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Sliding Door Lock Actuator Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a sliding door lock actuator replacement is between $435 and $461. Labor costs are estimated between $94 and $120 while parts are priced at $341. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Sliding Door Lock Actuator?

Any door on a modern vehicle, including a power sliding door, is going to have an electric lock. Or more accurately, an electrically-actuated lock. The key can be used to manually lock and unlock the doors. But if the remote key fob or a switch inside the vehicle is to be used instead, something else has to turn the lock. The sliding door lock actuator is a solenoid (or, in some cases, a DC motor) that responds to an electrical signal and moves to work the lock mechanism.

How do Sliding Door Lock Actuators work?

When a button is pressed on the key fob (or in the vehicle), a signal is sent to the Body Control Module (BCM) which, in turn, communicates with the sliding door lock actuator. The lock actuator is mounted, in some cases, between the lock cylinder and the lock and latch assembly. It is attached to the lock linkage (a cable or rod) inside the door and responds to the signal from the BCM to move the linkage back and forth, to lock and unlock. Many newer vehicles have the actuator built into the latch assembly.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Sliding Door Lock Actuator?

If the sliding door fails to lock or unlock at all with the electronic controls, the actuator may be bad. Normally (and depending on the type of actuator) a slight clunking sound or a whirring sound can be heard when the locks are activated. If the sound of the actuator becomes weak, excessively noisy, or it begins to make grinding noises, it could be failing. The lock may also move partially, but not all the way, indicating that it is going bad. Sometimes the lock actuator behaves erratically. If the doors lock and then unlock quickly - or they work intermittently - the lock actuator may be at fault. Each door lock has its own actuator. If one of them begins to work erratically, all of the locks may act in unison, making it difficult to know which actuator is the culprit.

Can I drive with a bad Sliding Door Lock Actuator?

All of the locks in a vehicle are tied into the same central locking system; each component may have an effect on the next. Operation of the whole locking system can be impacted. The problem should be evaluated and repaired as soon as possible by a qualified professional.

How often do Sliding Door Lock Actuators need replacement?

The sliding door lock actuator does not have a replacement interval and is not part of routine maintenance. The actuator should last the lifetime of the vehicle. Unfortunately, some actuators do fail prematurely. It is not unheard of for more than one actuator on a vehicle to go bad around the same time.

How are Sliding Door Lock Actuator issues diagnosed?

Diagnosis depends on the year, make, and model of the vehicle. If the locking system is controlled by a Body Control Module, a technician will note whether only the sliding door actuator is showing symptoms, or if all of the locks are faulty. If all of the locks are acting the same - failing to lock/unlock, unlocking intermittently, etc. - the BCM may be at fault. The technician will use a scan tool to read data from the BCM. On some older models with a separate lock controller, a software update may be required. If the BCM/controller is functioning properly, the technician will remove the switch inside the vehicle (if so equipped) and test it with a multimeter to make sure it is operating. If the switch has power and is operational, the technician will use the multimeter to check for voltage at the actuator. If the actuator has power but does not function, or if it functions partially, it will need to be replaced.

How are Sliding Door Lock Actuators replaced?

To replace a sliding door lock actuator, a technician will need to open the door and remove the interior trim panel. Some electrical components mounted to the inner door shell may need to be taken out for access. The lock actuator (or the latch assembly in some cases) is disconnected from its linkage and electrical connector. The retaining fasteners are unscrewed and the actuator or latch is removed and a new one installed. The inner door shell may include a separate mounting panel to which the motor, actuators, cables, window regulator, and other components are attached. This panel may need to be removed also. Once the lock actuator is accessible, the technician will unplug the it from the wiring harness, detach the linkage, and remove the fasteners holding it in place. The new actuator is mounted and attached, and all of the surrounding components are restored.. The technician will run the door through a relearning procedure and finish reassembly.

RepairPal Recommendations for Sliding Door Lock Actuator issues

RepairPal recommends that an OEM replacement part be installed in place of a failed sliding door lock actuator. Many aftermarket actuators have a high failure rate which will result in residual costs.

What to look out for when dealing with Sliding Door Lock Actuator issues

A failing lock actuator can be a symptom of a larger issue with the central locking system, including problems with the BCM or multiple actuators. A fault with the sliding door actuator can cause problems with all of the actuators and presents a safety hazard.

Can I replace the Sliding Door Lock Actuator myself?

Due to the complexity of a power sliding door system, replacement of the door lock actuator on most vans should be left to a qualified technician at a trusted repair shop. This repair can be expensive, but more damage - and cost - can be incurred if the repair is not completed properly.

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