Saturday, July 23, 2011

So Close...

Hey, it's Justin. Yes, I actually write the posts on here every now and then (okay, this is only the second time). As you know, Sally often writes about various projects that we work on. Well, this time I had a project that would have been the perfect bloggable project. I went into it camera-in-hand, ready to document my way through so that I could write a wonderfully informative post as a celebration of the successful completion of the project.

What was this project, you ask? It was the replacement of the driver's door lock actuator in our Honda Accord. Of course, I expect that all of your know what a lock actuator is, but for those of your who (like me) should be reading "Car Repair for Dummies" instead of attempting projects like this, an actuator is the small electronic piece that actually creates the movement that locks and unlocks your car door.

Unfortunately, a few months ago our driver's door lock stop working electronically. It would still lock/unlock the door, but it wouldn't do so when we pressed the remote button. After a little Googling I discovered that the cause was most likely a bad actuator. I ordered a new one on Ebay, found a "How to Replace a 2005 Honda Accord Actuator" tutorial online, waited for a few free hours on a Saturday afternoon, and had a go at it.

Things were coming along quite nicely. I got the door off, peeled back the plastic sheet on the door, and located the actuator. I removed the power from the actuator and plugged it into the new one to test and see if it would work - it did! The only thing left to do was to actually remove the old actuator and put the new one in.

Sadly, that's about the time my project ended. Apparently when they put cars together, they hire the winners of the "World's Strongest Man" competition to put in the screws. I absolutely could not get the old piece out of the door...not without starting to strip the screws. But rather than try harder and risk stripping them completely, I thought it would be wiser to honor Sally's one request given before I started the project: "Please just don't break anything."

And so my project ended close, yet unsuccessful. I'll guess I'll just have to suck it up and take it to the Honda dealer :(

Here's some pics showing how far I got:

This is the door with the interior panel removed. I had to peel back that plastic stuff to get to the actuator, and after that it was still tucked behind the metal part of the door on the left

I taped a mirror to the inside of the door so I could see the piece. Those two black plugs are what I removed and plugged into the new actuator to make sure that it would work.

The culprits. Screw these screws!! No seriously, I wish I could have...or unscrew them rather...

The new actuator. If only I could have removed those screws...

What can I say...I tried. I'm just glad I didn't break anything.

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