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Headlight actuator motor noise

(2000 Pontiac Firebird)
in Junction City, OR on March 11, 2011
Ok, I got one for you. I normally answer these but I am a little stumped. The pass side headlight actuator motor started to make this groaning/howling/vibrating noise when opened or closed. It opens and closes smoothly. No skipping like I would expect with a failing actuator. The weird thing is that now when you set the door locks with the key fob the headlights cycle open and close with the same noise happening. If you lock with the interior door locks does not happen and then if use the key fob to unlock the cycle again happens with the noise at same time. Never did the open/close cycle till noise started. When turn on or turn off the headlights from inside it happens when opening and closing but will stay up till turn off the switch. I am tempted to replace actuator motor but unsure why does not skip when opening/closing if gearing is stripped and I do not believe the cycling open/close will stop with replacement. Thank you in advance for any help. Wife's car so must fix somehow, get what I mean?
Displaying 2 answers & 3 comments
Popular Answer
on June 10, 2011
Mine did this when the teeth on the gear inside the actuator motor started breaking off. I got gears from Rodney Dickman's Auotmotive Acc's. 262-835-9575. The gears he sells are brass verses the plastic ones that they put in these originally. All you have to do is pull the headlight motor off open it changed out the gear. It's a way better fix and a lot cheaper.
on June 10, 2011
Already did that same thing and is fixed. What was confusing me was the cycling of both headlights buckets up and down when using keyfob to lock and unlock. Never did that before the problem started and does not do after since repaired. Just confused the issue so I thought I should reach out to see who knew why would cycle like that. Thanks for the info. I found his metal gear repair kit online.
on June 10, 2011
Mine did the same thing but what clued me in on it was after they shut themselves you could still here the motors cycling from the missing teeth in the gears.
on June 10, 2011
So did mine and could lay hand on the motor and feel it but again the headlight buckets cycling up and down with keyfob is what threw me. I am appreciative of all the help with this but no one and I mean no one has answered or offered an opinion of why they cycled with keyfob use.
on October 31, 2015
Does your vehicle have an aftermarket alarm install that is connected with your remote? I purchased a vehicle with an aftermarket alarm and it was connected to the headlights. This made my headlights go up-and-down and the headlights and brake lights flash. I felt this was too hard on the actuators so I had them disconnect the headlight and actuator from the alarm. You might want to check to see if your alarm has any loose wires where it is not grounded or nicks in the wire which is allowing the actuators to be activated at different times
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