driver side smart-lock button inoperative

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Bob Allen, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Bob Allen

    Bob Allen Captainbaba

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    The little black SmartKey button on the driver side door doesn't always engage the locking mechanism on my 2004. Would some sort of contact cleaner work to fix? Anyone else had this happen, and if so what did you do for it? Dealer wants 400 bucks to replace the entire door handle assembly.

    One of my gripes about Toyota cars (perhaps applies to most brands) is their policy of reducing parts inventories by bundling many small parts into one "assembly", which means the customer needs to buy the whole farm to get one fence post.
    B
     
  2. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    yeah my drivers armrest was dirty so I wanted to buy a new one but toyota wanted almost 700 bux for the entire interior door panel so I just steam cleaned the armrest.

    as for door problems, Toyotas last forever but they always develop small door and window problems over time. Our 92 camry eventually wouldn't unlock but would lock.

    if you consider the prius as having 5 doors, my prius currently will lock and unlock only 3 or 4 doors, but its anybody's guess as to which doors will lock and unlock. One week the drivers side won't, the next week its the passenger, so since the problem is sporadic I'm inclined to think it is a computer malfunction and not a mechanical failure.

    it reminds me of the childs game musical chairs, but its not fun when neither front door will lock or unlock, its embarrassing going in a rear door and reaching over to unlock the drivers door.
     
  3. gocheif

    gocheif New Member

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    I also have a 2004 Prius with a broken driver's side exterior lock button, but this seems to be a rare (or ignored) problem because I can find little details about how to fix it.

    However, considering that we have 2 2004 prius with a combined 225,000 miles on them and this is only the 2nd problem we've had (first was the headlight auto-leveling sensor) I'm pretty pleased with the reliability of these vehicles...
     
  4. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    try replacing the 12V battery, that's what I did, a weaker battery isn't able to send enough power to the actuator to unlock the door. Even then its not a permanent fix as toyotas are famous for this problem, unfortunately you cannot replace a $5 actuator, you have to replace the entire locking mechanism, my dealer quoted me around $350 per door including labor.

    Until then you may have to use the mechanical key, which is difficult since the key is so small its hard to get any torque to turn it.
     
  5. HopeSprings

    HopeSprings New Member

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    Can you please tell me if you ever learned how to fix this problem? My Prius 2008 is doing the exact same thing.
    Thanks so much!
     
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