When you use WD 40, and you shouldn't, Put a small amount of lubricant on all linkage
and make sure to wipe off ALL excess. Any other door but the drivers i'd believe because
that door is always used more than the other. You will not wipe away all the oil that you put on but it will help to slow down the dust and dirt that will collect and jam up things
real good. Also look for worn and binding parts.
I would put my money on the actuator. Wait too long and sooner or later it may lock and get jammed in the lock position, then it will really be a PITA and not a likely DIY for most people. If you use WD40 or penetrating oil, and it works, follow up with a quality lube.
U may not have to pull panel , if on the hinge side of door if there is a some what flat bar that goes threw the door with a rubber boot around it, slide back to have access to inside door squirt a really good penetrating spray threwthe opening( P-B blast or equil spray) up in there while operating switch. Work on many of the Fords I've done, ford no's all about it. I've done quite a few f-150 /f-350 p/ up trucks,if it gets any water past the seal on window or live near salt water or pressure wash it alot that when I see alot of that, does not mean switch, relay still could b going bad. Good luck.
I recently replaced two of the lock actuators on my wife's 2000 Taurus POS because it had the exact same problem. Spraying lubricant won't do any good unless it's the linkage that is binding up, which is unlikely. They cost between $40-$60 at the auto part stores. I bought two from a junkyard for $4.00 each and they work just fine.
Ric, when I had my 2001 Taurus it did the same thing. I would lock it with the door lock button and it would work. I'd lock it with the key fob and it wouldn't work half the time. Lock actuator on it's way out. The correct way to do it on the front doors is remove the latch and then remove the actuator by lifting the tab and sliding it off. The last time I did one however I left the latch in, and using a cotter pin puller pick and lifted the tab an slid the actuator off. Getting the new one on was a challenge, especially when it's getting dark out with no flashlight!!! You just have to line up the actuator on the latch and snap it on. Definetely don't waste your time with used actuators. Get a new one.
The rear latches are much easier to get out to swap the actuators, you don't have to disconnect all of the cables to the latch either. They are flexible enough to swing the latch out.
Master ASE Certified L1 Chrysler Technician- still a Ford fan at heart.
1964 Thunderbird Hardtop- Chantily Beige- 390 FE 4V V8-Uncle's Car
1966 Thunderbird Convertible- Red- 390 FE 4V V8- Uncle's other car- waiting for paint and body work!!!
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