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Door not opening from outside door handle after unlocking the car with the remote.


New member
Hi fellow Audi owners,

Now I've been having an issue that many seem to have encountered and so far I have been unable to find a solution online.

Car: 2008 B8 A4 Avant 2.0 TDI

Symptom: Door not opening from external handle when unlocking from remote, but operates after the door has been opened from internal handle. With no issues until the car has been locked then unlocked via the remote.
I also had intermittent locking issues when the car tried arming the door locks while driving, the car would not display the door armed light on the driver’s side door. The internal lock/unlock button would function but the doors wouldn’t lock.

I ended up fault finding it back to the actuator, and decided I would look at the actuator to see if I could diagnose/fix the issue.
Note: This is for the driver’s door of an B8 A4 Avant; I haven’t removed any of the passenger actuators (there should be subtle differences as the other doors have extra features eg: child lock.
So first of all remove the door trim so you have access to the necessary screws/clips etc.

Just a note before proceeding, I have an electrical background and have access to a test bench and numerous pieces of test equipment. If you do not feel confident, it maybe easier to just replace the entire module.

Remove you external door handle cable by twisting a quarter turn then pull towards yourself. Also remove the electrical connector by pulling the clip down shown in the photo.

Remove the one 1 x silver torx screw and 2 x black spline screws. This will release the door actuator (in my case my actuator fell down within the door). To remove I just slipped it in-between the power window rail and edge of the opening where your internal door handle cable came through, I just needed to spread the gap slightly and it fit through.

This should leave you with this

Remove the screw holding the grey cover on,

Remove the cover and this is what you should see

Now in order to remove the mechanical part of the actuator from the electrical side you need to remove this plastic bung, you also need to remove the 3 screws to assist you in getting this part out.

So you need to insert the needle nose pliers through the back of the locking mechanism and pinch the plastic stub so you can remove the green plastic piece shown in the picture, the white plastic piece should come off with a flat blade screw driver.

Once this is done you should be able to separate the mechanical side from the electrical side. You should end up with two pieces like this

Now unscrew all the small phillips head screws located on the electrical side, splitting the case open should reveal this

Now I removed the motors and you should find contacts linking the motors to the plug, check these for continuity. If its continuous check for continuity between the plug and the contact.

You should have continuity between 1 and 1, 2 and 2 as shown on the following photos.

This is where I was having issues, the contacts were continuous from the plug to the contacts but had slightly dislodged on the internal contacts to the motor. Simply cleaning the contacts and reseating the motor was enough to fix the issue.
These modules are surprisingly simple, hopefully this quick how to can help you fix yours.

If you have any questions regarding the module please ask and ill try and answer the best I can!

Thanks guys! I was surprised by how common the fault seems to be! My rear passenger door on the drivers side has decided to die as well. So when I get time I'll pull it apart and see if I can fix it, if it's any different ill post up the changes I find. Sure beats $260 to $280 for a new one!
I have the same issue with two of my doors (Right Rear and Left Front). How do i remove the door trims without damaging. Also, what tools do i need to get the job done. Any estimate on how long the whole things take?

BTW, I just called Audi Five Dock (NSW) and they quoted $400 just to look at the problem, let alone fixing it and any parts.
One of mine was intermittently working when I got the car. I'm pretty sure it was about $400 :0
This was happening intermittently on the front passenger door of my 2006 B6 Passat - car was still under extended warranty so I let VW do the work to get it right.... but awesome detail in this thread, well done !
Audi Centre Sydney just charged me $700 to replace my back right hand lock!
Thank you CharlieA4Avant

I just got a price for the drivers door actuator from Audi Brisbane - $474.

Fortunately mine responded to your treatment.

I had to do it twice but I suspect some of the mechanical bits weren't aligned correctly after my first attempt when I just cleaned and reset the motor contacts.

The second time I tested everything before and during reassembling to make sure it was working.
Great thread charlieA4avant. Thanks for taking the time post up.
I pulled the front passenger side actuator assy apart, re assembled and it worked about 5 times... pulled it apart again and then decided to pull the little dc motor (larger of the two) apart. The commutator was covered in carbon muck. Cleaned it with scotchbrite and contact cleaner and reassembled. Fixed. Very convinced this was the problem.
Then took about an hour to do the front drivers side. 👍

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