Mechanics

Door Lock Replacement

The electric door locks inside of your car doors consist of a control switch, the locking door latch and/or an electric control solenoid. When the control switch is energized an electrical impulse forces the control solenoid to push or pull the locking mechanism depending on the command selected. (Lock and unlock). Anytime you have problems with an electric door lock check the fuses or thermo fuse the powers the system.

Step 1 - Identity Door Switches and Controls

Door Panel Components
Door Panel Components

The average vehicle door has basic controls for the different functions the door performs. Interior light and safety reflector helps illuminate the interior of the vehicle. When the door is open the light and the reflector alert people from a distance your door is open. The electric window switch controls the electrical power to the window motor. The motor turns a series of gears and/or cables to power the window up and down. The electric door switch controls electrical power to the lock solenoid actuator controlling the door to be locked or unlocked. 

A manual door lock switch allows you to manually control the door lock setting. Most manual door locks have an indicator letting you know if the door is locked or unlocked with a red panel when unlocked. The door handle controls to door latch which holds to door shut. Most door latches have two stages, the first stage the door will latch but not be fully closed and the next stage the door is fully closed.

Step 2 - Removing Door Access Panel

Remove Inner Door Handle Bezel
Remove Inner Door Handle Bezel

First remove all plastic access panels and screw hole covers.

Step 3 - Remove Control Switch Panel

Control Switch Panel
Control Switch Panel

Pry gently to remove the switch panel, (do not break). Removing the switch panel is different in all cars. Some vehicles don't have a switch panel because it is built into the door panel.

Step 4 - Disconnect Electrical Connector

Remove Electrical Connector
Remove Electrical Connector

After the switch panel is removed, release the connector safety and disconnect the electrical connector.

Step 5 - Removing Door Panel Mounting Bolts

Locate and Remove Door Panel Bolts
Locate and Remove Door Panel Bolts

Locate and remove all door panel mounting bolts and/or screws. Some door panels use a plastic push style fasteners. After all door panel fasteners have been removed gently pull up and/or out on the panel and remove it. Remove all electrical connectors to fully separate the panel from the door.

AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-11-30)