Chrysler 300M: Can't open rear passenger door

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by MoPar Man, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Went to open the rear drivers-side door (2000 300M) and although I
    could pull the exterior handle up, the door wouldn't budge. I can't
    hear the power lock mechanism operate on that door regardless if I use
    it's own switch or the switch on the driver's door. The interior
    handle also can move through what seems a normal range but there is no
    corresponding latch release action. The push/pull door lock button
    does NOT operate normally and might be positioned somewhere between
    locked and un-locked (and does not respond to manual force). Door can
    not be opened from the inside either, regardless of the amount of
    force used.

    History: This door is opened and closed daily. Car is kept in heated
    garage when it's not being driven. It's not clear if this is a
    cold-weather related problem, but the car has since gone through
    several freeze-thaw cycles that should have eliminated any problems
    due to frozen water.

    Window remains operational. Door remains firmly closed. Seems the
    lock mechanism has jammed and only taking off the door panel (or the
    use of a slim-jim) is the only recorse. Is this worth fiddling with,
    or should I bring it to a dealer?

    Is there a circuit breaker or fuse protecting the power lock
    solenoids, or can I count on this one being burned out?
    MoPar Man, Jan 31, 2004
  2. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    Wow! Tough problem.

    All the door lock/unlock motors (except for the driver's door) are
    driven thru common lock and unlock relays. No individual fusing - one
    common circuit breaker drives all lock and unlock relays including
    driver's door. So if the other doors' locks are working electrically,
    that is not the problem.

    I think you're right - you're going to have to slim jim it (you can't
    remove the door panel to get to the latch from inside with the door
    closed), remove the panel, and then replace the latch.

    A long shot would be that somehow the child safety lock has
    inadvertently been engaged, but even then, it isn't working like it
    should if that's the case (maybe it's halfway between engaged and not
    engaged - this is a real long shot) because you're still supposed to be
    able to open it from the outside with it engaged. Just in case, as a
    last resort before going the slim jim route, I'd read the excerpt from
    the owners manual that I've included below and at least cycle the child
    safety lock to see if something maybe shakes loose - kind of like
    re-booting a Windows computer to correct problems 8^) (make sure you
    cross your fingers, and tap your shoes together like Dorothy in the
    Wizard of Oz while you cycle it).

    Also, you might try pulling the inside handle bezel out (one screw to
    remove behind the handle on the curve of the bezel) and see if you can
    apply some additional force to the locking rod and unjam it that way.
    But it sounds like something is mechanically jammed - maybe failed in
    mid-cycle of the electrical lock motor.

    Of course you can have the dealer take care of it. Take money or a
    credit card with you.

    Anyway - here's the info. on the child safety lock from the owners
    "To use the system, open each rear door and use a key to move the
    control near the door latch UP to the "Engage" position as shown on the
    door label. When the system on a door is engaged, that door can be
    opened only by using the outside door handle. This will occur even
    though the inside door lock is in the unlocked position.

    "NOTE: For emergency exit with the system engaged, move the lock plunger
    up (unlocked position), lower the window and open the door with the
    outside door handle."

    Good luck!

    Bill Putney
    (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with "x")
    Bill Putney, Jan 31, 2004
  3. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Ok, I realize it doesn't have it's own lock switch (thought the window
    switch was a door lock switch. When it's dark and 5F outside it's a
    little hard to pay attention to details).
    Update: Wife takes the car this AM, comes back and asks "when did you
    fix the door?". So now it's working. There's a bit of a difference
    in that the sound it makes when locking/unlocking is different
    (louder, maybe a metallic twang that never used to be there).
    Interior and exterior handles operate normally.
    I looked at that and it was in the correct position. I moved it back
    and forth and it wasn't binding or anything. Naturally, with the door
    in the "permanently-closed" position I wasn't able to see the safety
    Well, I'm glad the 300 has some self-correcting capability.
    MoPar Man, Jan 31, 2004
  4. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    I didn't know that either - guess I don't sit in the back of my own car
    that much.
    If I were you, I'd get a new latch. Next time it hangs up, it may not
    free itself up, and you'd be back with the same problem of figuring out
    how to get the door open. And if you've been reading this ng, you know
    that those latches do go into hard failure. $50-60.
    Oops - I wasn't thinking.
    Bill Putney
    (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with "x")
    Bill Putney, Jan 31, 2004
  5. MoPar Man

    mic canic Guest

    make sure the door panel is not catching the trim and not allowing it to
    esp. if that door has had any work done on it
    mic canic, Feb 2, 2004
  6. MoPar Man

    Bill Hodgson Guest

    Maybe not the same thing, but my 94 New Yorker had a problem with the rear
    door not opening. Thought the same thing about locks/latches but wasn't
    either. Son had discovered earlier that the weather strip would "roll up" at
    the rear upper side corner (around the window) and needed to "coax" the
    rubber back out WITHOUT damaging it. Not easy in the cold because the rubber
    gets very rigid, but by sliding a flat, blunt blade between door weather
    strip and body weather strip, it can be slowly worked back out.

    Sure does keep the door tightly "locked" though. Happened to me after some
    work done to recharge the air conditioner compressor. Noticed the "door
    open" warning on panel driving it home but no door actually open that I
    could see. Good thing I have kids that can look at the obvious and then tell
    me when I talk about my latest issue!
    - Bill
    Bill Hodgson, Feb 2, 2004
  7. MoPar Man

    Mike Behnke Guest

    Replace latch motor mechanism. ~$60-$80. Identical problem on my '00
    'Trepid. Intermittent operation and a change in sound when it operates.
    Plastic gears in the mechanism strip out either the teeth or shaft
    Mike Behnke, Feb 2, 2004
  8. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    After a couple of days of more-or-less normal function (a bit of a
    clang when lock is engaged) I practically jumped out of my skin
    yesterday when the lock engaged (as it normally does) after you drive
    for a few hundred feet.

    I swear somebody installed a mis-tuned late-60's, early 70's mopar
    horn in that door because it now gives an anemic-sounding buzz for 1/2
    second when the lock is engaged. Sounds normal when it's unlocked.

    Is this really a motor, and not a solenoid?

    This I _can't_ live with. Time to see the dealer.
    MoPar Man, Feb 3, 2004
  9. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    I'm not sure - they call it a motor in the Chrysler documentation, but
    the word "motor" is a pretty general term and could include solenoids.
    The normally operating locks sound like a solenoid action. Perhaps when
    they go into this failure mode, they oscillate and turn into a door
    buzzer (or horn as you describe it).
    The noise you are describing now is exactly what others have described
    before failure of the electric lock - do a google search on this ng and
    you'll find that to be the case (similar occasional reports on the 300M
    ezBoard, but ezBoard search engines are worthless, so it may be a waste
    of time to look there).

    Bill Putney
    (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with "x")
    Bill Putney, Feb 3, 2004
  10. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Called the dealer to make sure they had the part(s), and stopped by on
    way home from work (this is about 8 pm). Spent a few minutes looking
    at the cars in the show room (Sebring convtertible, Viper,
    Crossfire). Asked some sales guys when the new 300 would be in (he
    said they're being made right now, he expects to get some next
    month). Magnum availability somewhat uncertain. Walked across the
    street to have dinner. Came back (this is 9 pm) and car is ready.
    Old part is in the box (I asked for it).

    Was asked if I had extended waranty (nope). I asked how much that
    cost (when car was new) - he sez between $2k and $3k.

    Cost of part: $139.70 ($105 USD)
    Labor: $123 ($92 USD)

    This is part # 04574023-AE

    The latch and solenoid is one (compact) unit. 4-pin connector. 3
    separate clevices for connecting 3 control rods (1 for lock button, 1
    for door handle, and the other for ???). Next time I have a problem
    I'll take this old one apart and see what's going on inside.
    MoPar Man, Feb 5, 2004
  11. MoPar Man


    May 11, 2020
    Likes Received:
    I brought my wife a 2006 Chrysler 300c and the left rear door won't open inside or out ttried unlocking with power switch manually and with key fobs a y idea what i should do
    Bmoretazz, May 11, 2020
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