Failed Door Lock Actuator R&R

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Oct 4, 2014
Littleton, CO
The front left (Driver's) door lock actuator in my 2013 decided to give up the ghost at 52,435 miles.

I made a dealer trip yesterday to pick up the part since manually locking/unlocking the door was becoming annoying. Got the dealer (Groove Toyota) to beat the internet prices and sell the part to me at wholesale for $265 + Tax.

Removing the door panel in these is quite easy, here's a non-picture document / how-to. (Since I couldn't find one online.) I own a set of panel removing tools which is helpful.

Remove the small triangular panel which is behind the door mirror at the top-right of the panel by pulling straight out carefully.

Remove the small panel cover behind the door handle. Carefully pry from the front side near the loose (non-hinged) end of the door handle. There's a screw behind here to remove.

Remove the escutcheon (power window/lock switches) by prying directly up on the forward end of the panel. Carefully pry around and pull the whole module directly upwards. Disconnect the cable by pressing the release tab.

Remove the grab handle cover by using a small flat-bladed screwdriver inserted toward the front of the vehicle. VERY CAREFULLY pry outward and slowly work around and up the grab handle. Behind here are two more screws to remove.

Remove the three screws in the door panel (first one behind the panel behind the door panel, the other two behind the grab handle.)

On the bottom of the door, there's an arrow and an open location into the bottom of the panel. If you look up into there, you'll see the first of the plastic door panel clips. I use my panel removal set to pry directly out on them. Work along the bottom of the door to carefully pop them all out. (I managed to not break any.)

Disconnect the puddle light connector by pressing on the catch and pulling straight out.

Continue to work up and along the sides of the door panel to pop all of the door panel clips out. Panel removal tools work best for this operation.

Once all the panel clips are disconnected, grab the sides of the door panel and carefully lift straight up toward the top of the door while keeping the panel as close to the door as possible. Try to slide it directly up to remove it from the window channel.

Disconnect wiring for the seat memory switches.

Disconnect cables going to door lock and door handle by carefully pulling them out and rotating them around to the release location (more obvious than it sounds.)

Set panel aside.

Door Lock / Actuator removal:

Carefully pull plastic sheathing away from door metal. I found using a sharp-ish putty knife invaluable to separate the plastic from the sealant goop holding it along. Goop is a technical term.

The actuator is located behind the window regulator rail. On the left hand side of the door metal frame is a bolt that must be removed that holds the final section of the window rail in place. Remove this 10mm bolt.

Reach directly inside door and pull STRAIGHT DOWN on the window rail to disconnect it from the upper rail. It has some window/weather stripping in it that can easily be removed/reinstalled. Notice on the top here that there is a small tongue that slides into the upper rail. Set aside.

Disconnect power/comm connections from lock/door/actuator mechanism by pressing catch and pulling out.

Remove three bolts from door lock/actuator from door near striking/actuating location. Hold onto the actuator inside the door while you do this.

Carefully rock the actuator top toward the inside of the vehicle to disconnect it from the door handle lock mechanism. Then carefully lower actuator down to disconnect it from the door handle bar.

Disconnect cables from actuator (these will be reused with new actuator.)

Smash / trash poorly engineered door lock actuator module that has led to this.

Prepare new actuator by reinstalling cables recently removed.

Place actuator in door while reconnecting external door handle bar to handle and re-engaging exterior lock mechanism into socket.

Replace 3 external bolts for door lock actuator (lightly tighten them until you can verify the door works properly and the handle/external lock engages and works.

Re-install window regulator rail all the while making sure that the tongue fits into the groove pressed into the upper window rail.

Press fit the window strip back into rail. MAKE SURE IT IS EVEN.

Reconnect power/comm cable to door lock/actuator.

Tighten 3 bolts for door lock/actuator module.

Reinstall bolt for lower rail and tighten.

At this point I plugged the window switches back in and tested the window as well as the lock. (Worked like a champ.)

Reattach plastic to goop.

Reverse door panel removal procedure to reinstall. Make sure you reconnect the cables for the door handle and lock. Also make sure you plug in the seat switches as well as the puddle light switches.

