What is a Door Actuator?

Mounted within the door frame, the door actuatorsworks on a push or pull principle, depending on the method of operation of the latch. While the unit that is used to operate a door latch is commonly larger than the actuator that is used to lock and unlock a door, it is generally the same size as a trunk release actuator.

A door actuators can allow a vehicle owner to open a vehicle door through the use of a wireless remote control.

In some better equipped vehicles, an automatic door opener is a valuable option. This system uses a door actuator device to release the door latch system. Also common with this option is another device, known as a popper button, that pushes the door open slightly once the door actuator has been activated.

On some vehicles, the door open actuators will also activate the door locks, so a single press of a button will unlock and open the vehicle door. In other vehicles, the door lock operates independently of the door open function.

Many customers find it more economical to buy a new vehicle without a door actuator and then install it later.

This feature is also available as an add-on option for many vehicles and is also popular with custom car owners. Whether installed at a new car dealership, car customization shop, or as a factory option, the feature works the same way.

Activation of power by pressing a button on the vehicle or by a radio wave sent from a wireless remote control switch provides the actuator with the energy to move an actuators rod to open the door latch mechanism. A solid steel rod or chain / cable attached to the door latch on one end and the actuator on the other is pushed or pulled when the door actuator is energized, thus opening the door.

When deciding whether to add electric door openers to a new vehicle purchase, many customers find it more economical to purchase the vehicle without the option and install it at an aftermarket dealer. Car manufacturers often connect the vehicle with the correct wiring harness already installed inside the door.

This is to offset the additional cost of having individual wiring harnesses for all option levels. In some vehicles, the gate actuator itself is installed with the gate and all that is required to use the gate opener is the installation of an upgraded switch panel and an aftermarket wireless remote control.

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