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Lexus RX 300 Door Won't Lock or Unlock

saudiboysaudiboy Posts: 3
edited August 2014 in Lexus
My right, front passenger door won't lock or unlock in response to the key. I can't unlock the door by inserting the key either. I have to lock and unlock the door manually on the inside of the car.

I'm told there is a motor in the door that is shot. Does anyone know if this is a hard repair to do?


  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I know the symptoms are not the same, but the cure is similar... I posted some info for the driver's door lock motor/mechanism on the main RX300 forum archive, I think it was message 8925 and 8926.
    link title

    Also, try searching "door lock motor" in the main forum. There were messages posted before we had all these extra sub-forums.

    The RX300 uses a combination door latch, switch & solenoid/motor mounted to the latch. The mechanical key lock is separate, as I remember. Does the key turn, but doesn't move the lock? You may have a problem where it connects, and not the motor/latch/switch. But with the door panel removed, you will be able to check it out and replace the faulty component.

    I hope this info helps! :D
  • Thanks.

    I must have been turning the key the wrong way (I don't think I've ever used the key before). The key will unlock the front passenger door. It's just the remote that will not open or lock the door.
  • zedrozedro Posts: 1
    I am having the exact same problem with my driver side door.
    It is a 2003 RX300.

    If I find out how to fix it, I'll post back. If you've solved the problem by now though, please let me know.

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    This is a common issue we found, especially in RX300's that sit a long time, have a slightly low battery, or sit in the hot sun (100 degrees+).

    Try searching in the RX300 forum. I think it was message 8925 where I put a detailed account of how I removed the door panel and replaced the motor/switch/lock combo. It's not for the mechanically challenged :blush: , but if you're a DIY it can be done in a few hours, saving lots of expense at the dealer.

    I wonder if this link to get you there works link title

    If not just enter "door lock motor" in the search. There's lots of info there.

    Mine has been fine ever since. But I noticed my right rear lock gets sluggish when the car sits a long time (I normally use my motorcycle now) or it's been sitting in the sun on a really hot day :sick: , otherwise it's OK. So pretty soon I will pull the panel and lube the motor or replace it too.
  • philmobphilmob Posts: 1
    My son put his baseball bag in the trunk and left the strap of the bag hanging out of the car. It seems to have activated some kind of electronic lock mechanism.

    The key won't open the trunk and the doors won't lock.
    Any ideas on how to disengage the trunk lock?
    Thank you.

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I could be wrong but I thought model year 2000 was the first year RX's had a release inside the luggage compartment. Looking at your owners manual will confirm if it does have a release. Maybe it was 2001. If you have one, pull it to the open position while you have someone push/pull the door closed or open. My 99 does not have this the release, but I've thought it was something I'd like to have on more than one occasion.

    I've had to open mine by removing the lower hatch interior (carpeted) panel. If you don't have an interior latch, start in the cargo area with the rear seats folded flat. Remove the lower carpeted panel carefully, but the fasteners just pop straight out. Then you have to be pretty handy, and it is awkward, but you will be able to "pop" the latch mechanism by inspecting it to determine which way it should open using a flashlight and using a screwdriver. Good luck!
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    My 2000 RX300 does not have an inside release.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    A few years ago, my driver side door lock control stopped working. I paid dealer like $650 for a new module replacement. Later on all the other three locks got weak at different times then completely stopped working. I replaced all of them with generic actuators from I bought 6 of them just in case I want to use it somewhere else. It is $5.50 each.

    The first replacement was difficult. I downloaded very detailed steps with pictures from other site, or the like.

    The next two replacement were much easier, as I found I don't have to remove the original locking actuator, just leave it there. I connected the new actuator rod to the door lock handle mechanism, which does the same job as they are all connected. The original actuater becomes a load to the new one. the new actuater is of more than enough acting force to take that little load.

    Now all my door work fine. I don't think the new and cheap actuator will ever fail.

    By the way, the original actuator is the only thing/failure I don't like my RX300 about so far.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    This is good to know. I had to replace my drivers door lock after I stopped using the car for weeks at a time and it got weak at about 10 years old. The rear passenger door is now getting weak and I thought I had to buy the Lexus part to retain all features of security (The drivers door operates many switches, but I don't think the rear does). I will try adding the generic motors. I've used those on other cars.

    Thanks for the tip!
  • From one of the forums, I saw someone fixed the door lock problem with generic actuators. I went ahead and got 4 of them but I am not able to replace it with the original one, not even come close. Can some one provide me with the details on how to do it with the generic actuators? Pictures will work too. Thanks in advance.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Hey Jaimin,

    This would be good to know if you can tell us how you did it and where you bought them (and which actuators you bought), and any photos are a big plus. I haven't done it yet on the rear door, but need to soon.


    For which door are you trying to replace the lock motor? The rear doors are much less complicated than the passenger front. And the passenger front is much less complicated than the drivers door (with lots of extra internal switches built in the lock and the extra switches on the armrest).

    If you look back (use "search" at the top of this forum) I posted some instructions on replacing the driver's door lock a few years ago. That was to replace it with a new modular OEM part in which the motor is integrated into. The OEM part wasn't cheap, but that lock motor used on it sure looks like a cheap motor that should have been more readily available.

    I believe the idea is to add the generic replacement as a slave unit using universal brackets, etc. and leaving the OEM part intact but the wiring to the open/close wires on the motor cut and connected to the new generic slave add-on.

    I know I saw some specific instructions with photos on another Lexus owner's site, but I don't remember where. Does anyone else have any ideas?
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    It's a 2 wire actuator, P3300, from

    Sorry I do not have any pictures. Pictures I found online got me started on the first door. Then I did the rest my own way and found it works the same but much, much easier to do. I need to drill a small hole on the black plastic piece where the interior door lever is on. The hole is very close to the door knob for locking/unlocking the door, just big enough for the actuator rod to go through. I found my own rod, smaller diameter than the one that comes with P3300 actuator, much easier this task. I made a small loop and hook it on the door knob pivot.

    Well it's difficult for me to describe in more detail how I did it. Once you are in there you will figure out. All I do is to ignore the factory actuator, put this new actuator in a place with no interference with anything arounf it, and let its push-pull direction as close to the original direction as I can to minimize friction. To me the job is not too difficult, just takes time if I want it done neatly.

    Factory actuator and its related parts become the new actuator's load but it's OK. Before I put the new actuator in, I tried it on battery. Its push-pull is strong enough to overcome the load. However, if I manually turn the door knob to lock or unlock doors, it is harder than the factory's.

    I did it three times (three doors), I don't know why I didn't take pictures. If I need to redo it I will take picture for sure. I hope I will not have a chance to take door panel apart...
  • I could not find the P3300 actuator that you mention in your post. Please let me know where to buy the actuator.

This discussion has been closed.