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2005 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
INTRODUCTION:
2005 Outback wagon here. I recently got this car from my sister, and it was heavily neglected. I got it with almost 2 quarts of oil missing, an air filter that looked like someone's dried-up vomit, and accessory belts that actually shredded on me as I took the car for a spin the first time. Anyway, after working out all the major kinks, I am left with a couple of small issues. One of these issues is the passenger side power door lock.

ISSUE:
The front passenger power door lock will not lock/unlock my door.

RULE:
I did a google search and came up with various threads about the Legacy and Outback model having problems with their door actuators. I figured that I may have been having the same problem, since, my car is a 2005 and the "oldest" model year gen 3 outback. Taking a calculated chance on this being the culprit, I ordered a new FC-280 motor off ebay at the whopping price of $5.50 shipped to my door.

APPLICATION:
First thing I did was pull the door apart to see what was going on. Not much of anything. Everything looked clean. Whatever. I started pulling everything apart. Outside door handle, loosened the window tracks, etc. (In retrospect, I now realize I could have skipped some of these steps but I was unfamilira with the workings of a Subaru door... now I know it well so I won't rip it apart again unless I have to for some reason.) I pulled the door lock mechanism out of the door and set it on my work bench. I then removed the actuator assembly from the mechanism. I then pried open the actuator assembly. I then located the motor and pulled it out. I checked the motor, it spinned (span?) okay. I then opened it up, and I also opened up the new motor. I proceeded to "frankenstein" the shaft off the old motor onto the new motor brushes, etc. I re-assembled it all and made sure it worked. The "new" assembly spinned noticeably stronger, though I am not sure how much this had to do with my door not working in the first place. I reassembled all of the door lock mechanism and installed all the parts back into the door for a full reassembly.

CONCLUSION:
Same problem. The door seems to be temperamental. Most of the time it doesn't work, but every once in a while like 1 out of 30 times, it works. I don't know what it could be. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

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The door lock actuators, as you now know well, are basically a small DC motor that turns a worm gear that, in turn, causes a lock linkage to move one way, or the other, to lock or unlock the door.

There's no electrical switch at the lock to control the motor; instead, the door lock control turns the motors on for about a second, or so. It's assumed that in this time, the motors will turn sufficiently to lock, or unlock, the door latch mechanism.

When the motors begin to fail, it takes longer for them to move the lever, if they move it at all. If the gears become stiff, perhaps due to hardened grease, or changes in dimensions, the mechanism is also slowed, so that the task of locking, or unlocking is completed in the time the motor is powered.

Before you dismantled the mechanism, did you test to see if the power going to the actuator was consistently there when the door switch was used? There are many reports here about the door switches developing bad contacts. A bad contact in a door switch could affect the actuator operation when using that switch or the main, driver's, switch.

When the actuator doesn't work to lock or unlock the door, can you hear it trying to run when activating the lock system? (It should be noticeable if you're near the door in a quiet environment.)

There's any number of other possible causes; what's needed at your end for us to be able to help you is some detailed detective work to identify what is happening when the lock doesn't work, before taking things apart or replacing parts.
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #3
The door lock actuators, as you now know well, are basically a small DC motor that turns a worm gear that, in turn, causes a lock linkage to move one way, or the other, to lock or unlock the door.

There's no electrical switch at the lock to control the motor; instead, the door lock control turns the motors on for about a second, or so. It's assumed that in this time, the motors will turn sufficiently to lock, or unlock, the door latch mechanism.

When the motors begin to fail, it takes longer for them to move the lever, if they move it at all. If the gears become stiff, perhaps due to hardened grease, or changes in dimensions, the mechanism is also slowed, so that the task of locking, or unlocking is completed in the time the motor is powered.

Before you dismantled the mechanism, did you test to see if the power going to the actuator was consistently there when the door switch was used? There are many reports here about the door switches developing bad contacts. A bad contact in a door switch could affect the actuator operation when using that switch or the main, driver's, switch.

When the actuator doesn't work to lock or unlock the door, can you hear it trying to run when activating the lock system? (It should be noticeable if you're near the door in a quiet environment.)

There's any number of other possible causes; what's needed at your end for us to be able to help you is some detailed detective work to identify what is happening when the lock doesn't work, before taking things apart or replacing parts.

1. There is always power going to the motor. Always.
2. The gears are all clean. There are absolutely no obstructions.
3. The motor, if pulled from the gear yet still connected to the circuit, will cycle the proper amount of time for both lock and unlock functions.
4. I actually tested the circuit with everything plugged in and the actuator cover off the assembly, so I could see, physically, what was going on. The white "worm screw" did move, but apparently not enough to luck/unlock all the time.

I really appreciate your response, plain OM, but I'm really just looking for people who have "been there, done that" and can give me some real world advice on how to tackle this.

If not, I will get this fixed on my own and post a DIY on the forum next week. I can't be the only person having this issue so I'm sure a DIY would benefit the whole community here.
 

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Okay. There are other posts here about slow and non-functioning actuators; perhaps some searching will provide the "been-there-done-that" you're looking for.

But I'll add:

The white "worm screw" did move, but apparently not enough to luck/unlock all the time.
So either the motor isn't strong enough, or something in the mechanism is binding.

You'll find it . . .
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #5
Okay. There are other posts here about slow and non-functioning actuators; perhaps some searching will provide the "been-there-done-that" you're looking for.

But I'll add:



So either the motor isn't strong enough, or something in the mechanism is binding.

