I had the same problem with my 2002 Kia Rio and I know you can not get the door panel off while the door is in the shut position. What I did, after trying everything (this may sound like car abuse but) was kick the door open. One kick did it cleanly with no damages.
Once the door was open I took the panel off and found out the lock was jammed because of a broken spring which returns a little lever to an up position. However If this lever is not returned to the up position, ironically it locks the door lock in the lock position. This keep the actuator or even a manual lock from being able to be unlocked.
Thus I went to Home Depot and bought a pack of lots of random sized springs for about 3 to 4 bucks and used one of the springs to apply the necessary tension on the lever. Saving me hundreds of pennies. You can use a totally different type of spring and you can also attach it anywhere as long as its securely fastened and out of the way of moving parts i.E. The moving glass window and other moving parts.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 AT 3:47 AM