2005 Chrysler Town and Country Power locks for rear sliding

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 82,000 MILES
Sliding doors will not lock/unlock with remote keys or power locks.
It sounds like the mechanism behind the door panel is trying to do what it needs to do, as both sliders make the typical sound you would expect to hear when trying to lock or unlock with the remote keys or power locks, but the manual plunger at the top of the sliders moves only slightly. I am wondering if it is as simple as taking the door panels off and maybe lubricating an actual mechanism that may be sticking?
Sliders work fine with the remote keys or power locks after they are unlocked manually with the plunger.
I have already tried the IOD replacement fuse trick with no results.
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 12:07 PM

1 Reply

Thank you for providing lots of nice details. Since there is a little wiggle from the manual knobs, that would imply the linkages are connected.

Starting with the redesigned '96 models, there were a real lot of problems with the electric lock actuators. Rather than the old, heavy, clunky solenoid plungers, your lock mechanism is a very lightweight motor and geartrain package. If the assemblies make a buzzing noise, suspect the motor's armature has broken free of the shaft and is spinning without turning the geartrain. I've tried to glue them in the past with less than satisfactory results. The fix is to replace the assembly. The front locks are now built into the latch assemblies which makes repairing them a lot more expensive. I don't know if they did that on the sliding doors yet.

Another problem with the older lock assemblies is the plastic stop for the actuator arm. It is the first thing to limit movement of the worm gear and slide, so after repeatly striking it, the plastic strip breaks and the slide can move too far until it gets cocked and binds. At that point you can not unlock the door in any way, key, manual knob, handle, nothing short of pulling the interior panel off.

Another problem is for the sake of speed of assembly on the assembly line, the linkages no longer snap into a hole with a swiveling plastic retainer clip. Those worked fine for decades. Now they use spring-metal clips, and the end of the link looks like a threaded wood screw. That threaded section just snaps into the spring-metal clip, then magic holds it in place. When the magic wears out, or from repeatedly slamming the door, one of the links will fall out of the clip. Symptoms will vary, but usually you won't be able to open the door from inside or outside. When I repaired those, I added a dab of RTV gasket sealer to reduce the chance of a repeat failure.

I don't know how much of this applies to a 2005 model, but with all manufacturers constantly squeezing their parts suppliers to cut costs, I find it hard to believe improvements have been made that increase reliability. Regardless of the cause, the interior trim panel will have to be removed. If all linkages appear to be connected, suspect the motor / actuator.

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 1:00 PM

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