Fix Toyota Sienna (or Any Car) Power Sliding Door the Fastest and Cheapest Way

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Introduction: Fix Toyota Sienna (or Any Car) Power Sliding Door the Fastest and Cheapest Way

I have searched the internet and YouTube to find out how to fix my Toyota Sienna XLE 2006 sliding door problem. They were time consuming, high risk, and more expensive. My method is cheap, about $4 ($6.70 after tax and shipping in Minnesota) each door and it took me less than an hour, seriously !!!

My method is pretty generic, it may apply to other car models. By the way I am a semiconductor engineer and not a mechanics.

Step 1: Symptom of Sliding Door Latch Problem

Symptom:

When you press a button to automatically open the sliding door it makes noise attempting to open the door but fails. But if you pull the handle and hold it for a few seconds the door opens.

Problem:

The sliding door latch is not working (see the picture of the latch unit). The door is supposed to unlatch first before it triggers the motor to pull it open. Most common problem is the motor of the latch fails.

My simplest solution:

Replace only the motor of the latch instead of the entire latch unit.

Step 2: Open the Inside Door Panel

What other people did:

There are many resources such as YouTube of how to open the inside cover panel so I will not go into detail here. What other people do is removing the cover panel then remove the inside metal panel to gain access to the latch unit. It's time-consuming and many things could go wrong. After removing the metal panel, it is still not easy to remove the latch because it uses non-standard fasteners. I saw on YouTube people struggled with removing the latch unit.

My method:

Only partially open the cover panel, lift its bottom up and use a box (or anything) to hold it up. No need to remove the inside metal panel.

Once you partially open the cover panel you will see the latch (see the picture).

Step 3: Replace the Motor of the Latch

I used a rotary tool (1st picture) to cut open the latch where the motor was (2nd picture, red circle where the motor is).

The 3rd picture shows what you see after you cut it open, the motor of the latch. The 4th picture shows a closer look at the motor. Remove the motor. The 5th picture shows the cutout piece of the latch.

The label on the motor shows the part number (6th picture). In my case the part number was PAN14EE12AA1 for Toyota Sienna 2006 XLE, I ordered it from DigitKey for $6.70 (after tax and shipping) for each door.

After getting a new motor, insert the motor back. You may need a magnifying glass to view the flat side of the motor shaft. Align the flat shaft of the motor and insert it. The motor has two electrical plug-ins, they should face outside.

I used a hot glue (7th picture) to glue the cutout piece (5th picture) back to the latch.

The last step is simply put the cover panel back and you are done. I finished it in less than one hour the first time, the 2nd time would be even quicker after knowing exactly what to do.

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    27 Comments

    0
    mrpdude
    mrpdude

    27 days ago

    This was an excellent idea! It certainly got me started down the "repair it instead of replace it" path. I started this project this weekend on my wife's 2005 Toyota Sienna & used the photos you provided as my reference point. Instead of cutting the motor out from the housing, I used a pair of side cutters to cut through the center of both tabs holding the housing in-place. The tabs basically shattered when the cutters pinched down on them. Once the housing was removed from the door, there are 3 small screws that hold the 2 housing pieces together and will easily allow for replacement of the electric motor. The 2005 uses the exact same Digi-Key part number so I went online and ordered 2 new motors for both side doors and am excitedly waiting for the parts to arrive. Thanks for the excellent documenting of your fix which gave me the courage to move forward with repairing my wife's van!

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 25 days ago

    Let me know how it goes.

    0
    mrpdude
    mrpdude

    Reply 17 days ago

    Both doors are fixed now and working perfectly again. I used 2 short metal screws I found in my "junk" drawer to easily reinstall the housing against the door panel (I added some large washers on top of the screws to "press" against and hold the housing in place), reconnected the linkage bar and it was back to working order. A very nice, low cost fix! Made my wife and the grandkids happy!

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 12 days ago

    Glad to hear that.

    0
    gmsmolik1
    gmsmolik1

    Question 1 year ago

    How did you find the part number for your year of van? I have a 2008 and my guess is that the same part would work but I am not sure how to verify that. I am going to be so grateful if this fix will work for us!

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 6 months ago

    If you pull out the motor then you can find out the part number.

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Answer 1 year ago

    Search on digikey the motor, and figure it out. You can also ask dealer whether the latch unit is the same.

    0
    Michael997
    Michael997

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    Wat makes a sienna stop working why the cable is still ok

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 6 months ago

    It's the latch motor issue, it's separate from the cable.

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 1 year ago

    You need to be more specific on that.

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Answer 1 year ago

    Don't know. I am not a mechanic.

    0
    Michael997
    Michael997

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    What about if the door does not magnet itself

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 6 months ago

    No idea, I am not a mechanics, just an engineer who happened to find a trick.

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 1 year ago

    I am not sure I understand what you meant by "magnet itself".

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Answer 1 year ago

    Magnet itself ? I guess you meant after the door slide in it didn't close. That's a separate problem with a separate sensor and mechanical pull the door in.

    0
    craigklingenfus
    craigklingenfus

    1 year ago

    Ordered motor from Digikey, used box cutter to remove the plastic shroud, popped on new motor after lining up flat side of spindle on second try, JB Welded plastic shroud back on. Thanks to Instructables amazing hack, I saved over $1000 that the local repair shop was asking to replace the actuator on my 2005 Toyota Sienna XLE. I AM STOKED!!!

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 1 year ago

    Glad to hear that.

    0
    MatthewF187
    MatthewF187

    2 years ago

    I had just replaced the door motor and cable assembly when I realized that the door actuator motor was ALSO gone. By that point, I had put most of the door back together. I LOVED your method of getting at the motor. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

    0
    suriono
    suriono

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for the compliment and glad it helped.

    0
    Bmf916
    Bmf916

    2 years ago on Step 3

    Thank you very much for posting your clever creative shortcut, you saved me a lot of time and money I'm sure. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow as if I were reading a repair manual, I actually scored mine with a heavy duty box cutter,as I did not have a dremel or small cuttin tool available. Also did not have glue gun, so I used 5 minute epoxy to stick the cover back. I would have not gotten that far without your instructions, so thanks again for taking the time to share your ideas and enginuiaty.Man the Internet rocks but only because people like you take the time to share.