4 Common Toyota 4runner Door Lock Problems

There are 4 main issues that would cause problems with the door lock. The door lock actuator is not functioning correctly. The door lock switch will not allow the door to open or close, and the key fob is not charged or has short-circuited. And lastly, the electronics in the door handle and around the keyhole are old and need to be replaced or they are not functioning because you got into an accident.

The Main Causes and Solutions For Door Lock Issues

We would immediately notice if there was an issue with our vehicle’s door lock, as it would be difficult to open the door or the key fob would not make a beeping noise when we pressed the unlock button. 

There are a few problems that would affect the door lock. Each of these problems is easy to solve or cheap to repair.

The Door Will Not Unlock

If you find that you cannot unlock your door when you place the key into the key slot, then it could be a problem with the actuator. The lock actuator is the device connected to the keyhole that opens the door when you place the key inside and turn it.

In order to tell if the issue is with the lock actuator, try unlocking the door manually by pressing down on the lock release button.

It is more cost-efficient to replace the door lock actuator than to just have a repair. The cost of replacing a door actuator is about $300.

Also, the problem could be with the wiring connected to the lock actuator. Ask the mechanic to check for damaged wires before shelling out money for a brand-new lock actuator.

There Is No Power Getting To The Lock Switch. 

If you were recently in an accident or even a small fender bender, the wiring that is connected to the lock switch might be damaged. It could also be loose and needs to be reattached. 

In order to check if the wiring is the issue, the mechanic will have to remove the door handles from the vehicle. With the door handles removed, the mechanic will be able to see if the wire is pinched or if it has been ripped apart.

The door Locks Fuse Has Blown

There are many many fuses in a vehicle and they will burn out from time to time. It could be through moisture damage or overuse. Here’s how to check if the fuse to the door lock is not working anymore.

You have to use your Toyota manual to locate the fuse box. For most Toyota vehicles, the fuse box will either be near the engine or it will be hidden behind the glove compartment.

Once you have found the fuse box, you have to open the fuse box and locate the correct fuse. 

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual can show you which fuse belongs to the door lock switch. Once you find the fuse, remove it and see if there are any black marks or if the plastic has melted. 

Even if you don’t see any signs of damage, replace the fuse anyway. Once you replace the fuse, test your power locks again. If the locks work as they should, then it was the fuse causing the issue.

The Key Fob Is Old Or Needs New Batteries

Here are the signs indicating the Key Fob’s batteries need replacing:

  • You have to press the locker button several times before the car finally locks.
  • You noticed that you have to get closer than usual to the vehicle for the button to work.
  • If your key fob has a light, the light has dimmed or no longer turns on.
  • You accidentally dropped your key fob in water and now you have to mash the buttons together to get the vehicle to do anything.

Replacing the batteries in a key fob is easy. Most key fobs have a small compartment where you can press down on your thumb and slide the cover off, which will expose the batteries.

Most key fob batteries require small button-like silver batteries. These small round batteries can be found at any hardware store.

What Should I Do If I Drop My Key Fob In Water?

Moisture damage is different from old batteries, and replacing the battery in a damaged key fob won’t fix the issue.

If the wiring in your key fob is bad, you need to take the key fob and your vehicle to the nearest Toyota-certified mechanic. They will be able to sell you a new key fob and program it to your vehicle.

How To Run A Diagnostic Test

If you have the tools, you can use your diagnostic apparatus to run a diagnostic test. You will need a device that is compatible with your Toyota 4runner.

If you do not have a diagnostic device, then you can take your vehicle to a Toyota-certified dealer and they will have all of the equipment they need. 

If you are unable to open any of the cars in your vehicle, then contact the Toyota Certified mechanic and ask them to inspect your vehicle at your home. Many mechanics will perform home visits if you pay the right fee.

If your Toyota 4Runner is connected to your smartphone via the Toyota app, then you might be able to run a miniature diagnostic test using the app.


Running a diagnostic test on your vehicle is the easiest way to figure out what is wrong with the door lock switch. In many cases, the door lock switch actuator is damaged, either through an accident or because of moisture slipping into the door.

A door lock actuator cost about $300. If there’s not enough power getting to the lock switch, the wires will need to be replaced. Replacing the key fob batteries is easy and the batteries are available at any hardware store.

  • Eric

    I'm chief editor of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in Asia, Europe and the USA. We want to share our auto knowledge with you.