BMW Door Actuator Replacement Cost

BMW Door Actuator Replacement Cost

Door actuators are one of the many things used on modern cars to make them easier and more convenient to live with. In this article we’ll take a look at average costs to replace door actuators on BMWs and what causes them to fail. 

How much does it cost to repair a BMW Door Actuator?  

Thankfully, door actuators can be relatively inexpensive to replace. The parts are readily available and the labour times are not likely to exceed 1-2 hours in total.  

The biggest factor in how much a door actuator costs to replace is if you go with genuine BMW parts, or are happy to use aftermarket ones.  

Cost to replace a BMW door actuator: 

  • Genuine BMW part at BMW dealer: £325 
  • Genuine BMW part at independent garage: £250 
  • Aftermarket part at independent garage: £100 

One other factor is location, garages in and around London, expect to pay around 10-15% more for labour. 

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Why Won't My Car Door Unlock? 

It is likely if your car door won’t unlock using the remote key, or the lock button inside, that the door actuator has broken or seized. Check that the other doors still unlock and lock as they should.  

If more than one door stops working at the same time, it is unlikely both actuators have broken at the same time, after checking the fuses, consult an auto electrician to inspect the BCM or body control modules. 

What is a Door Actuator? 

Door actuators lock and unlock your car's doors. There will be one in each door, including the boot lid. They contain either a small electric motor and mechanism or an electro-magnetic solenoid. 

If you have ever had a car without central locking - where you need to manually unlock and lock every door - you’ll surely appreciate the advantage of having door actuators! 

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Door Actuator? 

Because the door actuator is inside the door itself, usually the only component that needs to be removed is the door card, the upholstered covering you see on the inside of the door. 

After removing the door card, the actuator is often held in with 3 or 4 bolts and connects to the door lock mechanism with a metal or plastic clip.  

Can I replace a BMW Door Actuator Myself? 

If you have a reasonable array of tools and are comfortable with removing and replacing components then there is a good chance that you could replace your door actuator at home.  

Whilst cars differ from model to model, the general procedure to change a door actuator is: 

  • Disconnect the battery - this is to prevent damage to the BCM 
  • Remove the door card - this will usually require removing a number of screws, and possibly prying some clips or trim away from the door 
  • Locate the door actuator and remove the power cable and linkage to the door lock 
  • Remove the actuator and replace it with the new component, reassemble everything 

Why Door Actuators Fail 

Because door actuators contain moving parts, there is always the possibility of things wearing out or seizing. Door actuators on older cars will have been activated thousands of times over the years and the grease lubricating them can become dry and ineffective.  

Once this happens, the motor works harder to actuate the door lock, eventually leading to it failing.  

How to Prolong the Life of Your Door Actuators 

If you notice your door locks sounding slower than then used to, creating a slow thud rather than a quick crack noise when locking or unlocking, it could be that the actuator or mechanism is lacking lubrication. 

To help prolong the actuators and make their job easier, remove the door card, and ensure all the mechanisms and links are free moving and not binding or scraping on the door frame. If possible apply some more grease to the lock mechanism and linkages. A PTFE-based spray lubricant would be best for the linkages, and a graphite lubricant for the lock itself. 

Repairs made easy 

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