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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,

I’ve had a problem recently with my driver's door not opening from the inside or outside and wanted to share the story of what hurdles to overcome there were and how the problem was solved in the end - plus I wanted to share my pain! :LOL:

People had said online about the cost of calling auto smiths out to have a look at it. It seemed quite dear so I thought I would have a go myself first.

There is no buttons or knobs that can be lifted or pulled using the string method, it's all central locking.

I wound the window down and looked down from the top and there is no mechanism visible. So nothing to move using a thin strip of metal for example. I removed the door card to get to the mechanism behind, which is advised for multiple models on the forum and has been successful for others in the past.

You can't access the front end though as the driver door won't open and it's hard to do anything with the seat in the way, so I took the drivers seat out to make more room. There is 4 bolts to undo at each corner. Then you tip the seat up and pull apart the plastic plug on the wiring underneath. I then pulled the seat out through the rear drivers side door.

There is a small plastic plug that’s hard to get at, on the back end of the door, about halfway down which has a phillips head screw behind that you have to remove to free the door card. I used an old fork with all but one of the tines removed then bent at the end to furtle out the little plastic plug. I then used an old allen key ground down to a wedge to turn the phillips screw. All of this is very fiddly to do. There is also a couple more plastic covers on the door card near the handle which you pop open with something pointy and thin, so you can undo the phillips screws behind them.

I put the window down and levered the door card off at the top with a screw driver then prized it out along the bottom. I was able to bend it back about a foot to a foot and a half to see what was behind the door card.

Behind the door card was a metal panel bolted on. Unfortunately it turns out this metal panel is attached to the locking mechanism and is held in place by bolts that screw into the end of the door which you can't access to unscrew because the door won't open. So you can't remove this metal panel with the door shut! o_O

I removed the glass and got an angle grinder and cut a hole in the metal panel so that I could then see inside. It didn't matter because this would be covered with gaffer tape and then all covered with the door card afterwards so no one would know. To remove the glass you first remove the two large rubber circular patches on the door then wind the window down so that the nuts which secure the glass are level with the holes then untighten them so they are loose but not off. You then lift the glass out from the top. Be sure to have a safe flat place with a towel on to place your glass on.

I lay down on my side along the back of the car and a foot stool for my shoulder and shone a torch through the hole so I could see the mechanism. There was no mechanism to see. Everything is encased in plastic. I put my arm in and had a feel around. There is nothing to get hold of to move and release the lock. So the advice on the forums you may have seen for other models didn't work in this case unfortunately.

This was really demoralizing as I thought at this point I would have cracked it by getting behind the metal panel :(

I tried taking the trim off the central column between doors to see if there was any access holes in the frame but this was of no use, apart from a little hole where I was able to put a screw that I could use to tie my door shut with string, whilst I was using the car to travel to work. I contemplated cutting a hole in this central column but on inspection of the passenger side door lock it became apparent that this would not be of use anyway.

There was nothing else for it but to dissemble the passenger door on the other side, get to the locking mechanism to see how it works. You have to take the door card off like before. You have to undo the bolts on the ends of the door, some of which are concealed behind plastic plugs. You have to remove the glass and the outer door handle too. Eventually you can remove the metal panel then get the lock out of it.

It turns out there was a button on the side of the lock module that when the door is unlocked is at the top of a slot, and when the door is locked is at the bottom of the slot. I taped the button on the door frame down to fool the car into thinking the door was shut and had a play with locking and unlocking the car and fiddling with this button.

It seemed as though that if I could get to this button on the driver’s side and flip it up that this would then unlock the door and the problem would be solved. However, the button is behind yet more metal and there is cables and things and other bits of the mechanism there, so the angle grinder was out of the question.

I ordered a 40 mm hole cutter attachment off Ebay and made a hole in the metal as close as I could to this button as possible. I still had to furtle around with the bent-tined fork to try and slide the button up in the slot as there was very little space. I just couldn't apply enough force though. I managed to get a thin screw driver to it but it turned out that after all this effort the button would just not budge.

