Toyota Highlander Door Lock Failure - Diagnosis Guide

Are your Toyota Highlander’s power door locks causing you grief? Is one door not working? Here are some answers to fixing this problem.

Toyota Highlander Door Lock Failure - Diagnosis Guide

Having problems with your Toyota Highlander’s power door locks? Get them fixed, here’s how.

Power door locks are a great convenience – when they work. When they don’t work, they can be a huge hassle. Getting them fixed is sometimes pretty easy and others can be complex and/or expensive. Once you have properly diagnosed exactly what isn’t working, find the section below for answers to your problem.

All Doors/Multiple Doors Fail to Lock/Unlock

If you have more than one door causing the problem, you probably either have a bad fuse and/or relay. The fuse is an easy swap, the relay is not.

The fuse is located inside the engine bay fuse box. Looking at the box, you will see a fuse marked for the doors. Replace that fuse with a new one.

For the relay, it is located under the dash (in most Highlanders) and is an electronics board. In order to replace, you will need to order a new relay and then solder the replacement back on. Don’t attempt this without some electronics repair background.

Single Door Doesn’t Lock/Unlock

If you have a single door causing you problems, it is likely a bad actuator motor. The actuator motor powers the entire door locking mechanism. Chances are if this is your problem, you have heard a buzzing sound recently. This sound indicates the motor is going bad.

In order to replace the actuator, follow these steps:

  1. First, order a replacement OEM part from a dealer like parts.olathetoyota.com.
  2. Next, remove the door panel by finding and unscrewing all the screws holding the panel on.
  3. After the screws are removed, carefully pull back on the door. You will hear plastic clips clicking as they release.
  4. Once the door panel is off, you will notice an electrical wire connecting the power door locks to the inside of the door. Carefully, undo this connection.
  5. Next, you will/should see a plastic shroud protecting the inside parts from the weather. It also helps reduce road noise. Carefully peel back this shroud.
  6. Looking at the power door locking mechanism, find the actuator motor by comparing your new one.
  7. Swap it out and then reverse these directions.

Remote Key Fob Fails, Door Buttons Work

If the remote key fob doesn’t lock/unlock the doors, but the button on the doors does, then you have a dead battery. The key fob has a small battery inside of it. By squeezing on the sides, you can pop the battery open. Inside you will find the battery. Simply replace it.

Opening the key fob is pretty simple, yet don’t force it. If you are uncomfortable with doing this, bring it to your local dealer and have them do it for you.

Questions?

Written by Tim Esterdahl