DIY: Replace your lock actuator - Honda Civic Forum

DIY: Replace your lock actuator

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Old 07-10-2009
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DIY: Replace your lock actuator

This is a DIY guide for replacing your door locking assembly. Mine crapped out on me at 60K miles, and i had to replace it. The driver side lock would not lock anymore, and i had to lock my car with my keys. The easiest way to fix this is to replace the door lock assembly. I hope this helps anybody with the same problem.

First remove your door panel. If you dont know how read this DIY:
Link
You can take that white stuff off if you want. Mine was already ripped off because the previous owner of the car had a window replaced.
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Pop this thing out and unscrew that top button if you want
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Disconnect the wires going to the locking assembly:
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Take out this bolt:
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Slide the window slider out of your way
Remove this wire and unclip it from the door lock assembly. Also remove the screw thats suppose to be in the red square
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Pop this wire out
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Unclip this wire and remove it from the lock assembly:
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Remove these three bolts:
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The door lock assembly can now be pulled out of the door. Once its out unclip this cable:
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And take this wire out:
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Then take your working lock assembly and reinstall all the wires and put it back in your car.

Last edited by wallydude03; 07-10-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Personally I just purchased the lock actuator itself instead of the whole assembly. All the places around me including the junk yard wanted like $75+ for the whole kit and I didnt really feel like waiting to have it shipped from hondaautomativparts.com(SP?) so I just went to autozone and got the piece I needed. Its super easy, just pop a few things off and your too it. I did have some pictures but I think I lost em ...Found one, you just take that bracket off, remove the cable in the top right and If I remember right there is a pin on the backside as well.
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Old 07-12-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

"so I just went to autozone and got the piece I needed"

Are you saying you got the actuator from them ?? Was it OEM or 3rd party ??

I always thought that would be a dealer only item.

Majestics shipping is a deal breaker for small orders (but still a great source)
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Old 07-12-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

thanks for a very nice share....[img]http://******************/images/e98741479a7b998f88b8f8c9f0b6b6f1.gif[/img]
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Old 07-12-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Originally Posted by CraigW View Post
"so I just went to autozone and got the piece I needed"

Are you saying you got the actuator from them ?? Was it OEM or 3rd party ??

I always thought that would be a dealer only item.

Majestics shipping is a deal breaker for small orders (but still a great source)
I think it was 3rd party, the box said BWD on it.
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Old 07-13-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Originally Posted by mdawg View Post
Personally I just purchased the lock actuator itself instead of the whole assembly. All the places around me including the junk yard wanted like $75+ for the whole kit and I didnt really feel like waiting to have it shipped from hondaautomativparts.com(SP?) so I just went to autozone and got the piece I needed. Its super easy, just pop a few things off and your too it. I did have some pictures but I think I lost em ...Found one, you just take that bracket off, remove the cable in the top right and If I remember right there is a pin on the backside as well.
Im going to take my old lock assembly apart and see what i can learn. Thanks for sharing mdawg!


I think it was 3rd party, the box said BWD on it.
Who cares as long as it works. I got mine from a junkyard, I hope it lasts
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Old 08-23-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

I tore into my passenger front today. I saw a you tube video where the guy changed it without pulling the latch out. Not sure that would work on a sedan, though maybe. I went ahead and pulled the latch. Biggest problem for me was the linkage on outer handle would not come out. I took it loose at the big brown twist lock below handle. While I had it apart I used some white grease on some of the moving levers of the latch. Cleaned both window channels with simple green and applied just a little wg to channels near bottom. I applied wg to the track of the window regulator slide area, and the steel cable exposed.

The actuator was much smaller part than I expected and a reasonable price.
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Old 10-29-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Hi guys,

My 02 civic coupe's driver side door could not open/lock by the remote control nor the switch on the door panel. So I took out the lock assembly, and figured out the actuator was broken. I replaced the actuator, and while i was testing to see it works properly, I run into a problem ---> the door can't be locked down !!

