How to remove a closed door when the latch does not work

  • 2005 LEXUS ES 330
  • 3.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 301,000 MILES
The drivers side rear door and window operator have not functioned for some time. The door latch acted like the child safety kick was in play and the window switch made a click noise inside the door when the button was pushed. I removed the door and found that the linkage door child safety was disconnected from the door latch and repaired it. Was unable to test the window motor at that time. Once the door was reassembled, the door latch worked from both inside and outside (yay) but after about 3 uses I heard the linkage pop loose and now the latch doesn't work from in or outside the vehicle. I an sure I can repair the linkage if I could get the door panel off but the panel doesn't come off while door is closed.

I see the hinges from the open front door and expect I may be able to remove the entire door so that I can remove the panel and repair. Is this the right approach? Or is there a better way?

As a side note, only the passenger front window opens or closes from the driver's seat (only 1 of the 4 windows). This is new since the linkage break described above. There is a green light blinking on the driver's side rear window button (the button in the back seat) but haven't found off this is a code.

Lastly, what is the proper check to see of window motors need to be replaced? The cost of window operators for this 15 year old car are worth as much as the car. Any advice is appreciated.
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, July 27th, 2019 AT 6:43 PM

1 Reply

Welcome to 2CarPros.

This is a tough one. Even if you remove the hinges, the latch will not release, so you will have the door shut on one side and be barely able to move it from the hing side. Since most of the door panel is clipped into place, what I suggest is to remove the rear seat so you can gain access to it a bit better and remove the panel.

As far as the windows, the motors are very simple. There are two wire running to the motor. The directions of the motor is based on polarity. I attached pictures of the schematic to help you identify if there is power for the motor to work. If there is power and ground and it doesn't work, replace the motor. If there is no power, we will need to work backwards to find where power is lost.

If you look at the pics, note that the red wire should have power when the switch is in the down position and the green when it is in the up position. You can check it with a test light.

Let me know if that helps or if you have other questions.

Take care,
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Saturday, July 27th, 2019 AT 7:25 PM

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