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How to Fix a Toyota Door Lock

by Don Bowman

Toyota power door locks are stand-alone mechanisms. They are not an integral part of the door latch. These locks are composed of a small electric motor and a series of gear-reduction gears that are used to operate a flat plastic rack. The motor and gear assembly causes the rack to move in and out, which when held vertically, is an up and down movement. The driven gear on the motor is on a centrifugal clutch so that when not in use, does not have engagement to the gears and allows them to freewheel, allowing manual operation of the door locks. The power door locks on a Toyota can be operated with the door switch or remotely. On some of the early models, the remote-transmitter-digital-signal is received by the power door lock directly. On some of the newer and more complex models, the body ride control computer receives the signals and operates the door locks among other things.

Remove the two Phillips screws in the arm rest and the singular screw holding the cover in front of the door handle. Remove the outside mirror cover by prying it off with the common screwdriver.

Remove the door panel by inserting the common screwdriver in between the door panel and the door. Slide the screwdriver along the outside circumference of the door and pry the trim fasteners out of their recess.

Remove the door panel and disconnect the electrical connectors to the switches. Remove the electrical connector from the power door lock through the access panel in the door.

Remove the power lock mechanism located below the door latch. The power lock mechanism is in a bracket attached to the back-side of the door below the door striker. The door lock is snapped into its bracket with the rubber bushings. It has a vertical rod running from the door lock to the door latch. Unsnap the door lock and then lift it up and turn it so the rod can be removed from the door latch.

Install the door lock and door panel in reverse order of removal.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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