What Are the Different Types of Power Door Lock Actuators?

car door power lock actuators

Power door lock actuators are usually thought of as a device on a car. While this is the most common usage, there are actually a few types of actuators, which are mainly used for cars, but can appear in modern home doors too.

These devices have obvious benefits, but they're also subject to special failures. Here are two types of power door lock actuators and some things to know about each device.

Car Power Locks

finger pressing car door lock button

Power door lock actuators on a car are the mechanisms used to lock and unlock your door by clicking a button. These power door lock actuators are operated by using either a key or a keypad system of numbers as a code.

They are mounted inside the door of your car and include an electric motor and gears. Some may instead use a cable to make the lock function. Every door has its own power lock actuator.

When circuits wear out or there are other electrical issues, the actuator could stop working.

Many cars come with these already equipped, but they can be installed after purchasing a vehicle as well.

To do so, start by removing the interior panel of the car door on the driver's side of the car and look for a good mounting area for the rod for the power lock.

You will need to carefully drill a hole next to the original lock rod without damaging it. The hole must be large enough to house the power lock rod and retaining clip. Both will be inserted into the hole once it is drilled.

Once everything is in place, you will need to connect it to the power actuator. Once you have, make sure it moves between locked and unlocked positions.

Once you are sure it is working, drill two more holes and make sure the actuator is bolted into place.

hand holding phone with security app near open door

Home Door Power Locks

Many people also now have power door lock actuators on the doors of their homes as a safety measure. They are usually operated by a numeric keypad that looks much like a telephone keypad.

This is a great option for someone who is prone to losing their keys because you will instead only need to remember a code.

Some more advanced systems also allow for temporary codes.

These are great for people who you want to give one-time access to your home, such as if you are renting your home out on a short-term basis or are hoping to allow a dog walker access to your home.

These keypad door systems can be purchased online or at a home improvement store. They will come with installation instructions which you can use to set up the device yourself.

The keypads can be a bit bulky, though, so make sure you pick one that will look good on your door. Some of these also come with smart technology built in which is definitely worth considering if you want the door lock actuator to serve more than one purpose.