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How to Replace the Driver Door Lock Latch Actuator in a 2011-2020 Ford Explorer

How to Replace the Driver Door Lock Latch Actuator in a 2011-2020 Ford Explorer

How to Replace the Driver Door Lock Latch Actuator in a 2011-2020 Ford Explorer

If you own a 2011-2020 Ford Explorer equipped with passive entry and push-button start, you may eventually face issues with the driver door lock latch actuator. This small but crucial component ensures that your vehicle’s door locks function correctly. Over time, wear and tear can lead to malfunction, making it necessary to replace the actuator. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to replace the driver door lock latch actuator in your Ford Explorer, ensuring your vehicle remains secure and functional.

What is the Door Lock Latch Actuator?

The door lock latch actuator is an electronic component that controls the locking and unlocking mechanism of your vehicle’s doors. In models equipped with passive entry and push-button start, this actuator plays a vital role in maintaining the convenience and security features of the vehicle.

Symptoms of a Failing Door Lock Latch Actuator

Before diving into the replacement process, it’s important to recognize the signs of a failing door lock latch actuator. Common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty locking or unlocking the door using the key fob or interior buttons.
  • Intermittent locking or unlocking issues.
  • Unusual noises coming from the door lock mechanism.
  • The door remains locked or unlocked despite repeated attempts to change its state.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s likely time to replace the actuator.

Tools and Materials Needed

To replace the door lock latch actuator, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
  • Trim removal tool
  • Socket set
  • Replacement door lock latch actuator (available at Conquest Auto)

Step-by-Step Replacement Guide

  1. Preparation:

    • Ensure your vehicle is parked on a flat surface and the ignition is turned off.
    • Disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical issues during the replacement process.
  2. Remove the Door Panel:

    • Use a trim removal tool to carefully pry off the interior door panel. Start at the bottom and work your way around the panel.
    • Once the panel is loose, disconnect any electrical connectors attached to the door panel.
  3. Access the Actuator:

    • With the door panel removed, locate the door lock latch actuator. It is usually situated near the door latch mechanism.
    • Remove any screws or bolts securing the actuator in place.
  4. Disconnect the Actuator:

    • Carefully disconnect the electrical connector from the actuator.
    • Remove the actuator from its mounting position.
  5. Install the New Actuator:

    • Position the new door lock latch actuator in place and secure it with the screws or bolts.
    • Reconnect the electrical connector to the actuator.
  6. Reassemble the Door:

    • Reattach the interior door panel by aligning it with the door frame and pressing it into place.
    • Reconnect any electrical connectors that were disconnected.
    • Ensure the door panel is securely attached and there are no loose components.
  7. Test the New Actuator:

    • Reconnect the battery and test the new actuator by locking and unlocking the door using the key fob and interior buttons.
    • Verify that the door lock functions smoothly and without any issues.


Replacing the driver door lock latch actuator in your 2011-2020 Ford Explorer is a straightforward process that can restore the convenience and security of your vehicle. By following this guide, you can ensure a successful replacement and keep your Ford Explorer’s door locks functioning properly. For high-quality replacement parts, visit Conquest Auto.

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