Ford F150 trucks with automatic door locks have an actuator inside each door to open the lock. The remote entry transmits a signal to the actuator which starts a small, direct current motor inside; this moves the lock up to open the door. The actuator works the same way in reverse to enable automatic locking of the door. Forcing doors open manually from inside or outside with the handles bends the rods in the door. This causes the actuator to work harder to move a bent rod and can make the locks stick. Door maintenance can fix a sticking actuator or it may need replacement from motor stress.
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Things you need
- Phillips screwdriver
- Lubricating spray
- Small flat screwdriver
Park the truck and roll the window up entirely. Turn the ignition key to the "OFF" position.
Open the truck door. Insert a Phillips screwdriver into a screw holding the interior door panel on the door. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to loosen and remove the screw. Repeat this process to remove each screw from the panel. Pull the panel straight off and set it aside.
Place one hand on each side of the wiring harness for automatic windows. Press the tabs in on each side and pull them apart.
Grasp the plastic moisture shield at the top left and right of the door. Apply even gentle pressure and pull the shield down from each side. Let the plastic dangle by the bottom from the bottom of the door.
Spray a liberal amount of lubricating spray on all junctions of the four moving parts in the door. These parts are four metal bars that move side-to-side or up and down.
Straighten any bent rods in the door by bending them with pliers.
Open the exterior and interior door latches to work the lubrication into the joints. Lock and unlock the door to lubricate the actuator and the lock. Re-apply spray lubrication liberally and allow it to soak for about 3 minutes.
Locate the door actuator. It is a small black box with a yellow clip; the clip attaches a small metal rod on the top behind the window track.
Slide a small, flat screwdriver into the slit on the clip and pull the actuator out. Remove the Phillips screw that mounts the actuator. Place a new actuator into the clip and replace the screw. Tighten the screw in a clockwise direction.
Press the moisture shield back into place; smooth it from the bottom up so it will stick to the door interior. Plug the wiring harness together by pressing both ends together. There is an audible click when it fastens.
Replace the door interior panel while aligning the screw holes. Insert and tighten each screw in a clockwise direction.
Tips and warnings
- Gently remove a moisture shield so that the adhesive around the perimeter will re-stick to the door.
- The long, metal, horizontal rod in a truck door moves to the side and pivots to open the door from the inside. The outside door handle moves the top metal rod. The door lock and actuator rods move at an angle to pivot the unlocking mechanism in a door.
- Lubrication of the moving parts in a door may allow the door actuator fluid movement to open the lock. If the lubrication does not solve the sticking problem, replace the actuator.
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