The door lock actuator is the component that electronically engages the lock and unlock mechanism on your Honda Accord’s doors when you use the key fob or interior door lock switch. Over time, the actuator can wear out or fail, preventing your doors from locking and unlocking properly. Replacing a faulty Honda Accord door lock actuator is usually a straightforward repair that can be completed in an afternoon using common hand tools.
In this guide, we will cover How To Replace Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator. With some mechanical aptitude and patience, you can have your Accord’s door locks working smoothly again.
How To Replace Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator?
- Disconnect The Car Battery
- Remove The Door Panel
- Remove The Vapor Barrier
- Disconnect The Actuator Linkage
- Disconnect Electrical Plug
- Remove Actuator Mounting Bolts
- Install New Actuator
- Reconnect Linkage And Electrical
- Replace Vapor Barrier And Door Panel
- Reconnect Battery And Test
Disconnect The Car Battery
Before doing any work on your Honda’s electrical system, you’ll want to disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. This will prevent any accidental short circuits while replacing the actuator. Use a wrench to loosen the nut holding the cable on the negative (-) battery terminal, then remove the cable entirely.
Remove The Door Panel
To access the door lock actuator, you’ll need to first remove the interior door panel. This is held on with a series of clips around the edges as well as screws in the armrest and handle.
Start by prying off the trim around the edges of the panel using a flathead screwdriver. Take care not to damage the panel. Once the trim is removed, you’ll see the screw heads – use a Philips head screwdriver to remove them.
With all screws out, carefully lift the panel up and off the door. You may need to give it some forceful tugs to pop off remaining clip connections. Disconnect any electrical connectors going to switches or speakers in the panel before fully removing it.
Remove The Vapor Barrier
Behind the door panel is a plastic moisture barrier sheet. Peel this back carefully to expose the inner workings of the door latch mechanism. The lock actuator will be located at the forward side of the door.
Disconnect The Actuator Linkage
Look for the mechanical linkage that runs from the lock cylinder to the actuator. This rod connects the manual key and interior lock buttons to the powered actuator mechanism.
Use needle nose pliers to detach the clip holding the lock linkage to the actuator. Be prepared for the linkage to swing down once detached.
Disconnect Electrical Plug
The wiring connector plugging into the actuator will need to be unplugged before removing the actuator. Depress the lock tab on the connector plug and pull it out of the actuator socket.
Make note of the connector position so you can properly reconnect it later. Tie back or tape up the loose connector to keep it out of the way while working.
Remove Actuator Mounting Bolts
The actuator assembly is secured to the door with two or three mounting bolts. Use a ratchet wrench with a socket to loosen and remove the actuator bolts. Caution – the actuator may drop rapidly once the last bolt is removed.
Install New Actuator
With the old actuator removed, you can now install the replacement part. Line up the bolt holes on the new actuator with the door mounting points. Insert the mounting bolts by hand initially to get them started straight.
Once you have the bolts threaded in, use your ratchet wrench to tighten them down securely. Do not over-tighten them.
Reconnect Linkage And Electrical
With the actuator firmly mounted, you can reconnect the mechanical door lock linkage. Insert the linkage end into the actuator clip until it clicks into place.
Plug the wiring harness back into the actuator socket until it locks in. Make sure the connection is fully seated.
Replace Vapor Barrier And Door Panel
You’re now ready to reassemble the door components. Carefully position the plastic vapor barrier back into place and press it onto the door frame. Make sure it forms a good seal around the door edges.
Line up the screw holes and press the door panel back onto the door. Reinstall any screws and replace the trim panels around the edges. Reconnect the electrical plugs for any switches, speakers or controls in the door panel as well.
Reconnect Battery And Test
With the new actuator installed, reconnect the negative battery cable and nut. Tighten it down securely with your wrench.
Test operation of the power door locks from both the exterior key fob and interior switches. The locks should smoothly engage and release. If problems persist, recheck all connections.
Troubleshooting Honda Accord Door Lock Issues
While a faulty actuator is the most likely cause of door lock problems on a Honda Accord, there are some other issues that could also come up:
The mechanical linkage between the lock cylinder and actuator can become damaged or detached, preventing the powered locks from engaging. Inspect the linkage and repair or replace as needed.
Power door locks rely on fused electrical circuits. Check for and replace any blown fuses related to the door lock system.
Bad door lock switches on the interior panel or key fob transmitter can mimic actuator failure. Test switches individually and replace if faulty.
Security System Malfunction
Hondas have an anti-theft security system that can disable locks if triggered. Have the system diagnosed and reset to restore normal operation.
Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator Replacement Cost
Professional replacement of a Honda Accord’s door lock actuator will typically cost $150-$300 for parts and labor. This varies by location and shop rates.
Doing the repair yourself can save significantly on labor costs. The actuator part itself ranges from $50-$120 depending on brand and where it is sourced. With minimal tools and mechanical skill, DIY replacement is feasible for under $100 total.
Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator Replacement Time
Allotting 1-3 hours for a DIY actuator replacement is reasonable, depending on experience. Professional shops book this repair for about 2 hours on average.
Accessing and removing the door panel takes the most time. Once exposed, removing just the actuator and installing the new one can be done in under an hour. Take your time to avoid damaging delicate door components.
Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator Location
Honda Accord door lock actuators are positioned inside the door cavity, near the latching mechanism. On the 4-door sedan models, the actuator is towards the forward part of the door, behind the panel.
On 2-door coupes, the actuator is similarly positioned up front, but may be angled due to the different door configuration. Refer to a repair manual for diagrams of exact locations if needed.
Honda Accord Door Lock Actuator Replacement Tips
- Use plastic pry tools when removing interior door panels to prevent scratches
- Label wires before disconnecting and take photos of connections
- Apply silicone lubricant to lock linkage pivots during reassembly
- Test lock operation several times before reinstalling door panels
- Reset automatic window positions after reconnecting battery
Replacing a worn out door lock actuator is one of the most common power door lock repairs on any vehicle. With some simple tools and mechanical ability, you can replace the actuator on a Honda Accord yourself following the steps in this guide. Take care not to force or damage any of the delicate interior door components. If you run into any issues with the repair, consult a professional Honda technician for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know If Your Door Lock Actuator Is Bad?
Symptoms of a failed door lock actuator include locks engaging slowly or weakly, locks not engaging at all, locks sticking in locked or unlocked positions, and inconsistent operation from interior and exterior switches.
Should I Replace Both Door Lock Actuators?
If one actuator has failed, the other side likely has similar wear and age. Replacing both prevents having to do the job twice when the other one fails later.
Where Can I Buy Replacement Honda Door Lock Actuators?
Replacement actuators can be purchased affordably online through retailers like Amazon, at auto parts stores like AutoZone, or directly through Honda dealership parts departments.
Can I Manually Lock My Car If The Actuator Stops Working?
Yes, on most vehicles the manual interior lock buttons and exterior key lock cylinder will still operate the locks mechanically as a backup if the powered actuator fails. The powered functions just won’t work.
Do I Need To Reprogram My Key Fob After Replacing The Actuator?
Usually key fob programming does not need reset after an actuator replacement. But some Honda models may require re-initialization of the security system – refer to the service manual to confirm.