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How to Test Subaru Power Door Locks

by Allen Moore

The power door locks on a Subaru contain two components, the power lock actuator and the power lock switch. The switch closes the power lock circuit when you push it, sending electricity to the actuator. When the actuator receives the electricity; it either opens or closes, depending on the direction you pushed the lock switch. If the switch or the actuator stops working, your Subaru's power door locks won't operate properly, or at all. Anyone with a mind for mechanical repair can test the Subaru power door locks in less than 25 minutes.

Step 1

Pry the Subaru's door lock switch out of the door using a trim tool. Unhook the switch from the power door lock wiring harness connector by hand.

Step 2

Plug the new power door lock switch into the power door lock wiring harness connector by hand.

Step 3

Test the power door locks by pushing the new power door lock switch to lock or unlock the door. If the power door lock actuator responds to the new switch, your old switch was bad. If the power door lock actuator does not respond to the switch, then you have a faulty power door lock actuator.

Reinstall either the original power door lock switch or the new power door lock switch in reverse of how you removed it.


  • Factory repair manuals identify "known good parts" as diagnostic tools when detailing troubleshooting procedures. With that in mind, don't be shy about purchasing a new power door lock switch to test your lock system. Just remember to keep the switch in its original condition, retain the packing in new condition and keep your receipt in case you need to return the switch for a refund.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool
  • New power door lock switch

About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.

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