The lock can now respond to both lock & unlock by the switch. But, when i was trying to lock the door (hold the switch DOWN), the lock assembly part (holding the actuator node) would not stay in position, it retracts (bounce back up). [the unlock (flip up) and lock (flip down) motion of the lock assembly with the actuator]

I have no idea what is causing this problem, HELP !!!

Thanks a lot !!!
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Old 10-29-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

I'm assuming the door is closed when you are trying to lock it ??

There should have been 2 connectors on the drivers actuator make sure they are both connected back.

If you took out the latch double check your work.
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Old 10-29-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

The **** of the door does NOT stay down as I try to either lock it with the key or flip down the door switch on the door panel. ….. the **** goes down when I turn the key, but bounces back up after I release the key (normally should stay down). Right now the driver door is without the actuator .…. so that I can lock it.

I did took out the lock assembly out again to see what is going on…. I think the node of the actuator does not quite match with the up/down motion of the lock assembly …. I don’t know how to fix it…

I’ll try to post a clip later on.

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Did you try to move the green lever on the new actuator before you installed it. It should not be moved by hand.
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Old 10-29-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

green lever = the node on the actuator ?

... i don't think i adjusted the node on the actuator, i just snap it back into the lock assembly after i got it. ... then it is having this "can not lock" problem.

http://www.yourfilehost.com/media.ph...e=PICT3896.MOV
(the clip is in quicktime format and takes bit time to load)

notice when i try to lock the door, the lock (and the door ****) would go down ,as it supposes to, but instead of staying put, it bounces back up ..... It's not normal right? Anyone have this problem??

I have this new actuator with a newly ordered lock assembly, because i thought the old lock assembly was broken as well.... but the problem is still the same!!.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 10-30-2009
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

What about the other connector going into the actuator ?? Is it in place ?? The system has a monitor switch so it knows the position of the lock ****.

A good test for the monitor switch would be...drivers door closed, push down on lock **** and see if the other door(s) also lock

If the lock **** is going up and down it sounds like the actuator is working, but the system is popping it back unlocked for some reason.

I attached the test procedure for the switch, make sure it was not left unplugged during the change.
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01-05 Door Lock Knob Switch.pdf (195.6 KB, 1665 views)

Last edited by CraigW; 10-31-2009 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Lock Knob Switch Info
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Old 02-21-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

The actuator is what deals with the power locks right? I have an issue where I can lock all doors from the driver door, however, using the key does not work. I turn left and right and get nothing. I assume this is a problem with the lock and not the actuator itself. Is this correct? Now I have to open from the passenger side and then open the driver door from there, which in turn opens all doors. I have a 97 ek3. Any assistance is appreciated!
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Old 02-25-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Try lubing the **** out of your lock cylinder. you're probably going to need a new one though.
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Old 10-20-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Today I replaced my driver's side door lock actuator, oem part number 72155-S5P-A11, on my 2003 Civic LX coupe. I bought a new one from eBay for $8.20 . See photo below. I got delayed with the step pictured above, under "pop this wire out." After two hours, I could not get this wire (a rod, to be a bit more precisie) out. I finally tore out the plastic insert/clip which attaches the rod. I shopped on the net for this part and found, for once, that buying this part from my local dealer was less expensive than buying from eBay or an online dealer site, after taking into account shipping. The part number is 72181-SD4-004. Honda parts sites call it a bushing. It cost me $2.92 + tax. I doused the new bushing in foamy soap. Without taking off the door handle, I had the bushing installed with the rod clipped in within five minutes, using a pair of slip joint pliers.

Per the OEM service manual's directions, I tested the old actuator, applying 12 volts to the two-pin connection, then reversing the polarity. No click, nothing. Then I checked the new actuator: The click happened when I applied the 12 volts. The new actuator is now installed. all works fine.

The old actuator had Nov 2002 stamped on it, so I expect it was the original. Interestingly, the new actuator had the exact same identifying numbers stamped on it.

