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

Posted on 2011-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
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.


car-door-001.JPG
car-door-002.JPG
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Question by:nickg5
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15 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:dmeeren
dmeeren earned 400 total points
ID: 36977774
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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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 36980042
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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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36980112
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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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
Tiras25 earned 900 total points
ID: 36980172
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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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 700 total points
ID: 36984113
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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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 36988584
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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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36988626
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.
00000.jpg
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 36988768
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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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36988821
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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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36988823
Red circles on previous photo, did not take too good. You can see the red circles if you look close.
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36988921
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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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 36989009
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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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 36989051

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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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37028700
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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