There are numerous different operating systems used to lock and unlock car doors. How the mechanics work is useful information that everyone would benefit from knowing in order to perform regular checks to keep the locks secure and in good condition. Door locks are typically engaged and unlocked several times a day, dozens of times a week and hundreds of times a month. This frequent activity eventually wears down the door lock actuators and if there is a power door lock actuator on the car, it can fail to do the job without the owner becoming aware of the failure, especially if the system also fails to communicate the failure on the dashboard.
Door locks can be opened by using a key, from inside the car manually, or with a remote control activator. All of these options will send a signal to the power actuator and when a combination of all these methods overloads the control system, the signals can break down and fail over time. The main computer system in the car keeps track of many small details such as lights, security features that alert the driver when a door is ajar, or when the lights are left on, or if the keys are left in the ignition or the trunk or hatch is left open.
The car’s main computer keeps track of every way a car can be opened and when one of these methods is engaged, the door lock actuator sends a signal to the main computer, which in turn lets the driver know that the door lock has been disengaged. The main computer operates off a radio signal that sends the correct code from the transmitter and this transmitter relays this information to the computer.
The power lock actuator is programmed in a series of patterns that relay unlocking actions made by the driver and this sequence is communicated to the main computer to let it know that the doors have been unlocked. This is done by programming an electric motor to power a series of gears that keep up with these small details. The last gear in the series drives a rack and pinion that is connected to the door actuator rod. This rack converts the motion into the linear motion to unlock the door, but if the latch is moved manually, this will not turn the little motor.
When the driver is locked out of the car by accident, a locksmith will use a simple vertical motion from the doorknob or the lock actuator to open the door. This vertical motion can be accomplished by using a thin metal rod and searching for the right point. This vertical motion does not activate the small motor that operates the power lock actuator.
Just as there are several ways to unlock the power door actuator, there are just as many ways that this feature can malfunction due to signal mix-ups and damage caused by wear and tear over time that causes a break down in the mechanics. This is why a driver should have a good understanding of how these features work so that regular checks can be made to ensure that the car and contents are safe.
There are several different brands of power door lock actuators and they are relatively inexpensive. The BMW door lock actuator can be ordered for all the different car styles such as a sedan, convertible, or coup and range in price from under $60 and up. Catalogues can be accessed online or mail ordered. Some manufacturers offer free shipping and overnight delivery. Most manufacturers also offer online purchase as well as phone orders.
Automobile owners can check each door lock actuator themselves or have a professional do it. Learning about how the car locks operate is interesting in itself but it is also a good idea to be able to recognize damage to the actuator. Naturally, keeping the locks on a car in good functioning condition is necessary to protect it from vandalism or theft. Repairing it is a simple task as well if the driver wishes to learn how. Alternatively, most auto retail dealers can recommend reliable professional people to repair or install new power lock actuators for any type of car.