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Discussion Starter #1
There are a total of 5 doors on this vehicle, a total of 5 actuators have failed. The first one I attempted to do myself, it was not as easy as the poster made it sound. The actuator did not come apart as easily as indicated. I was able to get it apart enough to remove the motor and remove the carbon build-up, which indeed did allow it to function. However, the door handle would not function once I reinstalled the actuator. I took it to my local shop, they replaced both front door actuators, total cost: $1,100! The cargo door actuator was next to fail. I decided to just replace the actuator as opposed to trying to take it apart. I found the actuator at Parts Geek for $120. Removed the old one, had the new one installed in a matter of 10 minutes. Next the rear doors stopped working. Again, I bought a new actuator and attempted to install it. It went in easily enough, however just like I experienced with the front door, the outside handles no longer would open the door. The process seems pretty simple, there are two cables that snap into place on the actuators and one lever on the back side that matches up with a forked device on the handle. So, my question is, why are the outside handles not functioning? Is it possible that the locks need to be in the correct position (locked/unlocked) prior to snapping in the cables or something? It is strange that I am running into the same issue with both the front and rear doors, but the cargo door installation went flawlessly. Until Toyota admits that there is a design flaw, I am assuming that others will be experiencing the same issues that I have seen.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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There are a total of 5 doors on this vehicle, a total of 5 actuators have failed. The first one I attempted to do myself, it was not as easy as the poster made it sound. The actuator did not come apart as easily as indicated. I was able to get it apart enough to remove the motor and remove the carbon build-up, which indeed did allow it to function. However, the door handle would not function once I reinstalled the actuator. I took it to my local shop, they replaced both front door actuators, total cost: $1,100! The cargo door actuator was next to fail. I decided to just replace the actuator as opposed to trying to take it apart. I found the actuator at Parts Geek for $120. Removed the old one, had the new one installed in a matter of 10 minutes. Next the rear doors stopped working. Again, I bought a new actuator and attempted to install it. It went in easily enough, however just like I experienced with the front door, the outside handles no longer would open the door. The process seems pretty simple, there are two cables that snap into place on the actuators and one lever on the back side that matches up with a forked device on the handle. So, my question is, why are the outside handles not functioning? Is it possible that the locks need to be in the correct position (locked/unlocked) prior to snapping in the cables or something? It is strange that I am running into the same issue with both the front and rear doors, but the cargo door installation went flawlessly. Until Toyota admits that there is a design flaw, I am assuming that others will be experiencing the same issues that I have seen.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
there are usually 2 metal rods that must be hooked up...one for the inside door handle and one for the outside door handle...if the rod for the outside handle is not hooked up then the outside door handle will not open the door...watch the video at about the 7 minute mark to see what im talking about...

 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Five out of five? Seems rather odd, doesn't it?
Yeah, it does seem odd. Especially since we see almost no door lock actuator complaints from the 4.3 here on RAV4World. And the actuators on my 2008 have never hiccuped once.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2010 door lock actuators

I too find it curious that every actuator has now failed. They all started malfunctioning in the same way, very sporadically. Initially, it would just be one door that would not unlock/relock. Then, it would function perfectly the next 20 or more cycles of locking and unlocking. But, the frequency of failure started happening more and more frequently until ultimately, it would not lock or unlock at all. The first actuator I took apart, showed signs that others have indicated would be the cause, carbon build up on the shaft of the motor itself. Once I sanded off the carbon, the actuator started working again. It was my lack of being able to get the lock and/or rods reinstalled that forced me to have the professionals complete the repair! I guess that is why Toyota has no recall or TSBs on this subject, as I am one of a few that it is happening to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply, I will check that out. The actuator on the RAV4 looks a little different than on your highlander and I thought I had them both connected. But, I will take the door apart yet again and make sure they didn't get disconnected in my maneuvering to get the actuator installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, there are no rods at all on the rear doors of the 4.3 RAVs. It appears that the actuator works by cable for the inside handle (mine is connected) and the outside handle has a forked plastic piece that comes right off the outside handle and pushes down on a rod extending from the back of the actuator. I took the actuator out and confirmed that all looks to be connected properly, there really doesn't seem to be many ways of screwing it up. There is a cable for the inside locking mechanism and a cable for the inside door handle, then get the forked piece of plastic over the rod extending from the actuator and that is it. I am afraid it is time to throw in the towel (once again) and have the professionals finish the job. Maybe I got a bad actuator or something, I won't know until the experts tell me that they are stumped too.


Thanks for the help but I am afraid that I am out of ideas. While it does seem rare that there are many issues with actuators on 4.3 RAVs, it does appear to be a fairly common issue with other Toyota models. Toyota will get another nasty gram from me!
 
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