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Old 10-19-2008, 06:24 PM #1
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Drivers side power door won't lock/unlock

My drivers side power door is acting up. It clicks when I use the remote fob, but wont lock/unlock. All other door locks work fine.

May be the door lock actuator is out?
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:37 PM #2
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My 2000 runner has the exact same problem--Driver door lock stops working electronically. When it first happened I couldn't believe that in a Toyota! Wonder if this is a common weak spot for all 3rd gen?
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:41 PM #3
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Same thing here in my 99. Sometimes it will work, other times it won't. No real rhyme or reason to it that I can see. Maybe a loose connection inside the door. The impact of closing it might move it in just a way to not work sometimes.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:42 PM #4
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Driver's Side Door Locks

Did any one ever find a solution to this problem? My 2001 is having the same problem - the other doors lock/unlock and alarm with the keyless entry or with the door switch, but the driver's side will only lock/unlock if lowered/raised manually. It looks like some similar problems were solved by replacing a fuse. Is this a similar situation, or does the door panel have to be removed?
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:59 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eks44 View Post
Did any one ever find a solution to this problem? My 2001 is having the same problem - the other doors lock/unlock and alarm with the keyless entry or with the door switch, but the driver's side will only lock/unlock if lowered/raised manually. It looks like some similar problems were solved by replacing a fuse. Is this a similar situation, or does the door panel have to be removed?
I have the same problem, I bought a new door lock actuator but its gonna be a PITA to install so I'll probably procrastinate on doing it for a while.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:06 PM #6
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Count my 2000 Black LTD among them. But its real intermitten. One day I noticed that it was locking/unlocking with the keyless and the control in the car. But its working again . Might have something to do with something loose behind the panel due to vibrations or heat.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:32 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koulee View Post
Might have something to do with something loose behind the panel due to vibrations or heat.
Since I noticed the door panel was loose, I asked the previous owner who said early in the life of the 1997 4Runner, he had to have replaced, under warranty, the driver's side lock mechanism.

He said he asked for all parts back, and what he saw was a YELLOW plastic tip to the actuating mechanism had broken in half.

If that's the common problem here, then simply removing the door panel should reveal this yellow broken plastic.

It would be nice if the next person who does this would post a picture for the rest of us to benefit from.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:20 AM #8
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Door locks - 2006

Count me in too. Started with the drivers side door and was every other time. Now it wont work at all unless I manually push the button inside the door. Driver side rear door is now starting to go down same path. Any news on this one?
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:12 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom View Post
Since I noticed the door panel was loose, I asked the previous owner who said early in the life of the 1997 4Runner, he had to have replaced, under warranty, the driver's side lock mechanism.

He said he asked for all parts back, and what he saw was a YELLOW plastic tip to the actuating mechanism had broken in half.

If that's the common problem here, then simply removing the door panel should reveal this yellow broken plastic.

It would be nice if the next person who does this would post a picture for the rest of us to benefit from.
This^^. It's that yellow clip that breaks. It eventually happened on both my front doors. I just zip tied 'em and haven't had any problems in years. The door panels have to come up a couple inches before they can be pulled off so be aware.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:10 AM #10
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2003 with the same driver lock problem!

My 2003 has this problem. The driver side door doesn't unlock some (most) times when using the remote or the electronic button inside the car. Can't even get it to unlock with the key from outside. All other three doors unlock fine. Sometimes it makes a funny noise when I try with the remote - click-click-click kinda thing.
Thinking it might end up stop opening at all soon!
Wnere can I get info about removing the door panel?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:17 AM #11
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Ouch!
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:44 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschadec View Post
My 2003 has this problem. The driver side door doesn't unlock some (most) times when using the remote or the electronic button inside the car. Can't even get it to unlock with the key from outside. All other three doors unlock fine. Sometimes it makes a funny noise when I try with the remote - click-click-click kinda thing.
Thinking it might end up stop opening at all soon!
Wnere can I get info about removing the door panel?

Thanks,
Mark
You should ask in the 4th gen section. I am not sure how different the 4th gen doors are from the 3rd gen's, but you will have better luck there.

It shouldn't be too hard anyway, a few screws, then a good stiff pull and a lift usually does it on most cars.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:56 AM #13
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I was told by a Toyota mechanic that the solenoid acts up when it gets hot. My 99 does it when it sits in the sun too long, but is fine now that the weather is cooler.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:52 PM #14
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Had the same issue, now fixed (dummies guide)

Hi guys, this is my first post, but I just wanted to give my experience with the same issue on my 2001 4Runner. Your advice on this thread helped a lot, but my problem was my actuator, not just a broken plastic clip. My actuator didn't actually have a yellow plastic clip. I'll attach a picture of the old and new actuator to show you.

