car door won't close, right rear won't open.

1997 Mitsubishi Galant with power door locks.
Months ago, for reasons still not known, the right rear door would no longer open. The power door lock unlocks the lever that a passenger would press, to lock-unlock the door, but it still won't open. This car does have a child safety lock. You can flip the switch to lock and the door can not be opened from the inside, by a small child, etc.
I guessed that it had gotten switched to "lock" and that is why it won't open. It should be able to be opened from the outside. I can pull back, the back of the seat but can not quite get, to the small white switch, to see if it is set on "lock."

Ok, no big deal, I do not really need the right rear door.
Today, I go out and unlock the left front door, and use the power button to unlock all 4 doors, so I can remove a box from the rear seat. I then try to shut the left rear door and it won't close. If I try to slam it shut it hits the body and bounces off. The mechanism that grabs the metal latch mounted onto the frame, on the inside of the door frame, seems fine. It turns properly just like the left front door does.

I have used bungies cords to keep the door closed, as rain is on the way.

If I suppose I had no power door locks, the door still should be able to open and close.

It was fine before today, though I have not opened the left rear door in a couple weeks. There is nothing blocking the door to prevent it from closing.

I used a screw driver to press the round plastic piece that turns when it rotates on the latch, to keep the door closed. It seems fine. I can see a spring in there.

Any ideas on both doors?
Thanks.


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LVL 25
nickg5Asked:
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Tiras25Commented:
Okay got it.  You going to have to take the doorpanels off inside, sounds like the door latch rods, lock rods, or springs have fallen off.. its 14 yrs old so.  The locking mechanisms on those cars break a lot.

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dmeerenCommented:
Clean your car man! Second, found this:
http://www.mitsubishisucks.com/cars/complaints/usa/models/galant/1997.html

I would fiddle around with 12v directly on the locks, to see how they respond! Goof luck!
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Tiras25Commented:
So the right rear wont open from the outside?  And the left rear, the latch part in the door is open, not closed?

Sound like this car was tapped in the rear and the body is tweaked.
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nickg5Author Commented:
I guess do not consider the right rear door, it has been like that for over a year.

The new problem and the door I need, is the left rear.
It won't close at all.

The car has not been in an accident.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Remove the faulty locking mechanisms to check if they just need cleaning & lube (also mabey the springs have disconnected / broken)
They may need replacing (get replcements at a "bone yard")

Hpe ths hlps.
 
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Michael-BestCommented:
You said:
"The mechanism that grabs the metal latch mounted onto the frame, on the inside of the door frame, seems fine. It turns properly just like the left front door does"

Is its mounting screws loose?
It may just need repositioning / adjustment.
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nickg5Author Commented:
Look at this photo, the area inside the red circle. That piece is round and turns when the door meets the latch that is mounted on the car frame.

None of the bolts are loose.

I've turned that piece that is seen inside the red circle, with a screw driver and it seems fine. I guess next will be to remove the door panel.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Are your doors aligning properly?
Worn or stretched hinges?
It is easily fixed if I was there to inspect it first hand.

Read this to give you some hints:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081121192253AAaVx5Y
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nickg5Author Commented:
Everything lines up fine.
Here is the latch and the locking mechanism.

I have a feeling it is related to the power locks, but not sure.
doooor-001555.jpg
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nickg5Author Commented:
Red circles on previous photo, did not take too good. You can see the red circles if you look close.
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nickg5Author Commented:
From the Yahoo link above, their door will lock if slammed.
Mine won't close at all.

And it was not an intermittant event.
It closed fine, the last time it was opened, before the problem was discovered the other day.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Yes, but doors that are out of align (or have latch problems) can produce various results.

Can the door lock with firm hard pressure? & not slamming?

You need to check the latch for correct operation & the door to latch alignment.

The links I gave will give some ideas to look at.
Pictures are not much help with alignment / latch problems.

"It closed fine, the last time it was opened, before the problem was discovered the other day"

I would then suspect the latch is in need of lube ( or service / replacement )    

 
   

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nickg5Author Commented:

I'll check all that out.

Can the door lock with firm hard pressure?
.........no.........I have bungies cords holding it closed due to the "door open" light that would run the battery down.

I have had "mis-alignment" of doors before, and I see none of that on this one.
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nickg5Author Commented:
closing this thread, it may be months before I can remove the door panel and see what is going on with this left rear door.
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