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2006 Buick Lucerne, can't open rear door

I’ve seen posts about this problem online, but no one has listed a good fix. There seem to be LOTS of '06 Lucernes with back doors that won’t open. It is not a child door lock issue as the customer has no kids needing such protection, and the door should open from the outside anyway.

I need to remove the inner door panel, but can’t figure out how to do that with the door closed. Once the door panel is off, I can probably see what’s going on inside, and maybe fix it.

Stop by the Buick dealer parts window and request an “exploded view” drawing of the door assembly. That’ll show you exactly where everything is.

Stop by the discount tool store on the way home and pick up a set of nylon autopmotive interior pry levers. They’re inexpensive, often less than $15, and they’ll make the job much easier AND protect the paint on the metal framework from scratches and damage. Here’s a link to show you what you’re looking for.

@TSM I’ve removed Lucerne door panels before. Getting the panel off if the door was open is not the issue. It’s getting it off with the door closed.

Yeah, but what choice does the OP have?

Remove the rear seat cushion.


Check the wires from the frame to the door for a break, check the fuses, Try a slim jim and or a bigger prybar, sure you’ll probably bust the clips, maybe need to pick up a new panel, but what other options there are I do not see.

I’ve already tried the seat cushion and back cushion. It didn’t gain much. The power lock appears to unlock properly. The customer may be willing to buy a used door panel. I can definitely get in there will a reciprocating saw. We’ll see tomorrow.

The right slim jim is the answer. . but knowing where to do that ? . .priceless.
I worked. .ok fiddled . . for an hour on a Nissan front passenger door with the same problem.
Finally caved in and called my body man .
Then I went back inside to my job station.
5…yes, FIVE minutes later Henry came in to me wiping his hands on the towel !
’‘anything else to do ?’’

In cases where the door panel is larger than the door opening I have been able to unlatch the door with a long screw driver and flash light through the glass opening.

Twice in one year a certain coworker neglected to connect the outer door handle and left the child lock on when replacing a rear door latch, then closed the door. With both door handles inoperative the only option is to move the lever on the door latch with a rod or long screw driver.

I would bet that for $50.00 your average REPO man could have that door open in a few minutes with no damage.

Those suggestions give me a good idea. I can easily remove the driver’s side rear door panel and see where to stick a slim jim or whatever. Then I can go to the other side and open it “right handed”.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

That seems like a good idea. Worse case, and there’s simply no other way, and from the knowledge of how it is configured from the other side, you might could cut a small opening in the problem door panel with a dremmel tool and cutting wheel, enough to give you access to pop the latch mechanism with a screwdriver. Then you’d have to repair or replace the door panel of course. But since you’d have the piece you cut out, I think given a little time you could make a pretty good repair.

Another website suggested I try having someone actuate the door lock/unlock button on the driver’s door repeatedly while I held the inside door handle in the open position. We had to try MANY times, but eventually it released. I locked and unlocked it several times. It seems to be working. It might need a new latch at some point, but at least the owner knows the quick fix if it happens again.

I also installed an ambient temperature sensor and a coolant temp sensor which another shop had recommended. Their total cost bid was $308, including three hours labor, in Dallas. The sensors cost me <$18 and took less than 45 minutes to install, including the wait for O’reilley’s to deliver them.

The owners just headed back to Texas with the car’s MPG readout showing 29.7 instead of the 19.2 it had shown when it came to me. Those bad sensors were causing an over-rich fuel air mixture and lots of dollars going out the exhaust pipe.

You might suggest the owner replace the worn latch now, the work around might not work the next time if it took several tries this time.

If you know how to Slim Jim the door…you will be inside in about 15seconds… At least that is my record. LOL


Bad guys (and repo men, who may be the same guy) who want to get into a locked car these days use a plastic wedge and a 1/4" diameter rod to touch the power door lock button. You can buy a kit at AutoZone. It includes a blow-up pillow with a pump that looks like one on a blood pressure cuff to make a space for the rod.

Well…I consider myself a Good Guy and I use a plastic wedge…an airbag…and a 6’6’ rubber coated steel rod. Havent met the vehicle that is immune to this yet…and I’ve met many.

That setup has paid for itself countless times over…and continues to do so


Where there’s a will, there’s a way! … lol … Good for you OP to get that stubborn door open.

I just had to install new rear Air shocks on a Lucerne…the rear end was basically dragging down the road and the dim bulb behind the wheel kept driving that way until one side of the rear hammered the already dead shock so badly that it collapsed upon itself and would not return back down.

Reminded me of the Citroen DS… you could remove the rear wheel of a DS with no jack only using its self leveling suspension. Well this was the same thing…but in a real bad way.

From what I understand…people arent exactly “thrilled” with the Lucerne… Not sure what your feelings about this vehicle are…but they do seem to have their share of known issues. Hope everything works out for you.