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Car Security and Convenience / Power Door Lock Types


Three Steps to Determine Door Lock Type
To determine what type of door lock switch you are working with, follow these three steps:

  1. Locate the harness plugged directly into the back of the door lock switch. If there are no external door lock switches, you will most likely have a vacuum type system or an *aftermarket door lock system with relays, or have an added actuator that needs relays.


  2. Next, with your multi meter, probe each of the wires in this harness and write down the readings during lock, unlock, and at rest positions of the switch. Be sure to measure for continuity to ground as well as positive DC voltage and pay close attention to any changes in voltage, resistance, and the duration of pulses. If the switch is illuminated when the lights are turned on, find this wire(s) first and ignore it.


  3. Now compare your readings to those listed below.

top of page Door Lock Types
Single Wire Systems
There may be one, two, or three wires in the harness not counting the illumination wire(s), if any, and only changes in voltage and /or resistance on one wire to lock and unlock. Some of these will open a circuit to lock and ground a wire to unlock. Others will show a difference in resistance to ground or positive 12V DC during lock or unlock or both. Vacuum type locks will change polarity on a single wire to lock and unlock. ( diagrams )

3 Wire Negative
There are three wires in the harness not counting the illumination wire(s), if any. One wire has continuity to ground at all times. Another wire only shows continuity to ground during lock and (+) 12V DC at rest. The last wire only shows continuity to ground during unlock and (+) 12V DC at rest. ( diagram )

3 Wire Positive
There are three wires in the harness not counting the illumination wire(s), if any. One wire has constant (+) 12V DC at all times. Another wire only shows (+) 12V DC during lock and ground at rest. The last wire only shows (+) 12V DC during unlock and ground at rest. ( diagram )

4 Wire Reversal
There are four wires in the harness not counting the illumination wire(s), if any. One wire has constant (+) 12V DC at all times. Another wire has continuity to ground at all times. A third wire reads nothing at rest, and (+) 12V DC during lock and continuity to ground during unlock. The fourth wire reads nothing at rest, and ground during lock and (+) 12V DC during unlock. ( diagram )

5 Wire Alternating (+) 12V DC
There are four, five, or six wires in the harness not counting the illumination wire(s), if any. One or two of the wires has constant (+) 12V DC at all times. One or two of the wires has continuity to ground at all times. Another wire reads continuity to ground at rest, and (+) 12V DC during lock. The last wire reads continuity to ground at rest, and (+) 12V DC during unlock. ( diagram )

Vacuum Type
There is no external switch (switch is contained in the drivers door lock actuator) or it has three wires not counting the illumination wire(s), if any. One wire always shows continuity to ground. Another always shows constant (+) 12V DC. The third wire changes, reading continuity to ground or (+) 12V DC depending on the position of the door locks. ( diagram )

Added Actuator(s)
The two wires of the actuator(s) will normally rest at ground, if wired as shown in this diagram, but may rest at (+) 12V DC. Polarity changes on one wire during lock and on the other wire during unlock.

*If you are dealing with an aftermarket door lock system, locate and measure each coil wire of the lock and unlock relays. Then connect to the wires that activate each relay accordingly. If the system has a relay module, it may also have two wires (pig tail) that will energize the coils of the internal relays. These will usually be negative inputs. Some will have both positive and negative inputs to work with any alarm or keyless entry without the need for additional relays. ( diagram )

Special
These applications will be similar to others, but will require additional connections, parts, or both. ( diagrams )


Door Lock/Switch Types:
Determining Switch Types
Door Lock Types

Door Locks:
Determining Switch Types
Multiple Wire Systems
    3 Wire Positive Door Locks
    4 Wire Reversal Door Locks
    5 Wire Alternating 12 Volts Positive Door Locks
    Actuators / Reverse Polarity
    Vacuum Type Door Locks
Add Auto Lock/Unlock
    Add Auto Lock without an Alarm or Keyless Entry System
    Add Auto Unlock without an Alarm or Keyless Entry System
Single Wire Systems
    Dodge Caravan Single Wire Lock/Unlock
    Ford Probe Single Wire Lock/Unlock
    Nissan 1991 - 1995 option 1 Single Wire Lock/Unlock
    Nissan 1991 - 1995 option 2 Single Wire Lock/Unlock
Special Systems
    Double Ground Pulse Relay Diagram
    Single Pulse to Lock and Unlock
    Nissan Maxima 1995 - 1997 Door Locks
    Toyota with Child Safety Door Lock System

  Car Security:
Basic Connections (inputs)
Basic Connections (outputs)
Car Alarm Modules
Car Alarm Sensors / Triggers
Door Locks
Light Flash / Illuminated Entry
Starter Interrupts
Accessories & Add-ons
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Relays:
Converting Polarity
Starter Interrupts
Door Locks
Illuminated Entry & Light Flash
Special Applications
   





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BasicsCar AudioCar SecurityCruise ControlsDiodesDoor LocksOhm's LawPassive CrossoversRelaysResistorsSubwoofer Enclosures Search
the12volt.com - Free Technical Information for Mobile Electronics Installers
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