Power Door Lock Actuator Repair ( fix your door locks for free ) - Page 3 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#21 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bobcat7978
Hi there, thanks for the write up, I used this method to overhaul the actuator in my wife's 2002 RAV-4, the other version. The actual set-up on the latch is differently similar, and the actuator uses the same crappy motor. I cleaned it up and am back in action, took about an hour.

Rob in NJ
So glad to hear it worked out for you Rob, nice job. I agree, they are very similar actuators and setups between the 4.2 and the 4.3 after having looked at the 4.2 actuator replacement thread I linked earlier.

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#22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 10:53 PM
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Well, looks like I'll be pulling out at least one more actuator tomorrow. When I started this thread my driver's front door and rear cargo door actuators were out so those were the only ones I bothered to fix. Today the passenger front door actuator just pooped out on us. I'll fix that one first and depending on how froggy I'm feeling I may preemptively remove and clean the driver and passenger rear doors also. Seems like it's just a matter of time before they fail too. At least it's a fairly easy and free fix I suppose.

Please keep an eye out for motorcycles : Look twice, it could save a life.

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#23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 03:15 AM
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my drivers side door stopped locking/unlocking when i used the remote key chain today, then it started working again. I'm thinking a contact must have come loose from slamming the door, and now it's back in place, but how do i get the dealer to see that there's a problem when sometimes it will work and sometime sit won't? That is i'm not sure how to ensure that i make it to the dealer with the lock not working (sometimes it will start working again).
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#24 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mrmojorising
my drivers side door stopped locking/unlocking when i used the remote key chain today, then it started working again. I'm thinking a contact must have come loose from slamming the door, and now it's back in place, but how do i get the dealer to see that there's a problem when sometimes it will work and sometime sit won't? That is i'm not sure how to ensure that i make it to the dealer with the lock not working (sometimes it will start working again).
Getting the dealership to see it's not working is one of those age old problems. There is no way to guarantee the problem will present itself to the dealership and in fact it unfortunately almost never does. You know how that is; you have some issue and as soon as you try to show it to someone else it works perfect making you look crazy.

I've taken apart several of these actuators and fixed them and I have to say, unless they drastically redesigned the unit, I can't imagine it having a loose connection. There are only 2 or 3 wires in one plug going to the actuator motor and it's a pretty tight connection.

When my actuators were going out they would work intermittently at first. Sometimes the door would lock when I used the remote and sometimes they wouldn't. That's the dangerous part because half the time people likely don't even realize if one of their actuators has gone out since we all take for granted that when we hit the lock button on our remotes and see the lights flash our doors have all locked. Fact is, unless you walk around and check all of your doors to be sure they are locked, it's possible one has a bad actuator and that door hasn't been locking with the rest for some time. You car has been left unsecured.

What happens is the motor in the door has a few electrical contacts that get power while the motor spins by some spring loaded electrical connectors called brushes. These brushes are designed to provide power to a spinning object. The contact point between the contacts on the motor's shaft (commutator) and the brushes causes sparking from time to time that slowly creates a carbon build up which prevents power from getting to the motor. At the point when the carbon is just getting thick enough to be a problem, the reliability of the door actuator becomes intermittent. That's the problem.

In your case I think the car is under warranty still so none of this really helps you too much except to educate you on what's likely the problem. All I can say is keep an eye on your doors to be sure they are locking and when, not if, the problem gets worse and more consistent, you can take it in to the dealer. Until then, it's likely going to be a waste of your time to take it in as they will likely not be able to reproduce the problem. On the other hand, you may get lucky and they may see the problem.

Please keep an eye out for motorcycles : Look twice, it could save a life.

If you get a chance, vote for your favorite brand brake pads here: http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28974
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#25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojorising
my drivers side door stopped locking/unlocking when i used the remote key chain today, then it started working again. I'm thinking a contact must have come loose from slamming the door, and now it's back in place, but how do i get the dealer to see that there's a problem when sometimes it will work and sometime sit won't? That is i'm not sure how to ensure that i make it to the dealer with the lock not working (sometimes it will start working again).
Getting the dealership to see it's not working is one of those age old problems. There is no way to guarantee the problem will present itself to the dealership and in fact it unfortunately almost never does. You know how that is; you have some issue and as soon as you try to show it to someone else it works perfect making you look crazy.

I've taken apart several of these actuators and fixed them and I have to say, unless they drastically redesigned the unit, I can't imagine it having a loose connection. There are only 2 or 3 wires in one plug going to the actuator motor and it's a pretty tight connection.

