Broken Door Actuator

My Door Actuator in the drivers side rear door on my 2007 4runner has died… Locking the door to the car. I managed to remove the inner door panel(took some cussing with the door lock closed), but can’t get the actuator to release the door. Any thought on how to get it to let go. I’ve ordered a new one but I need this one to release the door so I can replace it.


find the fuse for the door locks and pull it out for a minute and re-install to see if it releases the locks

Are you saying you can’t manually unlatch the door?

It seems to me if the electric door lock actuator has failed, but you’ve removed the door panel, you should be able to get the door open

Are you able to find a diagram of the workings inside the door? If so post it here and maybe somebody can figure out what you need to do by looking at it.

Both of our vehicles have remote power door locks. I checked and they all have actual handles for manual operation.

These are fun to do if it is the mechanical part of the latch that has failed. What most often happens is a small spring that releases the latch breaks and gives you no way to open the door. Look at how the new latch operates. What you are going to have to do is break away the plastic covers and release the lock manually. It takes some patience but it can be done. You may also want to remove the drivers seat to give yourself some more room.

What’s probably happened is the door lock actuator clip has broken off the rod and now the rod is no longer attached.

When these plastic clips break off, you have reach into the inside the door and and reconnect the rod to open the door.

Then once the door is opened, it makes it easier to gain access to the rod to install the new clip.

But not much easier.


Check to see if child safety lock is actuated, rtm (read the manual) to find if you have this option.

@Barkydog I like your rtm acronym

When I was at the dealership, all the employees were instructed to NEVER tell the customer to read the manual

Unfortunately, half the time, the problem was due to the fact that the customer had NOT read the manual. But we were supposed to do so, in order to resolve the situation. In many cases, that meant 15 minutes or so wasted, with nothing to show for it, monetarily, anyways

And the next job was often a basket case, with no hope of even getting close to breaking even, so to speak

Those were the days . . .

@db4960 It came by to me as rtfm, just being politically correct up til now!


Dealership tech staff should never tell the customer to read the manual

I can sort of see why the dealership owner would say that. The customer is coming looking for answers, and have the problem diagnosed and the needed job done, not to be presented with a task for them to do. I think if the staff told the customers to read the owners manual, it might make some of the customers mad.

If I was the dealership owner, I’d suggest to the staff to ask the customer the necessary questions so the techs to get the problem resolved. Once that is done to the customer’s satisfaction, then it would ok to show the customer the page in the manual that has relevant info on the topic.

@GeorgeSanJose We were verbally told the customers have better things to do with their time, than opening the owner’s manual

On the other hand, if the customer had read the manual, more often than not, they could have figured it out themselves . . . programming the clock, put batteries in their key fob, programming seat memory, etc. . . . and have avoided the trip to the dealership altogether. Sure would have saved them a lot of time, in the end

@Barkydog I’m sure you’ve heard of KISS . . . keep it simple, stupid . . . !

Have you heard of CTFFF . . . hint, it’s got something to do with a blown fuse

Since I’m not using nasty language here, you’ll have to figure it out yourself, but I’m sure you will

KISS is a mantra, Could break an anvil with a rubber mallet is another Fav for some people. got to think on ctfff though @db4960 Might make a good thread all these things, and more!

I’ve heard countless acronyms over he years, but CTFFF is a new one for me. Can you offer a clue?

check the . . .

remember I mentioned a fuse, and that I didn’t want to use bad language?

That was the clue for the 3rd and 4th

As for the last, what comes before second?

I don’t want carolyn to come down on me, so I can’t provide any more clues


Last week I had a customer referred to me from another shop. The courtesy lights in the car had been inop for some time, and the sunroof operation recently became erratic. Other shop diagnosed a failing body control module and referred to us since they don’t have the ability to program modules.

So before I replace an $800 BCM I check things over myself. I find sunroof operation needs a sticky switch replaced for $140. And the inop courtesy lights? A blown fuse.

I talked to the guy at the other shop who diag’d a bad BCM and advised him (in a humorous tone because he sends me a lot of work) to CTFFF before condemning a module. Because I did CTFFF and found one fuse that was NFG.

Got it(I think). 1 can short of a 6 pack sometimes.

I wonder if Carolyn is laughing at all of this

That poses a bigger question, Does Carolyn laugh? Maybe she is a cg epiphenomenon. But then again, when she (he) Not that it matters, said she will always remember me as waterboy I am convinced our overlord has a soul, a heart, a sense of humor, and a delete button.