Give it a few opens/closes after reassembly and ensure the door closes, opens, locks, and unlocks successfully.

This job took me about 45 minutes since I went SLOW removing the door panel since I could not find a howto nor any information of anyone doing this DIY in the past. The pucker-factor of tearing into my $82K truck was high but this goes to show Toyotas are still damn easy to repair and are well built. I was impressed with the consistency of quality and consistency of materials used in the door panel and all electrical connectors/modules built in.

Hope this helps! If I do it again, I'll take pictures and update this.
Wondering if you were aware of the door lock actuator motor replacement thread over in the 100 series section.
Wondering if you were aware of the door lock actuator motor replacement thread over in the 100 series section.

Yes, I absolutely did read the beginning few pages of that thread but was unsure whether it applied to a 200-series (it does.) Well, that and I'm fairly time-bound and just bought the part from Toyota to swap it out. Maybe I'll drag the old one out of the garbage and disassemble it but probably not. #Lazy If anyone wants it, it's yours for the price of shipping.
Can you post up some pics of it?

Then see if it comes apart, and maybe post some pics of it dissected?

Sorry -- my family of miniature time vampires are keeping me away from many external fun/investigative projects. I might even shut down my reef aquarium.

I just heard the garbage truck go rolling by so it's gone. I'm fairly certain another will fail. When it does, I'll dissect the module and update this post.
It'd be interesting to see if the 2Hundies are similar to the Hundies where the actuator failure is a dinky little $3 motor.

I fixed two of them on my Hundy. Best two hours I ever spent.

It'd be interesting to see if the 2Hundies are similar to the Hundies where the actuator failure is a dinky little $3 motor.

I fixed two of them on my Hundy. Best two hours I ever spent.


I'd say it's about a 99% chance that it is the identical problem and a $3 motor would fix it. The module looks almost exactly the same as the one one the 100-series. Heck, when I bought it the dealer parts guy said: "Oh yeah, we keep several of these around since they are a common failure item."

Unfortunately I did not have time to disassemble/diagnose/order parts/wait/repair/try & fail/epoxy more/succeed. Hopefully the next time one fails my kids will be a little older and I can spend some more time in the garage troubleshooting. Since the part seems almost exactly the same as the 100-series part, you can bet they're going to fail.
Subscribed. Mine has been acting up lately but hasn't quite totally failed.... yet ::fingers crossed::
First post and apologize for bumping a year old post and not knowing how to upload photos. The lock on my front passenger door started acting up so I had to make the repair. I followed a combination of the OP's direction on removing the door panel up to "smash/trash poorly engineered door lock actuator".

Since I did not see anything on actually replacing the motor in the actuator I thought I'd add to this thread. I took the actuator apart (partially) and replace the motor. First mistake, I followed a link in the 100 forum to the motor on amazon and ordered the wrong one. I did not realize the poster mentioned they had to modify the motor they ordered. After getting the wrong motor... i ordered the wrong motor again. Clicked a few too many links and ended up buying the wrong thing. Third time was the charm, this is the motor I ordered, it worked, and I purchased 4 just to be safe:
FC-280PC-22125 FLAT SHAFT, D Spindle 4 Pack - Flat Shaft Central Door Lock Actuator Motor FC-280PC-22125 FLAT SHAFT, D Spindle, Power Locking Repair Engine: Automotive

The 100 series thread mentioned having to epoxy the actuator together. That is not the case with the 200 actuator:

If you can see this photo, there is one screw in the middle of the actuator that has to come out. After that, the piece is held together with clips around the outside. I would not recommend completely taking the actuator apart. Both ones I replaced the motor in I had to spend some time to get them functioning property. One of the the door pull cable was misaligned and did not work after reinstall and the other side I had a snag in the lock cable. They were easy to fix, more of just a time suck. The corner nearest the electric plug is where the motor is located. I pried open just this corner and was able to remove the old motor and replace it with a new motor.

