Passenger Door Lock

The electric door locking/unlocking system, in the passenger door, is sporadically working on my 2002 bird. I can unlock the door using the inside handle and it always locks using the electric system. However, most of the time it will not fully unlock using the electric system. The manual button nest to the window appears to move some but will not come up all of the way.Has anyone had this experience? Anyone know what I need to do to fix this?

Moderator Update: Install this part to fix-

You will also need a door panel trim remover set

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I just replaced mine (passenger side) a couple of weeks ago. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish. I went very slow in removing the door trim because I didn't want to break anything. I bought a new actuator from eBay for $8 bucks. The shape of the new actuator might look different than original, but it mounts in the bracket perfectly and that's what counts.

From a scale of 1 (add washer fluid) to 10 (rebuild engine), I would rate this job as 2 to 3 if you're mechanical incline and like to tinker. You do need torx bits to remove door panel and door lock. did you remove the panel to get to the inner workings?
I removed all the torx screws but the door panel still feels really solid
You will need to buy door panel/trim removal tool set like this set from Ebay to pop the panel out, which is held in place by several (8) white plugs (circled in black in the picture below):

The door panel removal instructions (credited to Robust, aka Robert 05 Cashmere) are below:

Begin by carefully popping loose the “sail panel”. This triangular-shaped part (located above the door trim panel towards the front of the door) contains wiring that leads to the mirror, so it remains hanging with the door. The sail panel attaches with 2 pivot connections along the bottom and a push connection near the top, so begin removing the panel at the top. In the photo below I have drawn arrows to the 2 pivot connections and the push connection.

Remove the rubber cover from the bottom of the recessed door pull area. I used a small screwdriver to get under an edge and up it came. Underneath the rubber bottom you will see one screw. Remove it.

Remove the Door Handle Cup Assembly. This is the part that contains the switches for the locks and windows. Look at the 2 photos below and observe that there is a pivot connection in the rear and a push connection in the front. There are also small friction connections along the sides.

Carefully pry this part up from the FRONT (meaning the edge towards the front of the car). Prying from the rear will cause damage. When the Door Handle Cup Assembly is loose, disconnect the wiring from the door lock and window switches. Note which plug is for which switch, as they appear interchangeable. In my case the green plug is for the locks and the blue is for the windows.

On the exposed end of the open door you will see two screws attaching the trim panel to the door. Remove them.

Along the bottom of the trim panel you will see two screws. Remove them.

The speaker cover has 2 push connections towards the front of the car and 2 pivot connections towards the rear. Remove the speaker cover by carefully pulling or prying outward from the front. Prying from the rear will cause damage. See photo.

Look at the photo below of the back of the removed trim panel. You can see that the speaker comes with the trim panel. Observe the locations of the speaker bracket screws and the friction push connectors then follow the next 2 instructions.

Remove the 3 screws (circled in blue) that connect the speaker bracket to the door frame. This allows the speaker to release from the door and come with the door trim.

Next, carefully pry the trim panel from the door frame. When you have the trim panel loose, disconnect the speaker wiring and the trunk lock release wiring. Now you have successfully removed the door trim panel. Place the trim panel in your laydown area insulation side up.


Active Member
OK, got my lock actuator replaced tonight. Wasn't too bad of a job.
I used the link above from U5512 and ordered through Ebay.
Here are a few things that I thought would have been a little helpful if known ahead of time. Hope this helps someone out down the road...
After removing all torx screws, the door is held in place by these white mushroom snaps. Some of them pulled of the door, others pulled out of the panel. I've enclosed a pic of the location of these snaps. If they stick in the door, you can pull them off and slide them back into place on the door panel.
2nd thing... the rods that are connected to the lock mechanism can come loose by unsnapping them. In the picture I have the two yellow clips circled. The clip 1 (Outer Handle) at the small yellow section flips out and releases the rod. Clip 2, push it back away from rod. I actually left this one on and still got job done. The electrical connections on the lock/actuator are bit of a bear. Unclip these and pull off in order to bring the lock assembly out of the door.
After replacing actuator, placing the door panel back on was a bit taxing... you need to align 7 snap pins and the manual lock rod through the panel all at the same time. I found starting at the top was the best approach. All of those snaps are in a straight line.
Pop all the snaps, replace the screws, door pocket, corner molding, speaker cover... Done! Works great and saved prob a couple hundred in repair cost!

door1.JPG door2.JPG panel snaps.JPG rods.JPG
What are the steps for removal of 2003 drivers side inner door panel.
I don’t like to break things.
I wish I had inquired about this, I broke the cup in the door (tried to remove it from the wrong end), I also broke the triangular plastic piece at top front of door, I also broke my window and door switches as the weight of the speaker will break them if you let the speaker hang. One word of advice, make sure you compare the switches you receive with the ones in your car; I was shipping the wrong ones and did not realize it until I went to plug one of them into the receptacle; the nibs on the sides did not line up, so I had to modify it to fit. I had already crimped and shrunk sealed all of the connections. Sometimes you learn the hard way :(.