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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I see a Sticky: How to do Power Lock Actuator Replacement.
But, I do not know for fact that this is the problem. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction for a fix?
Basically the front passengers side door wont latch closed.
The door will shut, and the latch is in the open position, but it will not "catch" for the door to stay shut. Everything is in alignment, with no sprung door or anything like that. I took the suggestion of several videos, and pulled the outside door handle in the open position, and then took a screwdriver to push the latch back and forth. But my problem was never that the latch was stuck shut, so that didn't do much of anything to solve my problem.
So, what do you all think is the problem? Do I have to replace the actuator or just the latch itself? This is for a 2003 Rav4... oh, but I do not think it's a 4.2? A 2 liter I think. Lastly, I had to pull the ecu. The door latched just fine before pulling the ecu. Got the ecu repaired and now it's back in. Would this have something to do with the door not latching?
Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Still need help, please.

Anyone? Would I have to replace the whole actuator? Or is it possible that just a spring or something came lose? From pictures I am seeing on the internet, the clasp thingy is part of the actuator? Is the actuator easy to open up so I could look at the interior of it to see if something is broken?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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You need to remove the inside door panel to see what's going on in there. There are many videos on Youtube showing how to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ya know JuneBug..... Right after I posted the question, I thought, how dumb was it of me to ask because you all know just as much about it as I do, lol. Nothing can be determined until I take a closer look at it... duh. Guess I was hoping there was some kind of easy magic fix without tearing it apart :)
Thanks for helping though. Much appreciated!!
 

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Not specific to the RAV4, but on other cars I've had the same issue caused when the grease in the latch mechanism gets dirty/dries out, so it doesn't move easily. Spraying something like PB Blaster or other solvent/lubricant (not WD-40) may help free it up if that's the issue. Spray, then try to work the catch back and forth a bit.
 

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Anyone? Would I have to replace the whole actuator? Or is it possible that just a spring or something came lose? From pictures I am seeing on the internet, the clasp thingy is part of the actuator? Is the actuator easy to open up so I could look at the interior of it to see if something is broken?
if you want LASmith, our buddy JuneBug recommends something that probably you can check or compare it with.

why dont you try opening the other side and check how it works, then probably you can just tweak it

if not, you know what you will change, because you have the comparison.

like our buddy mike.s is saying, spray it and test it :)

by the sound of it, latch or the door lock assembly is you need to make sure not working, if not, replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if you want LASmith, our buddy JuneBug recommends something that probably you can check or compare it with.

why dont you try opening the other side and check how it works, then probably you can just tweak it

if not, you know what you will change, because you have the comparison.

like our buddy mike.s is saying, spray it and test it :)

by the sound of it, latch or the door lock assembly is you need to make sure not working, if not, replace it.

Thanks guy's. This is what I've done so far. Sprayed the heck out of it, but also took a closer look. The electric locks work great. When I flip the switch on the drivers side, all doors lock and unlock just fine.... but....
on the door in question. I compared it to all the other doors by using a screwdriver. I'd simulate the car door latch bar thing by pushing the screwdriver against the latch. On 3 doors, the latch/clasp would "close" around the screwdriver, and I couldn't just push it back out. I had to use the door handle to release it. But, on the broken door, it didn't lock down in place and I could easily just push the screwdriver back out.

I'm just not looking forward to pulling the door panel I guess.
Do you know of any pictures of the guts of the actuator available on here?
Thanks for your help!!
 

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I've got a 1999 RAV4. Not the best at maintaining things. I believe i have similar issue.

We had a cold snap with temps going down to -15C (5F) in the evening, and yesterday the front passengers door wont latch closed at the mall. I pressed the power door and heard the mechanism, but the lever wouldn't budge. I tried to open the door from outside and it opened even though it was supposed to be locked.

This got me thinking ... the lock that locks the door isn't engaging. Dummy me, i didn't have a spare key with me and the engine was running as i did the following ... i opened the passenger door and tried to find an opening where the lock would engage and near the bottom half of the door, i observed a whole bunch of "gooey waxy dark gold colored stuff". It was pretty thick. I saw a mechanism and moved it with my finger, and figured something moved. I closed the passenger door to test, and it was locked. When i tried to get into my car to shut off the engine, it was locked even though it was unlocked.

Eventually, i got the spare key.

Any insights? I read about WD-40. Should i spray it into that area with all the gooey waxy stuff. I'm feeling info overload from these forums.
 
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