Door Lock Actuators - 2008 Toyota Highlander Limited

Please HELP!!! Has anyone else experienced this? Any credibility to our concerns that there’s a much larger problem with the locking/electrical/computer system? We have 2008 Toyota Highlander Limited. One by one, over the last 8-weeks, ALL of the door lock “ACTUATORS” have gone bad. It started with the driver door and was closely followed by the other 3 doors, so now they don’t lock or unlock. We’ve had 2 estimates and repair (parts & labor) run about $480 per door. YEOUCH!! Now my back hatch beeps 10 times when we open it and we’re afraid it’s going bad, too - and it contains TWO actuators.

We figured it was just normal maintenance when the first actuator went bad, but now they are ALL bad in only a few weeks. Seems like repairing the locks is just putting a band-aid on a bigger symptom, but the Toyota dealership and Electronic Auto Shop (both have given us repair estimates) aren’t diagnosing a system problem - their repair estimates are only focused on the lock actuators. We’re wanting to fix the locks as soon as possible because it’s our understanding that soon we will be unable to open and close the locks manually and the doors will be seized … then we’re looking at HUGE repairs with doors AND locks.

Thanks for any advice!!

I am having the exact same problem. First it was a back door, then the other back door a few days later, then the drivers door. The passengers door now beeps 6 times when I approach. Dealer on the phone said it is very unusual to happen. I talked with an independent repair shop and they said it is a huge problem and they see it a lot. I am going to go talk with the dealer and try to get it covered some how. A 3 1/2 yr old car with 40,000 should not have this problem.

Im about a year behind the conversation and im having the same problem. Was wondering if anyone has had any resolution to this. Just paid $500 to repair the diver side actuator and starting to have problems with all the others.

Improve the engine to body ground by cleaning the ground wire. If it connects to the firewall, which it usually doesn’t on cars these days, the firewall end, if installed on a painted surface will not work well. On 70’s Toyotas I would scrape the paint off and connect to bare metal. That would cause the starter to actually work instead of click.

A bad ground makes body electric stuff fail or fail to work. Check grounds under the dash. The easy ones may be near the top of the floor covering.

You folks are confirming that the actuators are made on by very consistant assembly process…their lifespans are very much the same…one goes, they’re all due. Unfortunately, the vendor apparently can’t be complimented for the longevity of their designs.

Pleasedodgevan2 is correct. Bad ground or power could very well be the problem. When multiple failures happen of individual items, it is not the individual item, but what feeds them. Do you have a smart key that senses the key automatically? The main body ECU controls the locking and unlocking of the doors along with a unit called the combination meter. The computer should be able to be scanned for faults.

It does seem sort of unusual all the actuators would fail at the same time. But it could happen I guess. Maybe the car was caught outside in a big rainstorm a while back and water got into all the doors and over a period of a few weeks or months corroded all of the actuators. If you follow this forum, problems with auto door locks are very common. Me, I’d avoid them at all cost. Who needs the grief? And really, it isn’t that difficult to open the door by inserting and twisting a key.

I had a problem one time with a dome light bulb on my Corolla. It burned out about 3 months after I purchased the car new, so I went to the dealer and got a new bulb. It burned out in 3 months. Again. Burned out in 3 months. So the next time I went to my local auto parts store and got the new bulb there. It has burned brightly for 20 years and still going strong. The dealer had a load of bad bulbs in their stock. So it may be you also just had a bit of bad luck an got a bad batch of actuators when you bought the car.

A shop could test the wiring for proper grounding of the actuator circuits, no problem. If this were my car the first thing I’d do is inspect the wire where it goes through the door hing area. Is the insulation cracked or scraped? And I’d visually check to make sure the door drains were not clogged.