Power locks are an extremely useful tool that we often take for granted which allows us to lock and unlock all of our car doors simultaneously. Power locks have become so standard in many models of cars that many people just assume that all types of cars have them, but that isn’t the case. So, are power locks possible in a jeep?
When it comes to Jeeps, usually power locks are not installed, meaning that you’ll have to manually lock all of your doors. However, it is possible to install power locks for your jeep; you just have to make sure you do it properly to avoid damage.
Manufacturers are aware of how much people enjoy power locks, so there are dedicated kits out there that you can purchase in order to add that functionality to your car. Do keep in mind though that you’re going to need to actually learn how to install power locks if you don’t already, and we’ll explain that and other factors in the rest of this article.
You can put power locks in a Jeep, although some alterations must be made if the Jeep comes with manual locks. The most common model of Jeep is the Wrangler, and by default, it comes with manual locks meaning that every door is going to have to be locked individually by hand.
Due to the popularity of power locks and the Jeep Wrangler, there are kits available that are made specifically for the model, which we touched upon earlier.
Some people are still not entirely thrilled however because they would have to buy the kit, and either learn how to install it themselves or pay someone to do it for them. Especially nowadays, people just expect this feature to be inherently included.
Not every model of Jeep is going to lack this feature, but it’s fairly common especially among the older models. There’s no direct reason for why they’ve decided to omit that feature for certain models, but users still have the ability to add that functionality.
Technically you don’t have to use specific kits made for Jeeps; as long as your power lock kit meets the specific requirements, you should be able to use any set.
You should be able to easily tell if you have a Power Lock system for your doors; if you don’t, you would need to lock up all the doors by hand. If you have a Power Lock system for your Jeep, then you should see a button near the manual lock button on the door panel.
Here’s a video showing a power lock install on a 2020 Jeep Wrangler, with steps and guide below:
Now that you know that it is possible to install power locks for a jeep, we can now start discussing how to do that if you are interested. The process itself is not that complicated on paper, but it still takes a lot of work and attention. You have to make sure that you are careful and follow the instructions precisely because you really don’t want to make mistakes during this because you might severely damage something.
The overall process of installing power locks can be broken down into:
- Removing the doors from the car
- Removing the inner panels of the doors
- Wiring everything properly
- Placing the doors back on
It should be emphasized that you should really know and feel comfortable doing all of the steps throughout the entire installation. If you don’t, you can always use another resource for help, and sometimes it’s possible that you focus on certain steps and then you use another resource for the other steps of the process.
Also, keep in mind that we’re going to talk about the specific steps for a Jeep; the general steps are very similar for other cars as a whole, but if you’re planning to install power locks for a different make of car, you’re going to need to do more research to find out the specific steps for your situation.
Like we said earlier, you usually find a kit of parts that you can use to install power locks, and we should talk about what usually comes in those kits so that you’re familiar with them and know what they are used for. This should also act as a reference if your kit doesn’t have some of the parts we’re about to list, and it’ll also benefit the people that will purchase the parts individually.
The parts you’ll need are:
- Door Latches with Power Locks
- Keyless Entry Alarm & Door Lock Relay Module
- Door Actuator Wire Jumper
- Electrical Crimp Connectors
- Automotive Wire
Keep in mind that you’ll need four latches for each door, and the relay module is required to make sure that the actuators function properly. When it comes to the alarm, you can use any model that works for you.
The wire jumper is needed since the actuator is going to have power lock capabilities and different models use different types of wire jumpers. For a jeep, there’s a group of four wires that are used for the three non-driver doors, and there’s an eight-pin wire jumper for the driver door.
Those are the most important parts you need to pay attention to when you purchase them, and the remaining are up to your discretion. Basically, you can use any set of crimp connectors and automotive wires, but the wires should be 18 to 20 gauge.
Also, you’re going to be using one wire for lock and another one for unlocking, so it’s a good idea to have two separate colors for the wire.
In addition to the parts, you’re going to need a set of tools in order to use and install the parts properly. They’re more straightforward than the set of parts, and you should be able to find them in most tool shops.
The set of tools you’ll need are:
- Torx Bits (Sizes T15, T20, T30)
- 10mm Socket
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Wire Stripper
- Wire Cutters
- Auto Trim Removal Tool Kit
- Various Screwdrivers
The auto trim removal tool kit is technically optional, but it’s really recommended if you don’t want to damage the plastic on your jeep.
