Modern door locks give you comfort and security. Point a door lock on door level and push a button or slide a lever, and the door opens. Pull it back or push another button, and everything inside is locked securely. By having reliable door locks, you can park your car for hours and not worry about anything at all. What makes all these things possible? Well, deep inside your car's door lock is a component that does all the locking, and it's called the door lock actuator.
This part is essentially a motor that works using the principle of magnets and magnetism. It is enclosed in a plastic housing that is isolated with two grommets. The entire electronic motor is secured in its location on the rearward lower corner of the door through a plastic bracket screwed on the door's inner panel. The plastic housing is connected to the door lock through a curved steel rod. When the motor is keyed up to locking position, it extends the rod to engage the lock, and the manual locking button is lowered. The opposite thing happens when the unlock setting is selected. In the entire process, the car door lock actuator moves a threaded shaft up and down.
The actuator is the component that commonly fails in the system. When its threads are already worn out, there is no way the actuator can raise or lower the shaft. When this shaft is already defective, a grinding and buzzing noise is heard whenever you automatically lock or unlock the door. Failure can also be caused by an arcing or fraying motor. Damaged door lock actuators should not be neglected. Once they show signs of failure, you need to have them checked or replaced right away.
When it comes to replacing this component, the first thing that you should do is to remove it. To do that, you have to remove the door panel first so that you can easily access the door lock. Before forcing the car door lock actuator off its bracket, you should clip off the small electrical connector first. After that, remove the old actuator and replace it with a new one by attaching it on the emptied bracket. Installing the new one means reconnecting the electrical connector and test the newly installed unit if it's working or not. If you're not sure how to uninstall this component, you'd better get professional help to prevent any problems from happening.
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