actuator
A worn-out lock actuator means going retro and opening and locking your door with a key. That’s a nuisance, not to mention adding wear and stress to you key and risking a real problem. Sooner or later you’ll want that actuator replaced…or maybe you want to add one to a vehicle that never had one to begin with.
Fortunately, replacing an actuator is pretty straightforward. Notice we said straightforward, not easy. But if you want to try it yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do.
Find the Right Match
First, be sure to get the right one. There are hundreds of them and most are made to fit a particular make, model, and year of car. Check on the internet, or go to an auto parts store if you want to be safe. Either way, only buy from reputable dealers.
Remove the Door Panel
When you’re back at your vehicle, you need to start by removing the interior door panel to expose the locking mechanism. You’ll probably need to remove several trim pieces before the panel itself, so do it carefully and in sequence to avoid damage. You may need a special Torx® driver if those type screws are used for the panel or the actuator itself. Newer vehicles will probably be metric, too.
Disconnect the Actuator
Once inside the door, disconnect any wiring and the linkage that connects the actuator to the locking mechanism. Then remove the actuator. It may be held in place by bolts or screws (ideal) or rivets.
Connect New Actuator and Reattach Door
Reconnect the linkages and wiring to the new actuator and reattach it to the door. If you had to pop rivets, you may be lucky enough that the replacement actuator can be screwed into place using the rivet holes. Be sure it’s secured well so it doesn’t come loose from vibrations later. Then test the actuator to be sure it works properly before replacing the door panel to save the trouble of taking it back off if it doesn’t.
If these instructions seem a little vague, that’s because every vehicle is different. Your replacement actuator may have specific instructions for installing it on your vehicle. If not, try finding them on the internet. Or save yourself a lot of trouble and call us at 303.974.0215, or send an email for more information. We have the knowledge and equipment to solve your lock actuator problems and are available for lockout emergencies 24/7. Whether you need car, motorcycle, RV, boat, aircraft or other vehicle service, we’ve got you covered.