Biggest lessons learned:
>Before putting the door panel back on, plug in the lock controls and make sure the cables are moving properly. Pull on the lock cable and the door pull cable to ensure they did not misalign when opening the actuator. Pull the door handle to make sure the door handle rod went back into place
>Also, make sure you have installed all but the three door screws. Nothing like thinking you are done and seeing an extra screw.
>Make sure you reinstall the vapor barrier properly. Had some rain while waiting on the third set of motors and was surprised by the amount of water that comes inside the door.
>Take a quick look and ensure all of the door clips came off with the door panel. Reinstall them in their spot before trying to put the panel back.
>There is one clip that is opposite of all the rest on the actuator. I'd start with that one first. Adds some extra clips to remove, but makes it easier, trust me.
>The factory manual says you have to remove the door handle and the yellow block of deadening foam. You do not need to remove either. I believe the foam is glued to the door so you risk making a dent and the handle is connected by a gold rod. Make sure you slip the rod back in place when reconnecting the actuator.
>I also did not remove the bracket for the window track. I just moved it out of the way. I also did not remove the whole vapor barrier. Just made enough room to get the part out.

I hope this helps someone when their locks start going out. My passenger and driver failed within a week of each other. Add that to my infotainment system failing three months ago and I'm starting to look at 100's to fall back into.
Hooray! Glad my crap directions were useful!

The left rear one is in the midst of giving up the ghost however the truck remains mostly stationary in my garage these days. Flying home from my 9th trip to Europe this year.
too bad you can't spend flight points on LC mods
Just want to chime in and also say thanks for the write-up. Replaced the actuator motors in both driver and passenger front doors today and this thread was really helpful. Thanks again!
I have a 2014 and my DS just gave up. I will be ordering the replacement motor and changing it out. Thanks for the write up and tips.
Replaced the motors in the actuators of my driver and passenger front doors in my 2008 over the weekend using the motors identified by Evil Maddie and the directions/observations supplied by ayaws and Evil Maddie. Thanks to both for the very helpful info. $10 in parts saved me a ton. Thanks again.
2013 front passenger door went out, 100k miles. Just ordered new motors from Amazon, not looking forward to it, Ive done this a couple times on the 100 series.

It almost seems like these locks are even worse on the 200.

Thanks for the info
I just replaced my front passenger door actuator using this great write up and the cheap Amazon motor. My 2013 LX570 was a bit different so I thought I'd share what I noticed for an LX.

  • Door panel removal is the same but no L shaped trim to remove - there are only two screws - screw behind the door latch and screw that you access when you remove the window/lock wood trim panel
  • on an LX, you also need to remove another panel that covers the the door jamb - its held on my one screw in the round bumper and then more of the same white clips (apparently its very important to have a beautiful door jamb for luxury reasons)
  • I only removed the 10mm window track bold located right below the door lock connector - did not remove anything inside the door
  • I was able to carefully pry the actuator apart in the area near the electrical connector after removing the tiny Philips screw. You can see a grid pattern in the plastic and this is where the little motor is located. You can carefully just pull out the motor and gear and replace. Note how the electrical blade connectors just fit into the motor - make sure the motor is the right direction. On mine the gear the motor turns fell out of place but I was able to carefully relocate it without taking the whole actuator apart.
  • The trickiest part for reinstall was getting the rod from the outside handle to fit into the door lock actuator - its a blind install and I just did it by feel - took a bit of patience
  • After writing this all down, I realized I did not install the tiny screw that holds the actuator together. I guess the 75 clips around the edge of the actuator will do. I have high confidence the motor will fail years before the whole assembly falls apart!
Driver’s door actuator went out on me at 154k - overall fairly straightforward, took me about two hours going at a leisurely pace. Wanted to add when trying to thread the outer rod back into the assembly, having a small flashlight sitting on the foam helped me see what I was trying to do.

Huge thanks to everyone for the walk through (esp EvilMaddie for the motors on Amazon and Loyota for the LX specific notes).
Driver's door actuator went out last month on my 2015. I've been delaying making this repair, but cranked it out this afternoon based on the recommendations in this thread. I love this site! It has so much good info!
Getting ready to replace my driver door actuator tomorrow. I saw a video that included a final step of removing and reseating the key lock cylinder. Showed the whole process including how to hook up the rod. Since I'm a visual learner, if anyone knows where that video is, I'd appreciate a link. I've searched high and low and just cannot find it again. Thx.

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