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Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen: Damaged door lock

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Dear Tom,
I own a 2005 Ford Ranger pickup truck and the electric door lock on the passenger side door doesn’t open fully when using the remote transmitter. It works fine with the key. Any ideas?
Dave from Rochester, N.Y.

The door lock actuator is not pushing the linkage rod up far enough to unlock the door. This could be due to a bad power or ground connection to the actuator or the actuator is just simply worn out, in which case you will need to replace it. The actuator is built into the door latch on that truck. Sometimes rust/corrosion sets up inside the latch, affecting actuator operation. Try soaking down the door latch on the passenger’s side with PB Blaster penetrating oil before disassembling the door; this might fix it. If the actuator is still inoperative after applying the lube, then scan the BCM (Body Control Module) for codes that indicate the door latch on that side is faulty. If such a code shows up, then disassemble the door and check for a loose power or ground connection. If all is tight, then the latch is probably bad. Good luck.

Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 37 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) and MPG (Motor Press Guild), Torbjornsen is the Repair and Maintenance Editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. Please send your car questions to his website at