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Door Lock Relay Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your door lock relay replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your door lock relay replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a door lock relay?

The exact cost for a door lock relay replacement depends on your vehicle and your location, but the average total replacement cost is $79, including $19 for parts and $59 for the mechanic’s labor. 
How long does it take to replace a door lock relay? Generally, a mechanic will take around 0.5 hours to replace a door lock relay. But the exact time can vary depending on the car. Before the replacement, the technician will inspect the electrical system to confirm the relay is faulty. 
Here’s a breakdown of door lock relay replacement costs for different vehicles:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 22, 2024
Acura ILX
$65
$23
$43
0.4 Hours
May 19, 2024
Geo Metro
$68
$8
$60
0.4 Hours
May 19, 2024
Nissan Frontier
$72
$10
$62
0.5 Hours
May 11, 2024
Lexus RX
$54
$8
$46
0.4 Hours
May 10, 2024
Cadillac XTS
$72
$23
$49
0.4 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my door lock relay replacement and how much do those parts cost?

You can consult your
owner’s manual
or vehicle repair guide to confirm the necessary parts, but here’s a list of what you may need: 
  • Door lock relay: Most of the time, a new relay is the only part you’ll need to complete a door lock relay replacement. It is an electromagnetic switch that triggers the door locks when you lock or unlock the car. A new relay generally costs between $30 and $50. 
  • Wiring harness: If the wiring harness attached to the relay is damaged, your mechanic may need to replace it. A new wiring harness may cost between $20 and $100. 
  • Electrical connectors: If the connectors that attach the relay to the wiring harness or the door lock system are damaged or corroded, your mechanic may need to replace them. The cost for these parts can range from $5 to $20. 
When it comes to automotive replacement parts, you typically have two options: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket. OEM parts are designed specifically for your vehicle and usually come with a warranty. Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are cheaper and may fit a variety of car makes and models. 
For your door lock relay replacement, an OEM part may be the best decision. The difference in price between an OEM and an aftermarket relay should be minimal, and an OEM part will offer reliability in the form of a manufacturer’s warranty.
If you choose to purchase an OEM relay, you’ll need to contact your local dealership or authorized parts retailer. For aftermarket parts, a local auto parts store—like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts—will be your best bet, but you can also try an online retailer like Amazon or RockAuto.

Door lock relay replacement near me

If you don’t already have a trusted mechanic, it can be difficult to find the right one. Luckily,
GarageGuard™
allows you to compare hourly rates and replacement costs from more than 2,500 U.S. auto repair shops. 
GarageGuard uses actual hourly rates from local shops to get you fair estimates for the services you need. It will help you determine how to budget for your repair and whether you’ll need to pay any diagnostic fees—and you’ll even see customer reviews so you can choose the best shop.
Below, you can view some of our partner shops—and don’t forget to download the app to find real-time repair quotes for your area.
115 Reviews
University Tire & Auto Service
address
2908 Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Door Lock Relay Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$183
(Parts - $33, Labor - $150)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$180
169 Reviews
JNM Auto
address
550 Wood St, Raleigh, NC
Door Lock Relay Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$133
(Parts - $33, Labor - $100)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$90
154 Reviews
RepairSmith - Dallas / Fort Worth

Door Lock Relay Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$153
(Parts - $33, Labor - $120)
177 Reviews
54th Street Auto Center
address
415 W 54th St, New York, NY
Door Lock Relay Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$194
(Parts - $33, Labor - $161)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$191
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my door lock relay?

If you take your car to a mechanic for a door lock relay replacement, this is the general process they’ll follow:
  • Preparation: Your mechanic will disconnect the car battery and may install a battery-saver device to prevent the loss of data like radio station presets. 
  • Locate and remove the door lock relay: Depending on your car, this step may be as simple as opening the engine bay or cabin fuse box and replacing the relay. If your relay is behind the stereo or airbag, the technician will have to spend a little more time removing dash panels and various parts to access and replace the relay. 
  • Reassembly: Your mechanic will replace the fuse box lid and any dash panels or interior components that they removed to access the relay and reconnect the car battery.

What happens if I don’t replace my door lock relay?

If you have a faulty door lock relay and choose not to replace it, you’ll likely experience the following problems:
  • Inoperable door locks: You may be unable to lock or unlock your car’s doors using the key fob, buttons, or even your key.
  • Security issues: If your door locks are inoperable, your vehicle will be less safe from theft and vandalism. 
  • Inconvenience: Inoperable door locks can make it difficult to enter or leave your car. This can be dangerous in the event of an emergency.

What is a door lock relay?

A door lock relay is an electromagnetic switch that controls your car’s power door locks. When you press the lock button, the vehicle’s central locking system sends a signal to the relay. As the relay receives this signal, it activates its electromagnet, mechanically moving the door lock to the locked or unlocked position.

When should I replace the door lock relay on my car?

The two most common signs of a faulty door lock relay are:
  • The door locks function intermittently: One of the first signs of a bad door lock relay is locks that only work intermittently. If your door locks work one second and not the next, or it takes several tries to lock or unlock the doors, you may need a relay replacement. 
  • The door locks stop working altogether: Power door locks that completely stop working are often a sign of relay failure. When the relay fails, it cuts power to the entire lock system. If your car has door lock cylinders, you can still access the vehicle with your key. But if your car has keyless entry, you may find yourself unable to enter the car. 
Keep in mind: These issues may not always indicate door lock relay failure. Other electrical issues can cause similar symptoms so it’s always a smart move to visit a professional mechanic for an accurate diagnosis. 

How often should I replace my door lock relay?

There is no set replacement schedule for a car door lock relay. The relays are designed to last for many years, and yours may even last for the vehicle’s life. 
But over time, relays can wear out and will need to be replaced. You’ll know it’s time to replace yours if your power door locks work intermittently or stop working completely. 

Can I replace my door lock relay myself?

Generally, you don’t need years of experience working on cars to replace a door lock relay—and most DIYers can replace a relay easily and quickly.
That said, depending on your vehicle, it may be best to leave a door lock relay replacement to a professional mechanic. This is because door lock relays are typically located in one of four places: in the engine bay fuse box, in the driver-side cabin fuse box, behind the stereo, or behind the passenger-side airbag. 
If your door lock relay is located behind the stereo or airbag, it will be significantly more complicated to replace. If you’re not an experienced home mechanic, you should let a professional handle the replacement. 

FAQs

Door lock relays and power door lock actuators are similar but distinct vehicle components. 
The relay is a switch that controls the overall operation of the door lock system. It receives a signal from the central locking system control module when you press the lock or unlock button. 
The door lock actuator, on the other hand, is the mechanical component responsible for opening or closing the door lock. It’s usually a small electric motor or solenoid attached to the lock linkage or latch assembly. The actuator receives a signal from the relay and then triggers the lock.
It is not necessary to replace the door lock actuator when replacing the relay, but if the actuator is faulty or malfunctioning, you may need to replace it separately.
Generally, it takes less than 30 minutes to replace an automotive relay. The exception to that rule is when the relay is located behind the stereo or airbag—in this case, it may take up to an hour to disassemble and reassemble the dashboard components.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.