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Toyota Highlander Door Not Working

Toyota Highlander is one of the most prestigious rides for off-road adventures. It features power door locks to let you keep potential burglars and thieves outside your ride. The power door locks also allow you to open and close the car efficiently when in a hurry. However, like any other component, the door(s) may run into problems and fail to work.

Male in suit opening car door

A Toyota Highlander door may fail to work due to a blown door fuse, a dead power lock switch, a malfunctioned door lock actuator, or a defective door lock relay. If the rear door isn’t working, then perhaps, the rear window is open, or the rear door’s on/off switch in the glove box is deactivated.

Sometimes the doors in your Toyota Highlander may fail to work if the batteries in your key fob have run out of juice or if the key fob has become defective. If the power door locks in your car are working manually but not remotely, then your Highlander key fob might be the culprit. Before interfering with your Highlander’s door lock systems, you should inspect the key fob.

If the key fob isn’t the problem, you can inspect the door(s) for the culprits above to solve them.

Toyota Highlander Door Lock Problems

Frustrated man

The Toyota Highlander door lock problems are the issues that may interfere with the efficient locking and unlocking of single or several doors in your Toyota Highlander.

The door lock problems in your Toyota Highlander might emanate from a faulty door actuator, broken door switch, faulty door relay, broken power lock switch, open rear window, faulty rear door switch, etc. Below is a detailed description of each problem and how to solve them.

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Work Due To Broken Door Fuse

The door fuse in your Toyota Highlander protects the power door actuator from electrical surges.

When blown/broken, the power door switch will block the passage of current to the power door actuator. That means the power door actuator won’t receive nor respond to your commands to open or close the door.

To solve the problem, locate the fuse in the Toyota Highlander engine bay fuse box (marked with car doors) to replace it. Be sure to get a fuse whose current rating matches the faulty ones.

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Work Due To Broken Relay System

As the name suggests, the door lock relay sends power to the door lock actuators to lock or unlock the doors in your Toyota Highlander.

When defective, the power door actuator receives no power, rendering the entire system useless. You should replace the actuator with a new one to revert the power door lock system to its operative order.

Most Toyota Highlanders feature the relay system as an electric board under the dash. You need to be an expert to replace this component.

Note: Problems in the fuse and the relay system can cause multiple or all doors to fail to work since the actuators won’t be receiving any power to activate them.

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Work Due To Broken Actuator

The power door actuator features a small motor, rack, and pinion gears that work together to initiate the closure and the opening of doors in a Toyota Highlander, depending on the signal it receives from the door lock switch.

When broken, the door lock actuator won’t respond to signals from the door lock switch, meaning the door won’t work. When about to become defective, the actuator may produce a buzzing sound or operate sluggishly.

To solve the door actuator problem,

  • Remove the door panel to locate the wire harness connecting the power door locks to the door actuator.
  • Remove the defective door actuator and replace it with a new one
  • Replace the door panel and Test whether the system works

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Open

Driver's side door

Nothing hurts more than being locked inside your ride in a public setting or outside your car during an emergency. Since you may not know when the worst will happen, you need to familiarize yourself with various reasons why the doors in the Toyota Highlander may lock.

There are various causes why your Toyota Highlander door won’t open, including a defective key fob, blown door fuse, broken wires, broken actuator and problems in the relay system, etc.

More specifically:

  •  A key fob may fail to transmit opening instructions to the receiver in the door lock due to a system issue or lack of battery juice
  •  A blown door fuse won’t allow the current transmission to activate the door actuator to open
  • Similarly, broken wires won’t allow the passage of current to the assigned parts to initiate the door’s opening
  •  A defective lock relay won’t send currents to the power lock actuator and its components to open the door

You must inspect and correct any of the above culprits to revert the door to its operative condition.

Toyota Highlander Back Door Won’t Open

Back door of SUV

You have just finished shopping and are about to put the luggage in your Highlander rear hatch, only to realize that the liftgate won’t open.

If you can’t open the backdoor in your Toyota Highlander using the key fob or the driver-side button, then the rear window might be open. Or, the back door switch in the glove box might be deactivated(off-position).

To solve the problem, confirm whether the rear window is open to close it. If the rear window isn’t the issue, locate the on/off button in the glove box to activate it to make the door accessible with your key fob.

Note: The rear window in a Toyota Highlander is pre-programmed to inhibit the liftgate’s opening.

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Close

Car door handle and power lock buttons

Another problem you may experience in your Toyota Highlander is the failure of the door(s) to close.

In most cases, the Toyota Highlander doors may fail to close due to a problem in the power door fuse, wire connections, door relay, door switch, and the power door actuator,

More specifically,

  •  A defective door fuse won’t allow the passage of current to activate the actuator to close the door. The same applies to a broken wire connection
  •  A faulty door relay won’t power the actuator motor to drive the rack and pinion gears to close the door
  • On the other hand, the door(s) won’t close if the door switch in the glove box is in the open position
  •  And finally, the door won’t close if the door actuator has broken due to age or mechanical damage

To solve the ‘Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Close’ problem, you need to inspect and replace the individual culprits to reclaim the working condition of the door.

Toyota Highlander Driver Door Not Locking

Key FOB pointed at car door

Are you having problems locking the driver’s door in your Toyota Highlander? 

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Sep 8, 2022. .

If yes, the door actuator in your Highlander’s driver door lock might be defective. When defective, the power door actuator won’t respond to commands from the door switch or the key fob to lock the door. However, sometimes the problem might emanate from the wire connections leading to the actuator.

To resolve the problem, remove the door assembly to access the door actuator. Inspect for any broken or frayed wires leading to it. If the wire harness is intact, replace the power door actuator with a new actuator from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Toyota Highlander Door Won’t Unlock With Key

Key FOB on arm rest

If you are fond of using the car keys to open your Toyota Highlander as I do, you might have encountered these two problems:

  • The key will turn, and the door doesn’t unlock
  • The key won’t turn at all, and the door won’t unlock

If your Toyota Highlander door doesn’t unlock with the key, the problem might emanate from a worn-out car key, broken lock tailpiece, or broken lock cylinder /tumblers. Below is a brief explanation of each of the above problems.

Worn out Car Keys

Sliding the key in and out every time you wish to open your car will wear down the key, in the long run, making it unusable. Due to the wear, the tumblers in your Toyota Highlander locking mechanism may not line up, and the door won’t unlock.

To correct the problem, you must visit a locksmith for a new copy of your Toyota Highlander keys. You can also use a key fob to avoid the recurrence of the problem in the future.

Broken Cylinder/Tumblers

If broken, the tumblers won’t line up, preventing the lock from turning. You need the help of a locksmith to get things in their operative order.

Broken Tail Piece

If your key rotates freely but doesn’t unlock the door, the door lock tailpiece (a lever located at the base of the lock) is the culprit. Again, you need the help of a locksmith to inspect and repair the entire door lock system.

Toyota Highlander Interior Light Won’t Turn On When Door Opens

Leather car interior seats

The door light signal alerts you whether the door is open or securely closed to ensure your road safety.

If your Highlander Interior Light Won’t Turn On When the Door Opens, it suggests a failure in the door switch or a shot between the fuse and the door switch.

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To solve the problem, test the door switch for continuity and replace it if defective. If the door switch isn’t the issue, inspect the wiring harness between the switch and the fuse for any broken connection. Also, examine the fuse for any burnout signs and replace it if it has blown out.

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Sep 8, 2022 and last updated on .

Toyota Highlander Key Not Working