Repair Mini Cooper Electric Door Lock Actuator / Locking Mechanism

Picture of Repair Mini Cooper Electric Door Lock Actuator / Locking Mechanism
This instructiable details how to repair a Mini cooper door lock actuator. I did this to my 2003 mini cooper s. I was sick of reading about the countless number of people who have been forced to replace this poorly designed component with a new one ($130) because BMW made them "non-serviceable". This unit IS SERVICEABLE - if you are clever enough ;)

I would also like to thank the guys over @ NAM (


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Step 1: Are you sure you have a broken unit?

Picture of Are you sure you have a broken unit?

Confirm that  in fact you do have a bad door lock actuator. Check [1] fuses [2] other door locks functionality [3] wiring harness.

get your tools ready. I used torx, flat head screw drivers, pin, acetone, multimeter, DC-power supply.

Step 2: Remove Door Panel

Picture of Remove Door Panel
Best to disconnect battery first.

Instead of "re-inventing the wheel" - check out this guys video:

Note that - the clips holding the panel on are pretty robust. there are three clips on the left side, right side and bottom that all pull srtaight out. The clips on the top also pull directly out from the door - not "up and out/' like they say in the video.

templary2 months ago

OK, thanks very much for you answer. I did not see sensors. Now its OK, I saw it on the 13th photo.

Based on your experience, if i remove the entire the Lock Actuator, to try to repair it within one week in my house (not having a garage), can I still close and open the door manually?

Does the removal of the locking mechanism will not permit me to close or open the door with the normal key?


MolecularSandwich (author)  templary2 months ago

correct, look at the photos again.

marie.tyne2 months ago
Done it, worked well getting the electrical plug out was difficult as squeezing the clips without being able to see was impossible. But once u drop the unit it's easy. I brought a used replacement from Baverian Auto parts in California $85 and the shipped it up to vancouver saved on BMWs prices took about 2 plus hours to do
templary2 months ago

Hi everybody. Got an interesting question before approacing to repair my Mini Locking left door.

One month ago : Not opening function but correctly worked on closing

Last week. No opening and no closing operation.

Now, when I open and close manually with the key, the other right door , the fuel security door and the Arrow lights work as normal.


If both motor were broken, how come signal (coming from the same motor while closing or opening manually the door) is able to send signal to the central unit ?

Sorry for my bad english.


MolecularSandwich (author)  templary2 months ago

look at the photos again. There are sensors that are independent of the motors... The brushes on the motors burn out -- this has nothing to do with the switches that send signals to the head unit.

based on your question, I don't think this is a good fix for you to attempt - might be too complicated. If you do it - post pictures :)

look at photo in sept 13. upper left hand corner.

Jsantoyo681 year ago
Thank you for your instructable, my 2005 mini cooper had the exact problem your door lock had. I have it back together and functioning.

Thanks for the information - very useful. Like you my problem was the unlock motor. when I took it apart to repair it, the commutator surface was a mess with several fused bits on it. I think the problem with these could be the plastic washer at the top melting on to the commutator. The lock/unlock motors look the same but the brass worms are different sizes so these are not interchangeable. I looked for replacement motors but nothing obvious available. Be good if someone could find a source for these.

mike.wanthal6 months ago

Thanks so much. I was about to tear into mine anyway since I could either fix it or replace it as Mini says, but mine had the same problem as yours and with a quick cleaning and lube, my 2003 Mini is back in service for an hour of my time.

You are 100% right about pictures of the springs. Make sure to take a few when you tear it apart. Thank God you had yours up so I can see how the one spring fit back in. Otherwise I'd still be messing with it.

wawoo; look at the cheap plastic end motor they use. exactly like the motors we find in children toys that break easily. I cannot believe car makers go so low to save cost. At least they should have put a full metal body motor for longer life. Thanks to poster, good subject though.
Thanks, you did a realy good instructable. with your help i fix my lock on my 2005 mini.
but on my case all 3 coper contact were appart. so i carefuly unsold the wire and put a new one from another small 12 v motor that i use in slot car racing .wen you do that the timing betewen the 3 coper blade is important so refer to small electric motor timing to alling propely with the magnet and carbon brush.
mgkadijk2 years ago
Thanks for the post. I followed your instructions and repaired my 2004 Mini Cooper door lock actuator. I would just say that it is important to note the position of the gears and motors as you are disassembling. I didn't and had to take it apart a second time after it didn't function after the first test. When you are actuating those little motors up and down, you can get lost as to which way it should be.

It has been at least 2 months since I repaired mine, and it is still functioning.
MolecularSandwich (author) 3 years ago
It has been about a month and everything is still working well!
oakback3 years ago
Nice! My rear door lock actuators on my Mazda 5 are all but dead, but I was dreading taking them apart. I'm sure all door lock actuators have a lot in common, so I'm sure this will be helpful when I decide to tackle it.

Where is a good place to buy the little motors, if necessary?
MolecularSandwich (author)  oakback3 years ago
Its been my (limited) experience that generally you can repair most electric motors. As for a replacement - I woudl look to source a motor from another actuator - it is very tight in those cases and hacking one to fit would not be easy. Good luck!