You'll find it . . .
Yes, those both seem plausible. I'm presently working on a solution for everyone. I'm trying to make this VERY easy. If you're experiencing this problem, stay tuned... it's going to be worth it. I promise.
 

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05 Xt beatin' to an inch of its life
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Does the door unlock switch work on that door? Check continuity across it while operating it.
 

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Did you find the answer you were looking for? I have the same problem on my 2005 outback and have been combing the web for the answer
 

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2006 Outback
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My problem is a little different. When I push the the automatic door lock button, the doors lock, then immediately unlock. The key fob lock won't work, either.
Any ideas?
 

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one door won't unlock - key or fob; others will

Help please. I am unable to unlock driver side door with either key or fob. Fob makes interior mechanism go from locked (all black) to unlocked (red bar shows), but lifting handle from exterior shows still locked (I can open from inside tho). Key from outside moves to unlock position and I hear something, as tho it is unlocking - but still can not open from outside. This all started when I locked my keys in car. A friendly neighbor started poking around with a coat hanger.. fishing near interior locking mechanism (with red bar), but ultimately grabbed my keys and got them between window and door frame. The fob unlocks all other doors as normal. I tried the disarm/arm antitheft, as I'd seen suggested - but never see the indications on the trip odometer the procedure indicates will show it on or off. My naïve thought is that the problem is with whatever connects the outside door lock to the thing that makes it lock (bolt?).. but I know nothing about any of this. Please help. Ridiculous to try to fix this myself? I have diagrams of inside the door and the locking mechanisms, but haven't been inside one myself.

thanks much~
 

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My naïve thought is that the problem is with whatever connects the outside door lock to the thing that makes it lock
The lock/unlock actuator (motor) is at the latch mechanism. The outside handle is linked to the latch with a metal rod. If the inside lock moves from the all black to the red line when the fob, or key, is used, then perhaps the rod was knocked out of place when your neighbour was probing inside the door. That would disconnect the outside door handle, so it would move up freely, as if the door is still locked.
 

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hi there.. thanks so much for writing back. I got the plastic off the door and looked.. theres a metal rod still seems to be attached to the cylinder that changes position when I use the key in the lock.. but the handle still doesn't do anything. I found some parts diagrams, and looked for youtube videos to see what this is supposed to look like, but I can't find anything for this problem.. had to button it back up as it looked like rain. I didn't take the 10mm bolts off yet to get a good look.. so that's next. could this be an electrical problem? I have other electrical gremlins with this car. thanks so much..
 

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There should be two metal rods between the door handle area and the door latch.

Here's a diagram of what there is inside:



Because the inside door lock moves from locked to unlocked, we know it's being actuated by the cable (one of the two) going from the door latch to the inside handle assembly. So the door lock is being changed from locked to unlocked. This, I understand, works with the fob, and with the key, but the exterior door handle still seems to be locked.

Note that there's two rods between the door latch and the exterior handle assembly. One of the rods is for the lock -- when the key is turned, it rotates a lever at the back of the lock cylinder. A rod is fitted to the lever that goes down to the latch, where it is connected to another lever that's part of the lock/unlock mechanism in the latch. Again, because the interior door handle appears to switch from locked to unlocked when the key is used, this rod is okay.

The second rod is connected to the back of the outside handle, the part that moves when you pull up on it to open the door. This rod also goes down to the door latch, and connects to the part of the mechanism that releases the catch. This is the same latch mechanism that the inside door handle acts on when it's used to open the door. If this rod is disconnected from either the back side of the outside handle, or from the door latch below, the outside handle will move freely, and appear as if the door is locked, when it actually is not. (Even while the inside door handle works, because the cable from it to the latch is still connected.)

It's not an electrical problem because when the fob is used, the interior lock changes positions. It's connected by a cable to the latch, and it wouldn't change positions if the latch itself isn't being switched from lock to unlock.
 

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door lock actuators failure

Hello, all. I purchased a 2014 Subaru CrossTrek in 2014 and I still like the car. However, within six months one of the rear side doors began to intermittently ignore the fob lock/unlock command... then the other one... then the passenger front door... and now all three doors consistently only lock and unlock manually from the inside - no fob nor driver panel response. Just sharing. Subaru has told me it is probably the aftermarket stereo I had installed. This is a little annoying. When the driver door fails to lock and unlock, I'm toast. Anyone else having this issue? I've read it is quite common with other Subaru models.

I have also had the issue with the transmission locking out and have had to use a chopstick in that small release doohickey to free it. That was a fuse burning out a few times. I'm not super impressed with the quality so far... but hopefully the engine won't explode at 80,000.
 

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2001 Outback LL Bean, 2005 Subaru Outback, 2015 Impreza
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Hello, all. I purchased a 2014 Subaru CrossTrek in 2014 and I still like the car. However, within six months one of the rear side doors began to intermittently ignore the fob lock/unlock command... then the other one... then the passenger front door... and now all three doors consistently only lock and unlock manually from the inside - no fob nor driver panel response. Just sharing. Subaru has told me it is probably the aftermarket stereo I had installed. This is a little annoying. When the driver door fails to lock and unlock, I'm toast. Anyone else having this issue? I've read it is quite common with other Subaru models.

I have also had the issue with the transmission locking out and have had to use a chopstick in that small release doohickey to free it. That was a fuse burning out a few times. I'm not super impressed with the quality so far... but hopefully the engine won't explode at 80,000.
Wrong thread for year. Hope you found the answer though
 
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