Replaced 99 Accord Door Actuators
My mother-in-law has a 99 Accord 4 door EX. For the last year the power door locks have functioned intermittently. If I used the door lock switch on the drivers door sometimes all the doors would lock and other times only some of the doors locked. It seemed that if I waited awhile after engaging the lock that things would return to normal. Over time, however, the locks did not work as consistently. I suspected the actuators but I decided to search this forum and also ask a tech at Airport Marina Honda here in Los Angeles. The tech, Carlos, said that it was in fact the actuators. He was 99% sure. Before I went out and bought all 4 actuators, I decided to buy one for the right rear door and confirm that this was the case. After correcting the problem, I bought the remaining actuators at the dealer and they cost me $53 for each front actuator and $43 for each rear actuator. Online, you can find these for much less. I was in a hurry.
Here are the steps I took:
1. Remove the rear door panel. First open the window. Carefully remove the screw covers near the door handle and also the grip area on the arm rest. The door handle cover is removed by sliding it to one side and it should come free. A rod is connected to the handle and can be removed by sliding the clip off and pulling the rod out of the clip. Now, carefully pry the door panel off, preferably with a door panel remover, at each retaining clip. A light is connected to the door panel and should be removed by twisting the fixture out of the panel. The power window switch will also need to be disconnected. Now with the panel free move it to a safe place. Remove the plastic covering only on the side facing the front of the car. You will see the actuator connected to the manual door lock rod and attached to the door with two screws. Remove the electrical connector. Simply replace the actuator, test it, and replace all the parts in reverse order.
NOTE: If you take the actuator apart, you will notice that it is powered by a Mabuchi motor. The motor is similar to those you find in remote control models, plastic models and toys. This motor, over time, does not have enough torque to engage/disengage the door mechanism. If anyone is able to figure out which model of motor this is, this part can be replaced with very little cost. It is a 12v motor. I was too busy and did not do this research.
2. Front doors are a little trickier. Removing the door panels is very similar except there is a panel that must be removed by the side view mirror (carefully pry it off) and a retaining clip that must also be pryed out very carefully by the same area. Once the panel is off and the plastic is removed from the side toward the rear of the car, reattach the power window switch and adjust the window so you can see the bolts that hold it to the bracker through defined holes in the panel. BE VERY CAREFUL. Remove the bolts. With the window free, you can lift it out from the top and place it in a safe area. You can see the channel near the rear of the car that guides the window. Follow this channel to the bottom and it is conneced to the door with one bolt. Remove the bolt. The actuator is tucked inside the door by the locking mechanism. Remove the electrical connector. It is tight but you can remove the two small screws that hold it in place and carefully pry it out. The arm that controls the manual door lock rod is attached to the rod with a plastic pin. When the actuator is free, it will feel loose but connected. The pin is holding the actuator in. It is a little tricky because it is hidden, but pry the pin out and the actuator should come free. Pulling the manual door rod up an down helps too. By doing this, you can see how the rod attaches to the actuator. The actuator can be removed and you can see how the pin lines up to the lever. When replacing the new actuator you will have to try and get the pin to sit in the lever that moves the actuator up and down. If it is engaged, when you pull the manual door lock rod up and down the actuator should move with it. Replace all parts, test it and you are done. For the window, make sure that you align the scratches left by the bolts in the same exact spot to ensure that the window will slide up and down without any leaks.
BTW, she mentioned that the dealer quoted her $300.00 to fix one door. This is a bargain of a self install. If someone can figure out the model of the motor, this can be done for even less.
los angeles, ca