93 Freezing of door latches

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Old 28 Dec 2004, 11:35 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default 93 Freezing of door latches

In the Boston area recently, on one of the first cold days after a freeze, I
couldn't open either the driver's or passenger's door. This is not a frozen
lock problem.

Back a step here. From some point in the summer at least the driver's door
held water inside so that when I opened it, my shoes got soaked by
rainwater. Could there be a plugged drain somewhere and if so where is it
and how do I clear it.

Now back to the current problem. Turning the key in the lock would produce a
dull un-locking sound - not the usual sharp unlocking clunk. At one point by
working at it, I got the door open but when I pushed it closed it bounced
back on me. The latch was not catching.

This seemed to be affecting the passenger door but I think this is somehow
linked to the mechanism in the drivers door because when I was able to look
across to the drivers door I could see that the lock was not fully locked or

When I eventually got into the passenger door I worked the drivers lock
manually and it was sort of loosely hung up between locked and unlocked.
Even when I held the lever to the unlock position by hand I couldn't push
the drivers door open from inside.

I had already used a hairdryer around the molding on the outside thinking
that was the problem, so after I made the observations above I continued
using the heat down through the open window. Eventually the door started
working but I think it was just a coincidence because later on and also days
later it started happening again.

I put a little lithium grease on the latch but only a very little because I
didn't want to spread it around and eventually get it on my clothes. Maybe I
need to use more? Something tells me that I'm going to have to get inside of
the door to lubricate something there.

Any ideas appreciated. If I'm going to have to take the inside panel of the
door apart or enough to reach in, how would I do it. Also where are any
drains that might be in the bottom of the door.

Please help because right now the car is not drivable as I can't always get
into it even if I leave it unlocked.



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