7 Common Toyota 4runner Door Lock Problems & How To Fix

Typically, the Toyota 4runner is designed with a perfect door lock system. However, it can go bad and the door locks won’t respond to the key fob. When this happens, it’s time to do a proper diagnosis. Check for the causes and fixes.  

After all, the first among the security components of a vehicle is the door lock. But just feeling concerned or upset will not fix the lock issue. Therefore, how can you fix your Toyota 4runner door lock problem? Read through, as this article provides an answer.

The Toyota 4Runner Door Lock System and How it Works

A car like the Toyota 4runner usually has a switch that connects with the actuators. In this case, the actuator (underneath the door latch) does unlock with the power it receives from the lock/unlock switch. 

Once you press your key fob, the radio transmitter in it sends digital code to the body controller. The body controller powers the actuator when it receives a signal from the radio frequency, the lock/unlock switches and the radio transmitter. 

When any of these components develops an issue unexpectedly, you’ll definitely experience some inconveniences. 

There are several different ways you can unlock or lock your car. You can:

  • Use a key
  • Pull the door knob inside your car
  • Press the unlock button right beside the driver’s seat
  • Open or lock with a key fob

How to Reset Door Lock Problems in Toyota 4runner 

Here, I’ll highlight the causes your Toyota 4runner lock system may fail and what fixes to apply. The problem may be that a single lock isn’t working. The fob may also fail to lock or unlock. Likely, the four-door locks aren’t responding. 

These are common reasons why your Toyota 4Runner doors give you a headache. You’ll learn how to fix them, too.

Burnt Fuse 

The job of your car’s fuse is to change high electrical voltage into a quantity suitable for the actuator. Thus, when the fuse takes in too much current, it may blow and that will affect the current it supplies to the door lock system. 

All four doors of the locking system will stop functioning if the fuse is blown or there’s an issue with the relay. A replacement relay or fuse is what need to fix the issue. 

How to fix: Locate the fuse and check if the metal squiggle at the center is still in connection. If not, replace the fuse with another of the same voltage.

Door lock switch 

The door lock switch is a handy button that grants the driver control over all the door locks. When it begins to malfunction, it will either lock or unlock your doors. 

How to fix: Basically, a bad lock switch button will require a substitute for the whole switch assembly.

Door lock actuator

The door lock actuator functions each time you use your lock switch. When you press the lock switch and it doesn’t respond, the problem could be with the power door lock actuator. 

How to fix: Let an automotive expert ascertain the working conditioner of the actuator, and replace it if necessary.

Key fob 

Your key fob has tiny batteries, which could wear out over time. As soon as the battery starts running down, its power to open or close your car doors runs down as well. 

How to fix: All you need to do is replace the batteries. If it works, then it’s great. Otherwise, you can replace the key fob itself. 


Too much moisture or heat may break down the car wiring system. If there is a broken wire in the relay, the door lock will not function at all. What causes intermittent functioning is an electrical short in the system. Don’t be irritated if you open your door with ease one moment, and the next moment you’re stuck. 

A wiring or electrical short in the door lock system can also cause a car’s door lock to function sporadically. 

How to fix: Let an automotive technician check the wiring system and replace it with a new one.


The solenoids receive electronic signals from your key fob when you press it. It then converts the signals to mechanical actions. When the solenoids are faulty, you may experience difficulty locking or unlocking your car. Visit a mechanic to open the door panel and replace the solenoid. 


Under excessive cold weather, door locks may become overpowered by moisture. This in turn may affect your door lock system. To fix, defrost by using a hair dryer or a lighter. 


How do I know if my door actuator is not working?

You’ll know a defective actuator if you begin to hear strange or squeaking noises from the inside of your door. Secondly, if the power door locks stop working or are working intermittently. These are indications of a bad actuator.

How can I fix a failing single-door lock?

It’s pretty straightforward. If a single door fails to lock or unlock, there’s an issue with the actuator. As I explained earlier, the actuator powers the door-locking system. When the actuator goes bad, you’ll need to take the following steps.

  • Locate the door panel in the door handle or behind the speakers. 
  • Unscrew the bolts holding the door panel 
  • Gently pull out the panel with a remover 
  • Disconnect the wire connecting the power door locks to the interior of your door 
  • Peel back the plastic shroud around the door
  • Find the actuator and replace it

Can I remove or fix my car’s actuator myself?

Working on your car’s actuator can be a pain in the neck. However, if you’re ready and inclined to go through the stress, cool. Otherwise, seek the help of a trained mechanic or locksmith.

Final Thoughts 

Actuator, relay, fob or battery conditions can cause door lock problems in a Toyota 4runner. Whether you’re caught inside your car or outside, a lock issue isn’t always a pleasant experience, especially if you’re in a hurry. 

For security reasons, you must take immediate actions to fix the problem and prevent it from recurring. There are several methods you can use to rectify the problem depending on the real cause. 

Professionals have the tools and expertise needed to properly handle the most technical issues with power door locks, while the minor ones can be fixed by DIYers. 

  • James Smith

    I'm James Smith, a car enthusiast and a content writer for Daily Car Tips. I have a passion for all things cars, from classic muscle cars to the latest electric vehicles. When I'm not writing about cars, you can usually find me tinkering with my car or checking out the latest automotive trends.

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