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Discussion Starter #1
So my Wife's 2011 Rav4 rear door won't open anymore and I believe the actuator is broken. I have the interior panel off and I was able to open the door by pushing down on the lever (the one the rod from the handle pushes on to open) but it only worked a couple times doing that and now the lever doesn't work. It basically gets stuck at the bottom, it feels like something inside stripped or isn't connecting.

Plan is to just replace it with this: "Integrated-Rear-Liftgate-Door-Lock-Actuator-with-Latch-for-06-12-Toyota-Rav4" on ebay (sorry I can't post links yet).

Only problem is I can't get the door open to access the screws to remove the old actuator. If I
Any ideas of how to get the door open again so I can replace this?

I did find a thread here, but on page 2 the comment about the nylon thread on the second page doesn't seem to do anything.
Thread is "260401-rear-door-handle-mechanism-broken-can-t-open-2", can't post links thought.

I can't post images yet, but I have images of actuator in the default closed position and the open position which gets stuck but still doesn't allow the door to open.
Copy this address to browser to see images: pasteboard.co/I51qnHq.png

Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have!
 

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First off please refer to that door as the cargo (lift) door because it makes things confusing since there are 2 other rear doors. It also make it easier to do a search using the correct names.

Did you see this video? Pull that lever down and get someone to pull the handle on the other side. It could be stuck or frozen?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! Sorry about using the wrong description, unfortunately I can't edit the post but I will refer to it as the Cargo (lift) door from now on. I have tried having someone pull from the outside, but haven't had any luck with that yet.

I'll give it another try after turning the nylon screw counter-clockwise to see if that would work. (edit: I did try again and no luck)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I've tried the suggestions above, having someone pull on the cargo door while I push the actuator lever down but it's not working. I snapped a picture showing the actuator lever, the left side image is in the default UP position and the right image shows it DOWN which should open the door but it just gets stuck in that position when pushing it down.

Since the cargo door is stuck shut I can't get to the screws to even replace this actuator. Looking at the picture it looks like I can start pulling the black cover of the actuator off. Maybe doing that I could somehow find another way to get the door to release so I can put in a new one?

If anyone has any other tips on how I might get this open, I'm all ears!
 

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Did you ever figure this out? I just found myself in the same situation.
There is a secret door behind that white screw. Inside there is a latch that may need to be moved to another position to allow the cargo lift door to open. See this thread.

If the above does not fix the problem then pull or push a silver rod that connects to the door latch to manually move the door lock mechanism.
 

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Thanks. Neither worked however. The problem for me ended up being the coating around the latch having partially torn off and jamming in the mechanism. Screwdriver + hammer from the inside of the door did the trick to get it open so I could swap the actuator.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I still haven't solved this problem (sorry, I didn't see any notifications for updates to this post). I have a replacement actuator so I can see how it works, I've adjusted the nylon screw tried with the child lock both on and off which isn't the problem. The actual latch that pushes down on the actuator is broken somewhere inside, so pushing down on gives resistance then slips somewhere in the mechanism and gets stuck in the down position. At this point I'm just trying to figure out how to get the door open, would it make sense to use a dremel tool and destroy the actuator to try and get it to release?
 

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Scottywood, its 8 months. You have to take the panel off from the inside and manually force the latch that triggers the door to open.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi DL175,
Do you mean the take panel off the actuator itself? The black plastic cover that goes over the part?

I can get my hand in the door panel and push the lever that supposed to release the door. The latch, which a metal rod connected to the door handle pushes down on inside the door, seems to be broken. In post #4 above, I have pictures of the actuator and the latch that I'm talking about.
 

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You probably need a second hand. Someone would need to be on the outside opening the door and pulling. Then you need to push the lever and at the same time push the door out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the reply, I tried that route long ago and it didn't work. It's hard to explain, but the "action" on the actuator's lever is not normal, when pushing it down you feel something slip in the mechanism, feels like it doesn't engage anything anymore. I've had someone pull on the outside while trying to push the lever, I've sprayed lubricant to try and get anything unstuck, I've tried to put pressure at different angles when pressing the lever down to try and catch whatever is slipping. I've also flipped the lever in the hidden compartment (the one the nylon screw controls) and tried it both ways. I'm thinking at this point that unless anyone has another suggestion, I'm going to have to take it to an autobody shop. I appreciate the help folks have tried to give!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ended up finally getting the door open, figured I would update this post with photos in case anyone else having this problem comes across this thread. These photos would have helped me, so hopefully it helps someone else.

After about 30 mins of destruction with a flathead screwdriver and lots of prying, the door popped open. I pried the black plastic case of the actuator open, then managed to use the screwdriver to jam it in near the lock mechanism and fiddle it around until it eventually triggered an interior latch that the lever wasn't triggering anymore. It wasn't pretty, but it worked and now we have a working cargo door again. Thanks to those on this forum who chimed in to try and help me out, much appreciated!

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It looks like all the dirt inside the door actuator made it hard to move and forcing the mechanism into position was the only way for the door to open.
 

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I ended up finally getting the door open, figured I would update this post with photos in case anyone else having this problem comes across this thread. These photos would have helped me, so hopefully it helps someone else.

After about 30 mins of destruction with a flathead screwdriver and lots of prying, the door popped open. I pried the black plastic case of the actuator open, then managed to use the screwdriver to jam it in near the lock mechanism and fiddle it around until it eventually triggered an interior latch that the lever wasn't triggering anymore. It wasn't pretty, but it worked and now we have a working cargo door again. Thanks to those on this forum who chimed in to try and help me out, much appreciated!

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Thanks for posting. I'm having this exact same issue with my daughter's Rav4. Hard to believe there isn't an emergency latch somewhere that would allow you to open this door. I think a new actuator is going to be needed. You had one on hand before you destroyed this one?
 

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Thanks for posting. I'm having this exact same issue with my daughter's Rav4. Hard to believe there isn't an emergency latch somewhere that would allow you to open this door. I think a new actuator is going to be needed. You had one on hand before you destroyed this one?
You should buy a new door actuator first. If you need to destroy it like Scottywood to force the door open you may not be able to keep the cargo lift door closed and drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for posting. I'm having this exact same issue with my daughter's Rav4. Hard to believe there isn't an emergency latch somewhere that would allow you to open this door. I think a new actuator is going to be needed. You had one on hand before you destroyed this one?
As DL175 said, definitely get a new actuator beforehand. I hesitated on getting the new one before I could figure out how to open it, but I should have done that first off. Good luck with it!
 
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