Mechanics

DODGE CARAVAN DOOR PROBLEM

2002 Dodge Caravan • 157,000 miles

Pass. Side sliding door stuck "locked". Pulled the panel off and cannot even manually unlock the door. (A) tried using lock rod to unlock and (b) removed lock rod and still cannot get it unlocked. Is it possible the electric motor has failed in a way that would cause it to "jam up"? Looking in the door, there isn't much room to work with. What's the best way to remove the power lock assembly? If you depress the door handle (like you are opening the door) and pull up ALOT on the door lock, the door will release and open. It does, however, remain locked once you close the door.
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Raymondswinsick
December 20, 2012.




If the system is the same as on the late '90s models, look at the link going to the rear latch. Remove lots of bolts to pull the metal plate back, then the link is clipped into a spring-metal clip. You normally disconnect that link to do other repairs, then let everything center itself, then pop the link into the clip. That's the way it's adjusted. Since you found a way to open the door, that link did not pop out of the clip, but it could be slightly bent in which case it won't move the right amount to work the latch. I can't remember if that linkage pulls or pushes to open the latch, but play with that one from inside the door.

Caradiodoc
Dec 20, 2012.
Thanks. Not sure if it's the same or not. This has a motorized open/close system on that door. That still seems to function properly if you partially close the door. (Motor kicks in and pulls the door the rest of the way shut.) It will not OPEN the door, tho. Push any of the buttons to activate the system and it will not work. (The 2 in the van and either of the key fobs.) I will take a look at the latch mechanism. I didn't want to go tearing into it before I had an idea of what I was getting into.

Tiny
Raymondswinsick
Dec 20, 2012.
I never had to get involved with motorized doors. I left the dealership in '99.

Check if the power lock function works properly. There was a real common problem with the lock motors breaking. The plastic actuator rod would come out too far and jam, and that could prevent the latch from releasing from inside and outside. That entire metal plate had to be unbolted because the screws for the lock motor were on the back side. Once unbolted, you could swivel it to unhook it, then the lock could be manually unlocked and the latch would work fine.
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Caradiodoc
Dec 20, 2012.
Thanks. That makes complete sense. I will give it a shot and see if that's what it is and post back for future references.

Tiny
Raymondswinsick
Dec 21, 2012.

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