2003 Toytoa Sienna - Rear Door

We cannot get the rear door to open. It will not unlock with the remote or the key.

Any suggestions.


Rear door on a van…

Which one? One of the sliding doors or the hatch?

If you can’t remove the inner panel, you’ll need a locksmith the remove the key cylinder and open it for you.

Once open, remove the panel and inspect the locking mechanism.

Hatch door. Is it difficult to remove the inner panel? If not, once the panel is removed, what do we do next?


The panel will be difficult to remove with the hatch closed.

There are a number of plastic clips that hold the panel in place usually placed 6" apart. They’ll likely break so have spares handy. You’ll need a slim flat tool to pry the panel away from the clips.

Like most, once the the panel is free from the screws and clips the panel should lift out. (Up, toward the top of the door)

There should be a plastic moisture barrier you remove carefully (so as not to tear it) as you need to replace it later.

Once that’s out of the way you can see how the locking mechanism works. There may be a broken linkage or possibly something bent out-of-line. Look for broken/missing plastic pins where the linkage connects.

There MAY be a broken power wire at the top of the hatch (inside the rubber accordion) as the result of opening and closing over the years. The wires’ insulation tends to become hard and brittle before it breaks.
**The hatch needs to be open to access the covered wires.

To eliminate this possibility you need a multi-meter or continuity tester (light) to check the wire between the hatch lock release switch and the hatch lock actuator (inside the door). OR, with the tester touching the actuator electrical connection activate the keyfob power door unlock feature.

I doubt there’s anything wrong with the key cylinder itself, unless it is used constantly.

If, during the winter, the latch was frozen and the mechanism forced, there may be where the fault lies. You likely don’t live in the frozen north like I do.