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How to Replace Power Lock Actuator in Toyota RAV4

This is a 2003 RAV4 driver’s door actuator replacement. I am providing a description of my experience, in hopes of helping others. Was surprised I could not find anything. Not for a beginner.




1. Remove the door panel and look to this post for excellent description: http://rav4world.com/mods/4.2/interior/door_speaker_installation.html

2. I would add, that to remove power window switch, gently pry up front and use a small screwdriver to press in the clip, and it will come right out. If force is used, the back fixed plastic clip will break (pics below).

3. Peel back the plastic on door carefully. The actuator is connected to the door latch and the whole mechanism needs to be disconnected. There are several bolts on door (behind where panel was), and at edge of door. Take out three bolts as indicated. Also disconnect power into actuator (see clip hanging loose). You can plug into new actuator and then activate to make sure this was your problem.







4. Take out three torx bolts at side of door holding latch inside door. Also take out screw at bottom of door. This holds flexible window track. (You will later fold that up and out of the way).





5. Take out the plastic piece at top of door edge. This is near lock, and will allow you to disconnect the rods connecting door handle, lock and latch.





6. The unit will now be loose. From the door, gently reach up into door insides and look for vertical metal rods coming out of the top of the latch, and going up to door handle and lock. Disconnect the plastic lock tabs with by gently pry away from bar. To disconnect the yellow clip, go to access hole in number 5 above and use piece of wood, or screwdriver on rod and tap out. (Plastic clip is pressure fit into hole, and you may not be able to pull out. I had to tap it out with hammer. Gentle).






7. Fold up flexible door track so its out of way, and you can now pull unit out of door with cables to power switch. **Leave cables going from power switch to unit, as these remain attached. There may be a wire clip to disconnect and give more play.



8. This is a view of unit pulled out of door (with cover on) and of the cover removed from actuator below.







9. There is one bolt fastening cover onto unit and two screws holding actuator in place. Remove. Note Actuator is still in place with two cables coming into it.





10. This picture shows two screws holding actuator to unit, and where it connects to latch unit cables. Carefully disconnect and put new actuator in line.





11. Assembly is the reverse. Don’t forget to reattach metal rods and clips. Keep power disconnected until done.

12. This is a view of power lock switch tab. Push this in and pull up and forward to remove this panel part.








Got part from Parts.com for about $75. They sent it out and I got it in 2 days. Very impressive response given I live in Hawaii. Let me know if this was helpful. I am not a mechanic, but was a serious auto hobbyist a longtime ago. This was a challenge, so I wanted to try and help others.

Matthew Kohm
 

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Excellent write up emiskaye! I (and a lot of us 4.2ers) have this exact problem with the drivers door. I just chose to ignore it b/c the dealer was charging an arm and a leg to fix.

Thanks! It's people like you that make this forum such a great place to be :thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sure

Yes. Absolutely, as long as it is OK with forum...I think it should be.

Thank you both R_Rav4 and GestRAVt for the good words and I am glad to be helpful.

Aloha,

Matthew
 

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I would also like to say thanks! Your pic of the drivers door with the inside panel removed should be helpful to anyone with ideas of replacing/updating their OEM mirrors and speakers... ahem, like ME! :thumbs_up:

I realize that your RAV is an older model, but the picture should be helpful none the less! :wink:

Mike
 

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What made you changed the actuator? What are the symptoms of a faulty actuator?? I am having a problem w/ my driver side and I may be using this in the very near future here.

Thanks for a bad ass write up. :D
 

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My driver side door does not want to lock or unlock with the remote and also if you push the button on the door. Is that what this thread is about? I need some advice on it. :(
 

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Thanks for the writeup. Amazing with pics. I will have to review as the Rav ( along with transmission problem ) is having problems with power locking the drivers side just like in this pic.

But... great explanation.


I can tell the manual lock flip switch is much harder to flip than the other three doors which tells me something is not correct. It did not lock for a while.

I noticed when I rolled down the window and tried to find the problem, it smelled musty inside. So I sprayed WD-40 at the flip switch and also tried to lube the lock itself to try to make it better. It helped some so I tried more. As a added thing, I left the car out in the sun after all that for a day. Some combo made the power lock work again so I only delayed the problem as I see in this writeup.

Toyota has one problem or bug after another.
 

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2004 Rav4 L 4wd, 2005 Galactic gray 4runner V6 4wd
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good wriet up, am having a similar prob with my 2003 model.thanks
 

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need some help, i changed out the actuator in the rear door and now the rav won't lock....it will only unlock. it's not responding to the lock on the remote or the electronic door buttons. it will only lock manually. it is a 03 sport model, i don't know if there's a difference or not. last night i replaced the rear actuator on a 03 L model with no problems at all in the same fashion but today's generated this problem. so i'm kinda lost. with it not responding to the lock function makes me think it's an electronic problem and that i'd have to get the lock/unlock chip reprogrammed? need help ppl....thanks!

so now i've disconnected the actuator plug and the doors lock again. so i'm leaving it off for now until i figure out what is wrong. i tried plugging in the old actuator, but the dorrs still won't lock, they lockd before with the old one though.
 

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Awesome write up. I am going to do this for an acquaintance. (not friend) How long did you spend on it and any idea of dealer cost or what is a fair price to charge?
Again, Thanks to you and folks like you that take the time to help by posting your acomplishments!!
 

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Hmmm... i noticed most of the problems exists on the driver side. Now mine is on the passenger side ( and it's a little bit annoying if your out of the car coz i have to use the key to open the passenger door. As if i'm a gentleman:) ). Anyway, if im inside the car, and would press the door lock switch for the first time, the lock would move a little bit (probably 1/16 of an inch) but if i press the second time, or should i say continuously, then it won't move anymore. :(
 

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Can't see the pics ...I broke a clip? which holds the metal rods

Could someone please tell me why I cannot open the pictures in the thread above. I need to see how the metal rods are held in place because I accidentally broke a clip while popping out a small dent in the door.
 

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pics missing

I am with cfw in that the pics do not show up (probably the forum got an update).

anyway we can get the moderators to relink the images?
They seem vital.

Thanks
Don
 

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My Actuators make noise and move the cable slightly but had the problem on other front drivers side and it finally went dead-I'm not even sure that it the actuator - can the cable stretch?
 
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