2001 Mercury Sable station wagon - can't get R rear door open

  • My right rear door won’t open.

  • The interior door lock moves its linkage properly but when I move the linkage in and out it only moves about half an inch and I do not get the affirmative “clunk” that tells me the lock is engaging/disengaging.

  • The external handle appears to be properly linked to the latch, it just swings freely like the door is locked.

  • The internal handle moves its linkage OK but again, the latch acts if as locked.

  • I got a thin putty knife from inside the vehicle and have insured the child lock is in the “down” position.

  • I can’t figure out how to get this door open so I can repair it. My next step is going to be to cut through the interior plastic trim, cut into the body and torch the bolts off of the fixture the latch holds on to. Any suggestions?

If you can remove the interior panel - by cutting or finagling the panel off - you will likely find the problem.

I’d guess the rod that locks the latch has fallen off. Look for a rod dangling loose in the door. Reach in and flip the locking mechanism and the door may open. If it doesn’t, see if you can unbolt the latch or trip it open. If you torch it, you’ll likely need to replace the entire door.

You might try a body shop or locksmith that could use a slim jim to pop it open. You might get lucky enough to remove the inner panel without ruining it., then unlock the door.

What has probably happened is the plastic door rod clip has broken and now the rod is no longer attached to the door latch.

Part stores sell these clips in an assortment kit.


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