Repairing the Vig's Door Lock Actuator
Almost everyone who has the factory alarm system in his Vigor has experienced the dreaded "alarm going off while inserting the key to unlock the car from either the drivers side or passenger side." Acura has recognized this problem with TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) 93-001Opening Front Door Sets Off Alarm. The TSB states that the problem is caused by oxidation of the door lock actuator switch contacts. The oxidation clocks the "door unlocked" signal to the security system control unit. The TSB covers the removal and replacement of the actuator switch, for the problem, at least in Acuras eyes, stemmed from the oxidation of the switch contacts.
This month, June 2002 Pet of the Month Juanbaldez, shows us another perspective on this problem. Aside from some minor editing, Juan wrote this article in its entirety. Thanks, Juan!
He writes, "Fed up with the alarm after a rather tumultuous time trying to get into the Vigor during a mini-cyclone, I decided that I would see if I could remedy the problem BUT I was not going to pay the $400 a door that the dealer was charging. In lieu of my findings and my success rate of roughly seven months, I believe that I have found a solution, temporary as it may be, that allows us members who zealously covet our Vigors still to retain the use of the factory system."
After examining the goods in his door, Juan found that the connector contacts were oxidizednot the switch contacts.
Juan continues, "As one can see (above photo), there are three pins from the actuator switch that fit into the main door lock electrical connector, and this is where the problem really lies. Somehow condensationor if your case is as bad as mine, wateractually gets past the grease inside the main connector and, with time, the grease loses its effectiveness to aid in conducting electrical signals, eventually leading to the corrosion of the three actuator connector pins. Hence every time we go to put the key in the door, the alarm goes off. After a rather heavy rainstorm, I have even found water inside the door. Such has lead to premature rusting along the door trim of the Vig. I do not know if the problem is with the alignment of the windows and somehow the water is seeping in through a crack or hole unknown to me. I have tried running water over the window to see if I could find the leak but my effort was not fruitful in discovering a means of entry for the water."
"In order to get to the connector, the door panel must come off first. If someone desires to fix the problem by actually removing the actuator itself, I did this for the passenger side but it is in my eyes not necessary. Email me though if you want to do such. I have had a plethora of prior experience removing door panels in the past yet in order to not foul anything up in the procedure, I turned to the homepage of our Japanese brother, Akyia. His diagram on removing the door panel served as a basis for me to engage in removing such."
Removing the Door Panel
Refer to the illustration at right.
First, "take a pick (or small flat tip screwdriver) and remove the little cover nestled behind the door latch. You should see two Philips head brass screws. Remove them."
"Now comes the fun part of removing the wood panel. I have found that using a small flathead screwdriver, insert it underneath the panel at the far back. Then "pop" it out, for as (the photo at right) shows, there are plastic curved tabs on the upper part of the trim as in the picture that you do not want to break, but the lower tabs have little clips on them that could be replaced.
"Work your way from the back of the panel to the front. There are three tabs in all.
"Once the trim is off you should have arrived at the junction shown in (the photo at right). Remove the wood trim by then undoing the electric door lock connector (light gray connector) and the door handle rod out of its little plastic purple holder by taking your thumb and "pushing" the little purple holder away from the door rod.
"Then, lift the rod out of the purple holder and the wood trim can be put aside."
Next, "one must roll the window down all the way. Then there is the one Philips head screw in the back, lower part of the door. Remove the door armrest handle next (one Philips head screw). Now remove the two locking inserts near the front of the panel (I use a 90 degree bent pick but a small flathead screwdriver should suffice).
"Boston Bob mentioned to me that he had seen the removal of the door panel with the wood trim still on. It is feasible, after I gave some thought to it, but my personal belief is that this is a safer and less cumbersome way of door panel removal.
"Now just pull the door panel off towards you and then up to remove it off the doorframe and window lip. " Follow the numbered arrows in the illustration.