Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

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lparsons
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:44 am

Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by lparsons » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:53 am

My 05 Freestyle limited has had problems with the passenger door lock for some time now. Originally it worked sporadically and often just shook when it was supposed to lock or unlock (rather than completing the movement up or down on its own). However several months ago it stopped working as a power lock completely. If it is unlocked, it does not lock with the other locks (including at speed). If it is locked, it does not unlock with the other locks (regardless of whether I use the fob or if I am using the switch on the driver's or passenger's door). It does however work just fine as a manual lock - if the door is locked the handle on the door will unlock it fine, and if the door is unlocked I can easily press down the lock nob to lock it.
I've never worked on a lock before. Are these difficult to work on? Are there some parts I should order up right away to try or should I be looking for something out of adjustment? Or is it too complicated to be worth my while? The car has ~170k miles on it if that makes a difference. The other locks - including the hatch - all work as expected. The passenger one though is particularly annoying if I am carrying something out to the car with me and I want to put it in the front passenger seat (as often happens when I have my sons with me).
Thank you!
05 Freestyle Limited AWD - dark red (wife's car)
02 VW Passat W8 - all black (my car)

ds32928
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Re: Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by ds32928 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:29 pm

There is a lock actuator in each door. The one in the pass. door has failed. It could be an expensive job to have the dealer repair it. The part itself isnt too expensive, you can get them (made in china) on Ebay for $9 or so. Its the labor that runs the bill up. Get an estimate from the dealer and see if you want to pay to have them fix it. I havent got an estimate yet for my not unlocking rear passenger door. I glued a rubber cap to the manual 'push to lock' post that is inside, at the top of the door sill, so I can get ahold of it and pull it up manually from the inside reaching across from the working door.

The actuator is a motor held in a black plastic housing. That housing can be removed and replaced by a new one, but the door panel and possibly a inner panel needs to be removed to get access to the assembly that the acuator clips into. The assembly needs to be partially removed from the door par to get the actuator assembly out of it and the new one snapped in. Then everything put back together. Hence the labor. You can get a replacement actuator, or find a used complete assembly with its used actuator on Ebay, and buy a new replacement actuator there at the same time and have a shop put the new actuator in the used Ebay assembly and then exchange the assembly. No easy way to get it done. The old actuator can be fixed, but its a little tedius once its out, to un-screw the two halves and turn the stripped gear around on the motor shaft so the good part of that white colored gear meshes with the other output gear, and then screw the 2 halves back together. Best to put in a china one, or see what the dealer wants to make it work again. Good luck.

xvert
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Location: Sibiria

Re: Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by xvert » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:31 am

In a couple of days, I’ll receive a front passenger door lock actuator from China. I used the link https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=you ... QlXOc2A2s to get to the actuator.
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The old actuator can be fixed, but its a little tedius once its out, to un-screw the two halves and turn the stripped gear around on the motor shaft so the good part of that white colored gear meshes with the other output gear, and then screw the 2 halves back together.
I heard that some mega-economical people just use the back end with brushes from the universal door actuator motor for ford / toyota / mazda ...
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Last edited by xvert on Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

lparsons
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Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by lparsons » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Thank you xvert! That looks pretty straightforward from the video, I'll order it up and try it in a couple weeks.
05 Freestyle Limited AWD - dark red (wife's car)
02 VW Passat W8 - all black (my car)

lparsons
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Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by lparsons » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:10 pm

I just finished doing this, I thought I'd post a few thoughts from the process while they're still reasonably fresh in my mind. It ultimately took me about 5-6 hours working alone on it in my garage, looking to a few different youtube videos for assistance along the way.

As mentioned before, this was for the front passenger door. Other doors might be different and more or less difficult than this one.

First, I eventually found that the gears in my actuator were NOT bad or worn. In my case the problem was that the motor in the actuator was no longer engaging. More on that later.

Second, I ordered the part from rockauto. The part was ~90% correct. The fit was right, but the electrical connector was not. I was able to Frankenstein the motor from this part into the body of my original actuator and get it to work. Interestingly the torx screws that held the two actuators together - which I had to remove in order to get the motor out - were not the same size.

Third, one of the biggest single challenges I faced - in terms of time invested to solve it - was one that I had not seen any mention of before. There is a long threaded rod that comes down from the top rear of the door to the lock mechanism, I presume it exists mostly to help hold the assembly in place. There is a large yellow clamp that this rod threads into (an adjustment perhaps?). Looking around I eventually found a youtube video of someone replacing an actuator for an F150 of a similar year and they showed this piece, they released the yellow (in their case green) clip with a screwdriver. I fought this for some time, completely unable to release it as shown in the video. Eventually I realized that the yellow clip is attached to the actuator assembly with a white plastic rivet; I was able to release that and continue on.

Fourth, the assembly can eventually be pulled out fully through the oval access hole (I wasn't sure if this was possible or not). You have to release the rivet I mentioned above to detach from the long threaded rod, and then you need to also release the rod that connects to the lock knob (the one that normally sticks out of the top of the door) as well. Then you should be able to pull it out (possibly needing to disconnect 1 or 2 other black plastic rivets to free the electrical connections).

Fifth, it is worth noting that as long as you're not a total hack this can all be done without disconnecting the car battery. It might be safer to do so, but leaving the car battery connected also allows you to use your power locks (or key fob) to test how things are working along the way. I left my battery connected, which was useful for coming up with a strategy for the not-quite-right rockauto actuator.

Sixth, I diagnosed the actuator motor to be the problem once I had it out of the door. Without disconnecting power, I hit my keyfob and watched what happened, it did not move. Then I opened it up (four Torx screws) and watched it again while using the fob. The gears attached directly to the motor did not turn in that case. The motor was trivially easy to remove once the actuator was open, it was held in by tension and had no wired connections. The actuator from rock auto had the same motor even though the wiring connection was different (and in a different orientation) and the gears after the motor driveshaft looked slightly different as well.

Seventh, I did attempt to remove the inner (metal) liner from the door as well to make more room. This was not needed but I tried to do it anyways. I would *not* recommend doing this as things shifted around a bit on me and getting it back in was not easy. I didn't even get it out fully either...

Eighth, getting the door liner itself (the interior mostly plastic part) back on was more difficult than expected and took some trial and error. Lining up the lock knob in particular was a bit of a bear.

Finally, and this is a bit of a general thought on the car, I'm pretty sure our cars are actually metric. Videos and tutorials often recommend SAE sockets but metric fit better. I've seen this in Fords going back to at least the late 70s. YMMV, of course.
05 Freestyle Limited AWD - dark red (wife's car)
02 VW Passat W8 - all black (my car)

ds32928
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Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:58 am

Re: Passsenger door lock not working as power lock - where to start?

Post by ds32928 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:07 pm

Thanks for the information.

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