Have you been pressing the "unlock" button on your key fob, but the locks aren't responding? Getting tired of always having to use your key to open the locks - or worse, being forced to enter your car through the passenger's side door? If so, it's likely that either your door lock or the lock actuator is broken. While this doesn't pose any immediate threat to your safety, it is certainly inconvenient and could possibly result in leaving the car doors accidentally unlocked. That means potential theft of belongings or the whole car; all because a simple door lock solenoid needed fixing or replacing. Obviously, your doors will get locked and unlocked thousands of times; so it only makes sense that eventually a door lock actuator will fail. But when one does, it should be replaced as soon as possible. After all, for such an inexpensive and easy part to change, it is well worth the cost and time considering the downside of having your car or something inside it stolen.
The very first time power door locks were used on automobiles was over 100 years ago in 1914. It was a novelty amenity on the luxury Detroit automaker Scripps-Booth. It wouldn't be for another 40 years until they were used again, but electric door looks took off after that. Today, you'd be hard pressed to find a car on the road that doesn't have automatic door locks. It is a very simple system, consisting of a switch, relays, and door lock solenoids. The switch takes turns sending current through one of two relays (or more, depending on the number of door lock actuators that are part of the circuit) which will activate a small motor inside the actuator. That will either push or pull a small rod or hook that locks and unlocks the door.
Replacing your broken or worn out door lock actuator is not a difficult job. If you buy a good one, then it will install in the exact same place as your old one. Here's how you do it: