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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Problem: The driver side door would not lock with the key FOB, requiring you to lock it manually.
Solution: Replace the driver side door lock actuator

This seems to be a problem for Toyota. My '09 Camry stumbled into this issue years ago, and my 4Runner started the problem soon after I bought it. PITA to live with, fairly easy to fix. The OEM part is around $260, part number 69040-42250. I opted to go aftermarket as it is not too hard to replace if it dumps on me. Got it for about $39 off Amazon.

Tools needed: Phillips screw driver, T-30 bit, panel remover

Roll up the window to make it easier to work with the actuator.

1. Remove Corner Cover - just grasp it and pull to the right. it is held in with two panel clips.



2. Remove door handle plastic panel. Use a panel remover and pop the left side up, then pull the panel out. This reveals a screw.

3. Pop open the two door trim panel caps. There are two: a small square and a rectangle. Insert a fine tip on your panel remover or flat tip screwdriver if the panel remover is too thick. These are hinged, so they pop out and hang.



Pry from the top seam. You can see these in this image of the panel:



4. Remove the three screws. One is behind the trim piece you removed at the door handle, and two are behind the caps you popped open.

5. Using your panel tool or just your hands, pop the bottom of the door panel outwards to free the clips. Do this around the panel. Then remove the wires and lock/handle runs

There are two wire harnesses connected to the door panel: the harness that goes to the window switch assembly, and one down on the bottom left that connects to the puddle lamp. Push the clips on the connectors in and free those. Next you need to remove the lock and door handle wires. These are white and green. This video I found out there shows you what this process looks like, as I did not take pictures here (too hard to hold the panel, remove the wires, and snap a pic). At 2:59 in the linked video.


6. Lift the panel up to clear it from the door. Set it aside.



7. Peel away a portion of the water barrier at the top left. You will see the wire connector for the actuator. Peel back enough of the barrier to allow your hand and bit of forearm into the opening to work with the actuator.



8. Unhook the actuator wire harness.

9. Using the T-30 bit, remove the three torx screws holding the actuator into the door.



10. Reach in and push the actuator down to free it from the outside handle rod. You can see the rod hanging in the back of the image.



11. Twist the actuator, pushing the right side backwards and pulling the left side frontwards. It fits around the window guide. If you twist it right it will free itself and pull out to the right. Here you can see it removed from the door with the lock and handle wire rods attached.



12. Remove the cables. These just slot into the actuator. You will need to pop open the plastic door on the bottom to get to the blue ended (white ended other side of the cable) cable. Pull the cable sup bit to free form the slots in the actuator, and free them form the slots they rest in. The bottom one is a bent wire, not a ball connector. You pull outwards slightly then backwards. Take your time to avoid bending the wire. It will become evident when you play with it.

13. Remove the plastic trim piece off the old actuator, put it on the new one. This may not be necessary depending on the actuator you get. This is where the door outside handle rod sits into the actuator, pushing down on the lever to open the latch. You don't necessarily need it, but I put it on the new one anyway.



14. Connect the cables to your new actuator. On the aftermarket ones I have had, the plastic door on the bottom is HARD to close properly. The idea is it pushes the cable down and secures it so it won't wiggle loose. Just work with it. Here is a shot of the new actuator with the cables attached (I pulled them through the water barrier and laid it on the floor board).



15. Twist the new actuator back into the door. Basically do the reverse of step 11.

16. Be sure to push the outside door handle rod into the lever on the bottom of the actuator as you install it. If you do not, you cannot open the door from the outside! That will suck. All the rod does is slide down into the lever on the bottom of the actuator. You can feel it seat with your fingers.

17. Line up the wire connector to the hole, and the three T-30 screw holes. Put in one T-30 screw to align and hold, then, making sure the sire connector is seated right, run in all the T-30 screws, tighten.

18. Pop in the actuator wire harness (see picture under step 7). Now you can test to make sure it works before installing the door panel. Making sure you have nothing blocking the door (wires hanging, tools, etc.) close the door and try your FOB. It should lock the door and unlock the door. Try the door handle to make sure you connected the rod correctly. If all works, go to the next step. If not, fix the issues.

19. Start reconnecting the wire harnesses. I would start with the puddle lamp, then the window switch harness.

20. Connect the lock/handle cables to the handle assembly on the panel. White goes on top, green on bottom. These fit into the assembly ball-socket wise. Clip the cable into the panel into the slots.

21. Line up panel. This part sucks. The clip design and the other wire connections on the door can get in the way. You need to get the top of the window sill slotted into the groove area on the panel. I found it worked if you go a bit high, then seat the right side first as it is the roughest to line up and get in properly at that corner trim area. Once you seat that side it is easier to then lay it down to the left. Be sure you get this seated properly. When it is, you can look and see the panel clips line up with their holes perfectly.

22. Pop in the panel clips. Walk it around pushing on the panel. Loads of videos out there showing yo how to do this.

23. Replace the three panel screws (door handle and those hanging covers).

24. Replace the corner trim piece.

25. Crack a beer and enjoy your new working lock actuator.

 
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