I ordered the part (driver's front actuator) at my local AutoZone for ~$100. That was about the same at every place I called and close to the same as online. Plus I wanted to be able to easily return it if I didn't need it or if the actuator wasn't the problem, as it could have easily turned out.

Getting behind the door panel:
1. Remove screw for the handle. Slide the whole handle plastic piece forward until it is loose. It is attached to the metal rod that goes to the latch by a yellow plastic clip. Remove one end of that clip with screwdriver, needlenose, fingers, whatever. Slide the rod down and out of the clip and the handle will be free. This link is helpful:
How to remove the front door panel? - YotaTech Forums

2. Pull straight up on the armrest or use screwdriver to pry. It pops right off. Under that are two screws that you remove.

3. (I should have mentioned, this is for automatic locks and windows) Next use a screwdriver to pop the window/lock control panel straight up. Then slide it forward to get it loose. The wires are attached in 3 spots which are easy to remove with screwdriver.

4. There are 2 of those "plastic rivets" that you push in the center piece and pull out. They just look like a circle of embedded plastic. One is in the upper right corner of the door panel and one is on the left edge above the latch. Remove both.

5. Gently pry at the bottom of the panel with a screwdriver until the christmas tree plastic pieces pop out. You can feel each one pop and I think there are like 7. If you go slow, you can do it without breaking any.

6. Lift the door panel straight up. Up and over the lock knob and it will be free.

7. The weather plastic is usually sealed pretty well with a really sticky caulk. I pulled it slowly and used an exacto knife to cut the caulk. I only opened up the left half, because that's all you need to get to. At the end it was sticky enough to just smoosh back on.

Getting the actuator out
This was the hard part. I'll try to remember all the steps. It is mostly a pain because, as you can see from the picture of the door, the openings are way too small, so you have little visibility or room to work. Just yell out a curse word every now and then and you will feel better. (most of these steps are in no particular order.. you really just take things off until the actuator comes out.)

1. Take out the 3 bolts that hold in the door latch.

2. When you look at the door from inside, right where the actuator is, there are two bolts (you can see them in my picture). Take out the 1 bolt on the left. That is what actually holds the actuator in place.

3. Remove the plug that attaches the wires to the actuator. You just have to squeeze hard on the sides to get it free. You can do this either before or after the actuator comes out. It's actually easier after.

4. Underneath the latch, there is one bolt that holds the bottom of the window track. You will need to remove that. Don't worry, the window is still secure, it just needs to be all the way up throughout all this.

5. Remove outside handle/lock. I'm going to call this step optional because I know people can get to the actuator without doing this, but I found it really difficult to detach the two metal rods (one to lock, one to handle) without removing the whole assembly. If you are going to remove it, there are 2 bolts on the inside to remove, one on each side. The left one is much easier to remove if you use the hole in the door to access it. Once it is loose, you may have to remove the small metal clip that holds the lock in. Then detach the 2 plastic clips (mine were pink and yellow) that hold the rods to the outside door handle.

6. The last rod that can be removed is the one going up to the manual lock knob. You could probably get to the plastic piece and detach the rod like the others, but I found it difficult to access the clip. Instead, I unscrewed the lock knob and pulled the rod through the plastic sleeve as I removed the actuator.

7. The actuator should now be completely free. Put your hand around it and slowly pull it out and you get everything else out of the way. You'll have to make sure the 4 rods aren't getting snagged on anything and also bend the window track out of the way. Don't worry, the window track is fine once you bolt it back in. Bend it as much as you need to.

Replacing the actuator
The actuator should now be completely free. If I were you, I'd plug the lock/window control panel back in and plug your old actuator back into the wires (while it's all dangling free). That way you can press the lock/unlock buttons and if the actuator tip is not moving, you know conclusively that is the problem.

If it's totally shot, like mine was, replace the old with the new and do everything in the reverse order to reassemble. That was not as easy for me as it sounds, of course. For me, I had to do the disassemble/reassemble 3 times because the metal rods are finicky. If they got bent a little in the process your lock knob or inside handle could end up being a little sticky and you need to open it back up and bend the rod back how it was.

Anyway, wanted to give my story as someone with no mechanic experience to hopefully help others. Ended up taking maybe 6-8 hours, but I was learning everything as I went. In the end, it worked and saved us a lot of money.

Next up is to buy a remote keyless entry from eBay (our car didn't come with one) and program it to save the $250 the stealership wants for a single one (including the 20 second programming).
Attached Images
Drivers side power door won't lock/unlock-imag0274-jpg  Drivers side power door won't lock/unlock-imag0275-jpg 

Last edited by Dessert Eagle; 01-09-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:29 AM #15
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Thank you. Sorry to drag this to the top however, the actuator replacement guide saved my butt.
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