I have a 2002 Caravan Sport (short wheelbase version) with the 3.3L V6. Recently the driver's side power door lock began making a very loud (as in, could wake the dead) groaning/grinding noise when I used the key fob or inside switch to unlock it electrically, though no noise when locking. After about a week of this, it has now started making the noise when I lock electrically as well. Also the actuator doesn't always fully unlock or lock the door now, though everything still works fine if you operate the lock button manually or use the key in the lock.
I assumed there was probably some kind of stripped gear inside the power lock actuator, but I took mine out of the door and then took it apart and didn't see anything obvious wrong.
Two questions: (1.) Are these actuators rebuildable? If yes, where would I get parts for it, and what is it likely to need? If no, (2.) Are they available anywhere from the aftermarket, or is the dealership the only option? I checked with Advance Auto and they only listed one part number for a Dorman-branded universal actuator which I'm guessing won't work since the assembly I removed pretty obviously requires different parts for left and right.
I'm attaching a couple photos of my actuator/latch assembly if that is helpful.
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Have you bench tested the lock to see were the noise is coming from?
I show $39.96 from dodgeparts.net
I did test the actuator/latch unit when it was out of the car. The noise is definitely coming from inside the black molded plastic case. When I removed the metal latch cover, the various gears, springs and latches all moved freely when I moved them by hand and nothing appeared worn. I didn't want to apply power to the unit with the cover off since I imagined everything would fly apart.
If I can get a new replacement for $40, I'd be very happy. I've looked through the parts listing on dodgeparts.net and can't find the right part.
The part I see listed for $39.96 is only described as "Lock, All Models Left, with Power Locks" and it's listed in the Body Hardware section... Do you think that's the latch/actuator assembly I'm looking for? Maybe I'll give them a call.
Thanks for the help.
Last edited by daviddeep; 01-06-2011 at 12:10 PM..
Got an email today from Cherry Hill Dodge, the dealership that runs dodgeparts.net. They say the original part number for the door latch/solenoid mechanism has been "superseded" by a newer part number from Chrysler and that the part now costs $57.16 instead of the $39.96 still listed on the site. Not a big deal, but I guess this means you need to take the listed prices with a grain of salt. Also it would have been nice if they'd informed me of this when I ordered the part last Thursday rather than waiting over the weekend and placing my order on hold. Oh well...