Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car door locks question

Why does it happen in some cars that if someone lifts the handle from the outside, just as the door is being unlocked, that particular door remains locked, making you lock it and unlock it in order to be able to open it?

Is it a safety reason? A design feature? Or is it just a consequence of the way those locks work?

It’s timing. The person is lifting the outside handle a split second before the door has unlocked, and therefor the door won’t open.

You have wait until AFTER the doors are unlocked. Trying to open one DURING the unlocking process is unlikely to succeed.

Yes, you are right but I think I expressed myself wrong.

What I wanted to describe is that is happens when you lift the handle, and keep it that way, BEFORE the door is unlocked.

We’re going in a circle.

All things being equal, nothing should happen except it just wouldn’t unlock. Let go of the handle, and then it should unlock normally.

It can, in the case of unsufficiently lubricated door mechanism, cause a sticking situation, where the door is technically neither locked, nor unlocked, but won’t open, either. Sometimes you can undo this temporary sticking by locking (with the manual locking mechanism, not the power one) and unlocking the door.

I read again…comprehension. Must be getitng old. It’s just the mechanics of the lock. Nothing more.

Good luck,

That’s exactly it, the sticking situation. And the fix is the locking and unlocking.

But the weird thing is that I’ve seen it happen with different cars, even new ones, so I didn’t think about a lubrication problem or malfunction. Is it even possible to damage the locking mechanism that way?

It’s possible to damage just about anything if you hit it hard enough. And that’s basically what you’re doing when the lock is interfered with during the unlock process.

I’ve seen it (sticking) on a few cars, but it’s not really all that common, I don’t think. Mostly the dealers will tell you to replace the lock (at a couple hundred or so), when all you really need is some silicone spray, or a removal and some proper grease.

I understand.

I’ve found that this action has a name, according to it’s called “prepulling”:

when opening a car door as soon as the driver unlocks it leaving you pulling very fast with the door still locked
click click**pull DAMN!.. the door is still locked… :frowning: i must have prepulled