4 Reasons Why Toyota Sienna Automatic Doors Not Working

The Toyota Sienna is known for its automatic doors to stop working. It is an issue that has been going on for a while. The owner of the Toyota Sienna may find that they have to troubleshoot the automatic doors and take them to the Toyota mechanic for service. 

Causes and Solutions For Malfunctioning Automatic Doors

Dealing with a malfunctioning car door can be frustrating, especially if it is Monday morning and you need to open your car to get to work. Below are a few issues that could cause the door block from working and how to fix each issue.

The electric door lock actuators are not working

So what is the purpose of a door lock actuator? A door lock actuator is an electric component inside the door of a vehicle. This component attaches to the door lock. When the door lock senses that it is being unlocked or locked, whether by hand with a key or through the key fob, it sends the signal to the actuator. The actuator then unlatches or latches the door lock. 

You will know the door lock actuator is the issue when the door lock does not latch or unlatch, even if you placed the physical key into the keyhole. Also, you may notice that the door unlocks part of the way and you kind of have to jiggle the door and the handle to unlock it. 

Another sign to watch out for is if the door lock can only unlock the door. When you try to lock the door, it can be unresponsive or on a long delay. 

When the car lock actuator malfunctions, replace it with a new actuator. Depending on the model of the vehicle and the model of the actuator, it should cost around $300. This price also includes the cost of labor.

The fuses are not protecting the door lock components from the strength of the vehicle’s battery.

The purpose of a fuse in a relay system is to control the amount of power that reaches the final components. Many components cannot be hooked up directly to a battery, as the battery power will overload their wiring. 

In order to prevent overloading, fuses are a common way to restrain the amount of power in the system. When the fuse stops working or it blows out, sooner or later any components that the fuse was protecting will start to malfunction. 

The component will either malfunction due to too much electricity or not enough electricity. 

There is a way to check if the fuse in the door lock system is not working and that is by checking the fuse in the fuse box. You’ll have to use your vehicle’s manual to locate the fuse box and to learn which fuse belongs to the door lock. 

There are up to 50 different fuses inside a fuse box and they are not labeled. When you find the fuse, replace the fuse and then turn off your vehicle and turn it on again. Then test out the door locks and the key fob.

The battery is aging

A blown-out fuse isn’t the only issue that involves electricity. As vehicle ages, its battery will age too. 

Depending on how well you took care of the battery, it may last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. When the battery gets old, you will notice anything wired to the battery is not as quick or sharp as it used to be. 

But barely functioning door locks will not be the only sign that the battery is not as young as it used to be. Because the battery powers many of the components in the vehicle, you will see changes. The lights will not be as bright, the air conditioner will take a few times to start, and the dashboard lights will be dim. You may even have issues slowing your vehicle down with the brakes.

Replacing the battery in your vehicle is not expensive. The cost of a brand-new battery is usually up to $100 to $250. 

This does not include the cost of later. Many mechanics charge at least $30 to replace a battery. If it has been more than 3 years since you last replaced your battery, then it is time for a new one.

It’s the locks are working just fine, then the problem could be the power lock buttons

If you’re able to unlock and lock your doors with the key fob and by using the key in the keyhole, the issue is just with the power lock buttons. If you were recently in a fender bender, there is a chance the wires that connect to the power lock buttons could have gotten moved or pinched.

However, if the issue is with the power button wiring, then you should see a warning light on your dashboard. Check your dashboard and see if there are any new warning lights that were not there last week. You will not be able to repair the wiring of the buttons yourself. A Toyota mechanic will have to remove part of the door in order to reach the wiring. 

Although not cheap, compared to other repair jobs, replacing the door lock buttons or repairing the wiring shouldn’t cost too much. The total price to fix the door lock buttons will be up to $150. Unless the mechanic finds another issue, it should not take more than an hour or two to fix the door lock buttons.

Conclusion

If you own a Toyota Sienna, then it will be no surprise to you when your vehicle develops automatic door issues. Always check the electric door actuators on each door and double-check the fuses in the fuse power box. The fuse box should be located behind the glove compartment or near the engine. You will have to use your driver’s manual to navigate the fuse box and find which fuse belongs to the door lock actuator.

  • 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.