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Central locking - beware of doors that don't always open.

Discussion in 'VT - VX Holden Commodore (1997 - 2002)' started by donccullen, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. donccullen

    donccullen New Member

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    Thought I'd post this as a warning to anyone having problems with central locking. For weeks my drivers door would occasionally refuse to open with the remote and I'd have to put the key in the lock to open it, but mostly it would open up fine. Sometimes all the other doors would lock with the remote but the drivers door would refuse to lock until I put the key in the lock. This went on for weeks not getting any worse but not getting any better.
    There are several posts in Justcommodores suggesting that a good spray of WD40 would cure everything so I pulled off the door trim and greased up all of the connections to the door handle and lock in case things were just needing some loosening up, but this made no difference. A week or so later I was having to use the key almost every time but then one day I found the door refused to open with remote or key and was fully deadlocked ie. couldn't be unlocked from outside OR inside the car. My mechanic checked and confirmed that the body computer was fine but the actuator in the door was not responding, so thats when I wished I'd had it fixed sooner!!!
    Once the actuator in the door has seized up the only way to get it fixed is to hack a hole throught the inside door trim just above the armrest to get the old actuator out, not a pleasant job! Anyone who has removed a commodore door trim will know that the door trim is screwed on and the screws are only accessable when the door is open. The replacement actuator cost $129 from Holden and then you either have to patch up the door trim yourself, find a matching replacement from a wreckers or pay $77 for the cloth insert from Holden or $160 for a complete door trim.
    My local Holden dealer (Ringwood VIC) had 70 actuators in stock, thats $9000 worth of them so that suggests to me that replacing them is fairly common.
    So here's the tip, if you are having problems with a door that doesn't always lock or unlock get it fixed BEFORE you have to hack through your door trim to fix it.
     
  2. EXCESSV

    EXCESSV New Member

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    sorry to hear that champ...but thanks for the heads up....maybe this should be put as a sticky for all commodore owners to see :thumbsup:
     
  3. SMIT

    SMIT Donating Member

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    Well, how do u fix this before that happens?
     
  4. accentstencil

    accentstencil Well-Known Member

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    As donccullen said in his post, you fix it when you first start having problems with a door not unlocking properly and don't ignore it until it's to late.
     
  5. Thommo77

    Thommo77 VT Berlina

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    This sounds like what it happening to my VT? How do I replace the actuator? Is it something I could do myself fairly easily?
     
  6. accentstencil

    accentstencil Well-Known Member

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    If you know how to get the door trim off then you could probably handle the actuator.
     
  7. Jarrad

    Jarrad Sherminator

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    Yeah mate good advice, always good to hear about ways
    to fix potential probs.

    Nice work :thumbsup:
     
  8. adam_vr

    adam_vr New Member

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    yeah..... i used to replace about 1 of these a week, very very common fault. and ya can sorta get the door trim half off to be able to open the door if its locked shut, bugger of a thing to do though
     
  9. litchy

    litchy New Member

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    adam_vr

    Any hints on how to do this? I have exactly the same problem at teh moment with the rear passenger door on a VX wagon. Deadlock is on and cannot open it at all.
     
  10. Hot-Rod

    Hot-Rod SuPaFlY -LiV3 Surviv3 Di3

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    litchy read the first post. Either cut a hole in your door trim, or attempt to pull some of the trim off, maybe you can get to the screws under the door that attach the door trim to door.
     
  11. GIJoel

    GIJoel Member

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    Are the actuators specific to the VT? My front passenger door can only be locked/unlocked from the knob on the inside.
     
  12. grizzlypumpkinseeds

    grizzlypumpkinseeds New Member

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    I think I may be having the same problem. I bought a VS series II Ute the other day and the guy who sold it to me told me that the key doesn't lock/unlock the door, only the central locking works. This is true, to a point. It seems that even with the remote, the driver's door won't open sometimes and I have to either climb through the window, or the passenger door to get into the car. It's not permanently shut yet, but after reading this thread I'm starting to think I should fix this before it gets any worse.

    I just have a few questions, though.
    First of all, what is an actuator?
    What does it do?
    How hard is it to replace?
    And where do I get a replacement from?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. VTS5

    VTS5 TechJunkie

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