Several locks no longer working

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by DriverX5, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. DriverX5

    DriverX5 Junior Member

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    Hi friends,

    I apologize as the search feature on this site does not appear to be giving me too many useful results, but I do remember a discussion about this a while back only I can no longer find it (seems to me the site has upgraded a bit).

    Anyways, we have a 2007 Prius and over the past year + we have had ongoing difficulties with our doors locking and unlocking. Basically the problem has evolved from only affecting one door, to affecting all but one door (with random combinations in between). The issue is that both the remote unlock from key fob and interior button no longer are able to lock/unlock the doors.

    The front passenger door is the only one left that occasionally is able to be locked/unlocked remotely or via interior button. All of the rest need to be switched manual at the door handle itself. It started with just the rear drivers side door, then migrated to the rear passengers side (both of which on occasion would still work, but now do not work at all 100% of the time) and now the drivers door as well. The key fob will unlock and lock the front passengers door but we must all wait for that person to unlock the rest of the doors from the inside or put the normal key in manually into the drivers door.

    When pressing the interior door unlock/lock button (next to all the window buttons on the driver's door) there is a sound made at each door handle, but does not seem to be any movement of the actual lock buttons themselves. Of course once the doors are locked via the manual buttons on each handle, the locks function appropriately (ie can't open the door from outside with the lock switched on). It's good that the Prius does not blink it's lights when locking via key fob remotely that way we can remember that one of us has not locked the door on the way out after parking. I guess that we have gotten to use to the technology of cars now and central locking that none of us remember the olden days of having to manually lock each door before getting out.

    But isn't it strange that even unlocking with the real key inside the drivers door lock doesn't even unlock the other locks? I could understand if it was an electrical bug but I thought that was mechanical... Speaking of which, we have checked the battery and they say it's fine. The dealer offered $1000 per door to fix this issue and I am close to saying the car isn't even worth that much anymore so we are just living with it but wishing there was an easier fix.

    Anyone have any idea what is going on? We don't have the time to fix it ourselves but if anyone knows the solution we would be happy to take it to the shop (not the dealer) to get it remedied for a decent price (ie not $1000 per door).

    Feel free to let me know what you think or if you have any other questions that I can help narrow down this issue.

    Thanks friends!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like your lock actuators need to be replaced. unlocking with the metal key simply forces the actuator of that door mechanically.the others won't unlock without an electrical signal and working actuators.
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Has this car ever been in an accident/flood or a salvage rebuild?
     
  4. DriverX5

    DriverX5 Junior Member

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    Nope it has been kept in pretty good condition. Actually no major problems besides this inconvenience.

    Any idea how much is it to replace the actuators? The dealer told us the entire ECU and car's computer needed to be replaced in order to fix the problem as well as each door.
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If this car has not been rebuilt in any way, I can't see all the door actuators failing. It's rare to hear 1 actuator failing, but all of them is just crazy.

    I'm thinking there is a connection, relay, wiring, or ecu problem that's a more likely cause.

    Where are you located and how many miles on your car??
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Here is the PDF of the door locks problems table, it'll list everything that can go wrong and what's systems need to be checked (sometimes fuses). See which one fits your problems and which steps you can tackle on your own (with the limited time you have).

    $1000 per door quote is just insane. I would simply not lock my doors anymore.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    $1,000./door? can you give us the dealer name and state doe we can avoid them?
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Since you can hear that each door actuator is making a sound, I believe that the body ECU is doing its job of providing voltage to the door lock actuators, and that the problem is that the actuators themselves are getting flaky. So I would start by replacing one of the actuators on a door whose lock is not functioning, and see if the door lock will operate correctly.

    If yes, then replace the actuators on the other two doors and hopefully you will be done.

    If no, then more thinking would be required. Good luck.
     
  9. DriverX5

    DriverX5 Junior Member

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    Hi friends,

    Thanks for the replies. It has about 100k miles.

    Unfortunately that PDF chart does not help much as it is not an "All" or "Only" situation. It began with one door, then evolved to one sometimes two, then two sometimes three but different combinations, and now three pretty much all the time.

    I remember some posts where people had similar problems but I just can't find it. If I recall, some of the solutions involved buying something off of eBay and DIY some simple soldering or motor connections I forget.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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  11. DriverX5

    DriverX5 Junior Member

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    Hi friend, yep that is what I was looking for. I may not be able to DIY but at least I can give the local shop or someone else a bit of a head start into my problem...

    I will investigate more this afternoon. Thanks!
     
  12. GerryK

    GerryK Junior Member

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    I had this same problem with doors on my 2009. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. I could see the latch twitching so I knew the actuator was "trying" to work. This procedure worked for me and it's worth a try if you are slightly handy.

    I took the door panel off...2 screws, one in door handle dish...the area you pull the door shut with, and on at the silver inside door hande behind a black plastic cover plate. Pry that off and you will see the screw. Next, some gentle prying of the door panel to pop the plastic retainers, start at the bottom. After removing the panel...pulling back from the door should be enough, you will see that the door lock lever up by your door handle has a cable on it that runs back to the actuator (the door latch mechanism).

    Follow that cable back to the actuator and spray some white silicone lube into the actuator housing. A can will cost 5 bucks if you don't have it. Use the long nozzle they provide to get inside the housing. Spray a 1 or two second burst in there. Work the lock manually a few times up at the door latch, and use the electronic lock button to see if it works. It might take a little bit of cycling to take effect but it worked for me with the identical problem

    The bottom line is that it needed some lube. You could try to spray lube without taking the door panel off by doing it at the latch area with the door open trying to get lube into the actuator area. I'm not too optomistic about that but it's worth a try.

    Hope this helps and post back any questions you might have.

    Gerry
     
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