Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Door Lock Actuator

door lock actuator

Door lock actuators are an electronic component found on vehicles equipped with power door locks. They are the electronically controlled actuators in every single door that are responsible for locking and unlocking the power door locks when the switches are pressed. When they fail or have issues, they can disable the power door lock feature, which can be a major inconvenience to the driver. Usually a bad or failing power door lock actuator will produce a few symptoms that can notify the driver of an issue that should be serviced.

1. Unusual noises coming from inside the door

Unusual noises coming from inside the door are one of the first symptoms of a potential problem with a power door lock actuator. Most power door locks operate using gears or motors that may quietly whir, or make noise when they operate. Those noises are normal. However, if the noise suddenly becomes louder or more pronounced, then this may be an indicator that the gears or motor are becoming worn out. The noises may get louder until the actuators eventually fail.

2. Power door locks behave erratically

Another symptom of a potential problem with the power door lock actuators are door locks that behave erratically. If the actuators have any sort of internal or wiring issue, it may cause them to rapidly lock and unlock unexpectedly, or cause them to function intermittently.

3. Power door locks do not function

Another symptom of a potential problem with the door lock actuators are power door locks that do not function. If the door lock actuators fail, they will disable the power door lock feature from working. This will require the driver to use the key to lock or unlock the doors, and can disable the power door locks completely for vehicles that do not use a traditional key, such as newer luxury vehicles.

The power door lock actuators are a simple component, but are critical to the operation of the power door locks - which are among the most commonly used features of any vehicle. For this reason, if you suspect that one or more of your power door lock actuators may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if you need a door lock actuator replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: What can I do if the remote keyless entry remote only works up close?

The remote keyless entry system is not only a great convenience, but it increases vehicle security by being able to lock or unlock the doors from a distance. If the range of the remote decreases, there are a few points...

Q: Ticking noise when turning hard - 2012 Subaru Impreza

Hey there. I would start with inspecting the CV joints and axles as this is a common noise that can come from this area of the car when they are worn or need to be replaced. This may also be...

Q: Unable to lock hatchback door

You likely have a bad door lock actuator, or a broken wire. To determine the cause of the problem, the hatchback door panel will have to be removed, then electrical testing will have to be performed. A qualified technician from...