Wallydude03, thank you for the excellent DIY.
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Last edited by honda.lioness; 10-21-2016 at 02:47 PM. Reason: bought part at local dealer not junkyard
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Old 10-21-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

For anyone that comes across this post in the future that struggles with removing the rod that connects the exterior handle to the door latch;

You can leave it connected and remove the 3 screws for the door latch. Then let the latch flop around inside the door, and change the actuator like that. Remove the screws from the actuator before undoing the latch screws, to make it easier to get a good grip on them. I did this on both front doors on my civic, I have huge hands and managed just fine.
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Old 10-21-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Colin42, good tip. I did investigate this with my two-door coupe, but I had never unfastened the bottom part of the actuator before. I did not feel I had enough space to maneuver and figure out how to unfasten the bottom. Even when I had the actuator fully removed from my Civic, disassembling the bottom part was a bit tricky.
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Old 10-21-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

The drivers side took me awhile (maybe an hour?) because I had never done it before and you're working by feel for the most part. When the passenger side failed six months later that one only took 15-20 mins. The rear doors are **** simple though, Once the door panel is off it only takes like 2 mins.
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Old 11-28-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Hi all. half way through a lock actuator replacement and im stumped on 1 stop.

at the end of the inner door rod there is a metal clip. I cant seem to find where that screws on to. it is the lock end of the rod that Im confused on. I must not have paid enough attention when removing.. any advise?


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Old 11-29-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

pictures arent working for me, can you see the part you're talking about in one of the other pictures on the thread? what door are you working on? take off the other door panel and look at that and see if you can figure out where it goes?
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Old 12-27-2016
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

That's good advise. I had to look at the part I removed to figure where the rod and retainers go. Neither end screws into anything so I must not be following well. Just pop the opposite panel and have a look.

I am currently working on a 2004 civic LX. They seem to be pretty similar.
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Old 10-28-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

commenting this so i can find it.
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Old 10-28-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator


im stuck here.... is there a clip or something holding this on? i already bent my screwwdriver trying to pry it off..lol
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Old 10-30-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

the little plastic clip pops off the rod and rotates out of the way and then you're supposed to pop the rod out, they can be really difficult. when i did my front actuators i just unscrewed the rod from the actuator, and then threaded the new one on
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Old 12-18-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

I replaced the front right actuator about 3 months ago and it's already struggling to go down when I lock it. I'm not sure what brand the replacement unit was (it came with the car when I bought it from the PO), but now I'm wondering what brand to replace it with so that I don't have to do this again in 3, 6, or 12 months! Any input there? I see prices go from $8 on eBay to $50 for Honda OEM on Amazon.

Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

So to rephrase your question I think.

You want to find a part that’s going to last reliably 10 plus years and cost $8-$20

But reality generally is either
Spend $50 and not worry about it going bad for likely 10 plus years
Spend $8-$20 every couple of years..

I never worry too much about cheap parts on non critical areas, saving that $32 towards a genuine timing belt kit or correct spark plugs or anything else that can leave you stranded is best way to budget parts if you have too in my opinion.
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Old 12-18-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Originally Posted by FordBoy33 View Post
I replaced the front right actuator about 3 months ago and it's already struggling to go down when I lock it. I'm not sure what brand the replacement unit was (it came with the car when I bought it from the PO), but now I'm wondering what brand to replace it with so that I don't have to do this again in 3, 6, or 12 months! Any input there? I see prices go from $8 on eBay to $50 for Honda OEM on Amazon.

Thanks!
The dorman ones i used lasted at least 50,000kms probably would have went a lot longer but i wrote off the car. $50 for an oem one seems decent. How long are you planning on keeping the car? If you're only keeping it a couple years then get the cheap ones
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Old 12-18-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

Originally Posted by Colin42 View Post
The dorman ones i used lasted at least 50,000kms probably would have went a lot longer but i wrote off the car. $50 for an oem one seems decent. How long are you planning on keeping the car? If you're only keeping it a couple years then get the cheap ones
Well, l'll probably have the car for at least a couple of years, but I'd like an actuator that lasts longer than 3 months... 😀

I think I've seen Dorman models for $25, but I've also heard they are crap. Who knows these days. Just looking for opinions like yours of experience with specific brands.
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Old 12-19-2017
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Re: DIY: Replace your lock actuator

The only people I've heard complain about dorman actuators live in the states.
Maybe we get better ones in Canada
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