How to Troubleshoot a Camry Door Lock Switch that Won't Unlock Doors

by Allen Moore
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Power door locks are wonderfully convenient, as long as they work properly. When they do not work right, trying to pinpoint the problem can be frustrating if you are not educated on how the power lock system works. If you do understand the system, however, troubleshooting can be performed quickly. Additionally, if you are mechanically inclined, once you have pinpointed the problem, performing the repair should not take more than an hour, as long as you have the right tools and parts.

Step 1

Push the lock switch and listen for any noise. If you hear a click inside the door, but the lock does not move, the switch is working. If you've determined the switch is working, you will need to remove the door panel to access and inspect the lock actuator and lock mechanism itself for failure.

Step 2

Locate the fuse for the door locks. Refer to the vehicle’s specific owner’s manual for fuse location. Remove the fuse and inspect it. If the fuse looks burned, or the center element is disconnected at either end or the center, replace it.

Step 3

Pry the switch gently from the door panel with a screwdriver. Place the screwdriver head under the switch bezel to lift it out. Be careful, so as not to break the switch or surrounding trim bezel.

Step 4

Unclip the switch from the wiring harness by pushing in the locking tabs, then pulling the harness away from the switch carefully, and then set the switch aside.

Step 5

Connect the replacement switch to the wiring harness and push the button to lock or unlock the door. (See References for where to find replacement parts.) If the door lock moves, the culprit was indeed the old switch. If not, you can reinstall the old switch and return the new one to the dealer.

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