Bugger!!! I was really sure I had now cracked it but alas it was not to be at this stage :(

This left me thinking that the only way now is to cut a hole in the actual outside of the door and dismantle the lock from there. I'd looked on Ebay and there was a complete door I could buy to replace it with.

However, I thought I may as well ring up some locksmiths now and ask them if they would be able to get in to the car with out doing that. The first firm said they would have tried everything that I had done and agreed that I would have to replace the whole door.

The second firm I rang, this guy said he also didn't know to get in either but he said if anyone can get in then his coworker Steve could. He was off that day though so I had to wait a few days to get hold of him. When I finally did get hold of him he said that he had only come across this a few times but the only way was to smash the lock mechanism up with a long chisel or similar.

I had already removed the glass so I ground piece of reinforcing rod into a chisel edge at one end and got a lump hammer and smashed the lock mechanism up from the top. I didn't really know what I should avoid hitting though! :oops: Eventually something gave and the door opened :D:D:D

I ended up being able to get a second hand tested door lock mechanism off Ebay and I fitted that back in myself. In the act of smashing the old one out I'd damaged a bit of a white plastic bracket which held the lock mechanism but I was able to do a make shift repair with gaffer tape.

I had to dissemble the passenger door again though as I couldn't remember how it had all gone together :rolleyes::LOL:, so I looked at that door to guide me doing the drivers door (y)

So after all this palava the important information to take away is as follows:

If the drivers door will not open from the inside or outside then you have to smash the lock mechanism up from above with a long chisel or similar. Whilst doing this be careful not to damage any white coloured bit of plastic as that is the bracket part which holds the lock in place.

You will still need to remove the drivers seat so that you can then do the fiddly bit of getting the door card off, so that you can then remove the glass, so you don't break it whilst trying to smash the lock mechanism up.

You can then fit a second hand tested lock module and problem solved.

So in total it cost me less than £40 for the lock mechanism. I also paid £10 for the hole cutter attachment but you wouldn't need to buy that bit now as there may not be a point in getting to that button in that slot – or there wasn’t for me anyway, but I didn’t know that until I had tried it and found it wouldn't budge.

I have also heard of a spring in the lock mechanism breaking but I examined mine after getting the lock mechanism out and the springs were in tact.

I read on a forum that a dealership had charged £500 for fixing this problem so if you are handy at DIY then it's definitely worth having a go yourself :)(y)

Cheers
Tim
 

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This is unbelievable!

I hope I never have to face that much fiddly mechanical faffing around! Having to grind away parts of the car to be able to open a door says a lot about the mechanical awareness of the designers!

In the final analysis what was the cause of the jammed door opening mechanism?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This is unbelievable!

I hope I never have to face that much fiddly mechanical faffing around! Having to grind away parts of the car to be able to open a door says a lot about the mechanical awareness of the designers!

In the final analysis what was the cause of the jammed door opening mechanism?
I don't know the cause I just replaced the lock mechanism and that fixed the problem so something in that must have stopped working properly. I had to smash it up to get the door open so all I had to analyze afterwards was a pile of broken pieces. I noticed the springs were in tact though, so it wasn't down to those breaking like has been identified as a cause in the past.

The guy at the locksmiths said it was quite rare for this to happen so you'll probably never have to face doing this but you can now avoid all the parts I tried along the way, so you won't have to cut holes, etc and could go straight to the part that solved it. i.e. take door card off, remove glass, smash lock, open door, replace lock mechanism.

The fiddly bit is removing the plastic plug and phillips screw from the end of the door as there isn't much room to get at it. The rest of it was quite straight forward, so long as you avoid smashing the white plastic bracket when smashing the lock mechanism up.
 

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That certainly sounded like a fair amount of drama!

Bet you were bloody glad to see the back of that problem!

Well done!
 
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