Below are the steps to installing a power lock on your Jeep.
A lot of these steps will have a specific guide that will be linked to so you can just refer to the specific steps. Keep in mind that this is the process for installing power locks on a Jeep Wrangler, and you’re going to need to find other guides for different makes and models.
For this step, the guide can be found here. One of the most important things to remember at this point is that you disconnect the battery cables for safety and the ability to properly remove the panel.
The guide for this step can be found here. This is the step where you’ll need the socket and trim removal kit tools listed above. You need the socket in order to loosen the bolts that hold the inner door plate and window.
However, a resulting problem happens where the window won’t stay because you’ve loosened the bolts. In order to keep the window up, you can use duct tape to hold it. You can also use the plastic from the removal kit to wedge the window with the rubber.
After you’ve successfully removed the door plate, you should have access to the latches. The guide can be found here. The only thing to highlight here is that you need to make sure that you remove the latch from the plastic or else the plastic will break.
The last three steps that were listed should all be done individually on each door, and the only significant difference to be aware of is the fact that the rear doors have handles on them.
All you have to do is just remove the handle, and this can be done by moving the seal of the rubber door and accessing the small hole with a Torx T20 screwdriver.
This step will be the most lengthy step that we discuss because this is where the actual power lock functionality will be added. In this step you’ll need the wire jumper for the specific car door you’re working on, and you’re going to repeat this step for all of the other doors.
This step is also the most technical, and if you feel like it’s too complicated for you to follow, you should consider getting help.
The most important thing to note is that the colors of the wires are not the important factor: it’s the ordering of the pins on the jumper. In this case, pins 1 and 2 are the pins that matter, and they’re for unlock and lock respectively.
For the remaining pins, you have to make sure that you keep the wires in the same order that they arrived in. You’re essentially using the jumper just for parts, and you’re actually going to need to remove the wires in the pins that are not needed and attach the connector to the jeep.
This step can become very convoluted for some people, so here’s a list of the specific steps you need to take to remove wires:
- Undo all the tape that holds the wires together on the new Wiring Jumper you received.
- Next, you will need to remove the connector from the wiring pins. To do this, you will need to slowly put a screwdriver where I have the RED ARROW and lift that plastic. It will reveal the Wiring PINS.
- Using your nail or small screwdriver you will push down on the pins and pull the Black and Violet/Orange out. Leave the Green ones in there.
- Cut the wires close to the OPPOSITE SIDE connector.
- So basically you should be left with the above Connector with the 2 green wires (about 6″ in length) and 2 empty slots from the wires you remove.
- Now you can go to your jeep Latch Wiring harness and plug the new wiring Jumper into your existing harness the same way. It should be pretty straightforward. Basically, the reason you’re doing it this way is to not have to under the wiring loom in front of the factory harness.
- Now you can wire in your new WIRE you bought to the LOCK and UNLOCK wires on the new jumper. Remember Pin 1 is Unlock and Pin 2 is Lock. So for example, I used a Green Wire for Unlock and White for Lock. That way I keep it consistent for all doors and when I plug it into the Alarm Relays it’s easier to remember.
- Now just zip tie or use electrical tape to run the wire along with the factory wiring harness and through the door wiring loom on the jeep.
When you do the driver door, you actually don’t need to replace the switch because the connector doesn’t need to be replaced like the other doors. So, you just need to get 2 extra wiring pins and put them in pins 5 and 6.
After you’ve done the steps for all doors and left enough wire slack, you can basically put the doors back the same way you removed them, but be extra careful to put them back properly.
Wiring the system can vary depending on which specific model you have, but you basically just have to connect the red wire to the battery, the black wire to ground, and the group of wires bundled together to the module.
This is the last significant step that you need to do, and afterward, you probably want to focus on wire clean up. Managing your wires will prevent them from getting caught or damaged, and it will also make them look nicer.
The fact that you can add power locks to a Jeep is amazing due to the popularity and convenience of power locks. If your Jeep doesn’t have power locks on by default, you should be glad to know that you have the ability to install them, and hopefully you are now knowledgeable enough to install these power locks on your own if you were considering doing that beforehand.