When my actuators were going out they would work intermittently at first. Sometimes the door would lock when I used the remote and sometimes they wouldn't. That's the dangerous part because half the time people likely don't even realize if one of their actuators has gone out since we all take for granted that when we hit the lock button on our remotes and see the lights flash our doors have all locked. Fact is, unless you walk around and check all of your doors to be sure they are locked, it's possible one has a bad actuator and that door hasn't been locking with the rest for some time. You car has been left unsecured.

What happens is the motor in the door has a few electrical contacts that get power while the motor spins by some spring loaded electrical connectors called brushes. These brushes are designed to provide power to a spinning object. The contact point between the contacts on the motor's shaft (commutator) and the brushes causes sparking from time to time that slowly creates a carbon build up which prevents power from getting to the motor. At the point when the carbon is just getting thick enough to be a problem, the reliability of the door actuator becomes intermittent. That's the problem.

In your case I think the car is under warranty still so none of this really helps you too much except to educate you on what's likely the problem. All I can say is keep an eye on your doors to be sure they are locking and when, not if, the problem gets worse and more consistent, you can take it in to the dealer. Until then, it's likely going to be a waste of your time to take it in as they will likely not be able to reproduce the problem. On the other hand, you may get lucky and they may see the problem.
thanks for your response

if it's a problem of carbon buildup it would affect all the doors identically. Both yours and mine have a problem with the driver side door - which is the door that gets slammed the most, which makes me think something came loose or it's due in some other way to the door slamminng.
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#26 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojorising
thanks for your response

if it's a problem of carbon buildup it would affect all the doors identically. Both yours and mine have a problem with the driver side door - which is the door that gets slammed the most, which makes me think something came loose or it's due in some other way to the door slamminng.
I don't agree that it would affect all of the doors identically. It would be highly unlikely that they would all go out at the same time or in the same order. The fact that both your and my driver's doors went out first could be coincidence or perhaps there is some variable linked to the driver's door being the most often used that causes the carbon to build up on it faster.

If it is something else that's fine and hopefully it is just a loose wire. All I'm saying is that older RAV4s are plagued with this issue as a very common problem from what I've read on this forum and as our 4.3 generation RAV4s age, they too seem to start having this problem as well. How many miles do you have on your RAV4? Is it still under warranty?

I've actually been meaning to update this thread with my latest door lock actuator repairs to my wife's RAV4. Initially it was just the driver's front and rear cargo doors that weren't working. I took those two apart and cleaned the contacts in the motor, reassembled them and they both worked fine after that. The had the same symptoms you are experiencing, intermittent failure to lock/unlock. Just a month later the passenger front door began experiencing the same problem until a week or so ago it failed as well and just wouldn't work. The only way to lock and unlock it was to flip the manual locking lever inside at the door handle. The power lock switch wouldn't do it because the motor had carbon build up on the contacts. I removed that actuator on New Year's Eve, opened it up and low and behold it was indeed carbon build up. I cleaned the motor's contacts, reassembled it, and it's been working perfectly ever since. Prior to taking out the actuator and cleaning the motor's contacts on the first 3 doors I fixed, I have checked the plug that goes to the actuator to ensure it's seated properly. I even unplugged it and plugged it back in and tested it but no luck. After having 3 door lock actuators go out within a short period I didn't want to chance the remaining two back doors going out unexpectedly so when I fixed the passenger front door this last time I took an extra hour and did the two back doors as well. The had quite a bit of carbon build up on them as well but had not yet failed. Now all 5 of my door lock actuators have been disassembled and repaired.

Here's a shot I took of the motor's contacts with the carbon build up on them before cleaning. Note that all 5 actuator motors that I fixed looked similar. It's no wonder the actuator stopped working with that much carbon build up.



And here's a shot of the contacts after cleaning. You can see that they are a nice clean copper color again and a much better conductor.




Best of luck & I do really hope it's a simple fix.

Please keep an eye out for motorcycles : Look twice, it could save a life.

If you get a chance, vote for your favorite brand brake pads here: http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28974
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#27 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the awesome information! Would the same instructions work on a 4.1 RAV?
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#28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 07:33 PM
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These motors look like classic Mabuchi motors. I've had very little problems with these in machines I work on. Maybe we can find them here
Technical Guide | MABUCHI MOTOR

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#29 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 06:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure these are the same motors the Lexus and other Toyota guys have been using:
Mabuchi FC-280PT-22125 / FC-280PC-22125
FC-280PC/SC
I believe the difference between the two parts # is the PT signifies having the brass collar (tip) whereas the PC is without. Seems you can just take it off the old one and reuse it.

Some other sites that have discussed these:
Door Lock Acutuators DIY ??? - Club Lexus Forums
Door Lock Actuator Replacement
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#30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 07:46 PM
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