Erratic door unlocking - passenger front door - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question Erratic door unlocking - passenger front door

Here's hoping someone has trod this path before and found a cure. My (right hand drive) 2006 OB has an intermittent problem with remote unlocking of the front passenger door. Every 10 or so times, using the factory supplied single button, central locking fob to unlock the car, only the pax side front door wont unlock. Trying the inner handle does nothing. Trying the outer handle, ditto. All other doors work fine. Eventually, after a couple/few/several times (varies) pushing the fob button, the door unlocks (hear a slight click when it does, then you know it's worked). Normal service returns until the next time.
Any ideas? I guess the door card will have to come off, just asking for pointers if there's anything specific I should focus on?


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:05 PM
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Sounds like a problem with the actuator. What happens if you use the button on the drivers door to lock and unlock?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a problem with the actuator. What happens if you use the button on the drivers door to lock and unlock?
Hi. Tried it, no joy. Tried the unlock button on the pax door from the inside, also fails to unlock - move it to the unlock and it springs back to the lock.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:35 PM
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Hi. Tried it, no joy. Tried the unlock button on the pax door from the inside, also fails to unlock - move it to the unlock and it springs back to the lock.
It's the electric actuator or linkage in the door.

This is the part you need:

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_20...1100AG01A.html
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:45 PM
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Hi. Tried it, no joy. Tried the unlock button on the pax door from the inside, also fails to unlock - move it to the unlock and it springs back to the lock.
Bad actuator motor in the passenger side door? I had a similar problem on the driver's side rear door right after I purchased my Outback (2005i).

Quick fix was to take a gamble on buying another lock actuator from the junkyard. That worked, but also started me on a program to go through and replace the motors in ALL my actuators (it wasn't that expensive, and I didn't want another actuator to fail at an inconvenient time.)

If you do decide to replace the motors (I think the brand was Mabuchi), just make sure the shaft down not stick out too far from the rear of the motor. I ended up having to grind mine down a small amount after I determined they were binding on the actuator enclosure.

2005 2.5i, automatic
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BTIBob View Post
It's the electric actuator or linkage in the door.

This is the part you need:

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_20...1100AG01A.html
Thanks! Waiting for a bit of warmer weather and I'll dig in to it. Unfortunately, spares here (UK) are much pricier than in the US so I'll likely strip the motor (if it's openable) and check brushes/commutator etc.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sgoti View Post
Bad actuator motor in the passenger side door? I had a similar problem on the driver's side rear door right after I purchased my Outback (2005i).

Quick fix was to take a gamble on buying another lock actuator from the junkyard. That worked, but also started me on a program to go through and replace the motors in ALL my actuators (it wasn't that expensive, and I didn't want another actuator to fail at an inconvenient time.)

If you do decide to replace the motors (I think the brand was Mabuchi), just make sure the shaft down not stick out too far from the rear of the motor. I ended up having to grind mine down a small amount after I determined they were binding on the actuator enclosure.
Cheers, will look at what is installed and see where we go from there. I'll try and report back but it'll likely be a few weeks.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:08 AM
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Thanks! Waiting for a bit of warmer weather and I'll dig in to it. Unfortunately, spares here (UK) are much pricier than in the US so I'll likely strip the motor (if it's openable) and check brushes/commutator etc.

I believe it's more of a solenoid than a motor.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:52 AM
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I believe it's more of a solenoid than a motor.
The lock actuator is a small, DC motor. The keyless entry control applies 12 V to the motor for about 2 seconds. The motor turns a set of gears that switches the lock mechanism. Lock, or unlock action is determined by the polarity of the 12 V applied to the motor by the control.

There's photos of the actuator in post #2 of https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...placement.html.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
The lock actuator is a small, DC motor. The keyless entry control applies 12 V to the motor for about 2 seconds. The motor turns a set of gears that switches the lock mechanism. Lock, or unlock action is determined by the polarity of the 12 V applied to the motor by the control.

There's photos of the actuator in post #2 of https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...placement.html.
Well..... I just learned something new today!

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