2004 Toyata Camry Locks Working Intermittently

Toyota 2004 Camry door locks are working intermitently. I can only get in drivers door with door fob from outside. Inside, I can only unlock drivers door. Took to dealer and they said they tried the door fob and it work 50 times when they tried it. The key only works in the driver’s side. The passenger side is very difficult to get to work. They said they couldn’t do anything unless it was acting up. It does - when they are not there. Saw on line 2003 doors had a problem. What do I need to tell dealer to get them to fix this? Not a mechanic. - Goldy Locks

Well, if this is a 2004, you should not use the dealer as there probably is no warranty, unless you have bought extended warranty. I am not sure if I understand the question well though.

Is all this problems when you use the FOB? Would the doors lock/unlock properly manually?

You could demonstrate to the service adviser that the doors won’t unlock. It is common for these door locks to become weak after being parked in the sun all afternoon. Replacement door latch/actuator assemblies cost more than $250 each, you might just save your money for your next car.

THANK YOU Both for replying. it has been really hot here lately and it is afternoon when it happens after car has been in the sun. I tried demonstrating the problem first thing in the morning to the dealer and it was working fine then. The problem was happening with fob and also with key.They kept the car all day and had no trouble with it. I guess I need to park it in the sun and then see if I can replicate the problem and then take it to a shop . I can’t afford another car right now so i need to see if i can get the locks to work. I will call around to other repair shops. dealer is propable too high. thanks.

If you open your door and look near the hinges…there will be a wire bundle inside of a black tube…that passes from the body to inside the door.
I’d presume that one or more of those wires in that bundle are broken inside of their insulation.
This causes the intermittent failure as each time the door is opened those wires are stressed.

The mechanic should have removed the door panel and tried the fob while wiggling those wires.

Just standing next to the car and triggering the fob 50 times is not a way to diagnose the problem. They were lazy and had no interest in really finding the problem.

Find a good independent mechanic. I usually suggest that you ask 50 people who they trust with their mechanic work. Keep notes and names and if you hear one name mentioned a lot, that is the one you want.


thank you, Yosemite. I’ll start asking friends about good mechanics!

When they say they can’t fix it if the symptom doesn’t appear when they test it, what they really mean is if they told you how much it would cost, you wouldn’t be willing to pay that amount. Which is probably true. But no harm to ask how much that would be.

What I’d suggest in this situation is make a vdo with your cell phone (or a friend’s) when it stops working, showing that the fob won’t open the passenger door, and that you can’t unlock the passenger door from inside either, then show the vdo to them. Once they agree “yes”, there does appear to be a problem, ask them to hold he car all day, give you a loaner, and they should park the car in the full sun, with the sun facing the passenger side (if that’s how you park it when it fails) and they should test it again in the afternoon, when it is the hottest.

As mentioned above, when they discover the problem, it might be expensive to fix this. Are you sure you want to go to all this bother and then find the expense is more than you can afford, so you’ll just live w/it? If so, maybe the best thing is to just live with it now, and save yourself the aggravation.

A loaner car while a 2004 vehicle is being repaired , Fat chance.

I’m not suggesting the loaner car would necessarily be a free-bee.

video phone pic is a good idea. have started asking folks who a good car repair person is. Thanks all.