Converting a Power Sliding Door to a Manual

dodge
caravan

#1

I have a 2005 Dodge Caravan and the rear power sliding on the passenger side is starting to fail. Everything I’ve researched points to a break in the electrical wire, but the symptoms point to an issue with the motor. It will open and close all the way, then sometimes it will not disengage the latch even though the motor is whirring away. Rather than deal with the cost and time to diagnose and replace, I would rather just make it a manual operating door. There seems to be two mechanical processes, one that slides the door, and one that engages the latch once it is closed. Does anyone know how I can disengage the sliding portion and still get it to latch? You can open/close it manually now but it takes an effort as you have to fight the gears (the other side is pure manual and glides effortlessly). I drive Uber so it gets used a lot, and it’s bad when someone is getting in and I cannot open or close it, so best to just let them do it without needing bodybuilder arms. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it’s hard to do. Thanks.


#2

I would suspect that your riders would give you a low rating if the door does not work as it should. Also doesn’t Uber require your vehicle to be in a certain state of condition. Just have the door fixed.


#3

Try removing the ‘IOD’ fuse for a few minutes, then re-install it.
Under the hood in the fuse box near the battery, the fuse is nearer to the front of the car if I remember correctly.


#4

That is my concern, but I will say even in the current condition, my rating is still 4.80 out of 5. Uber required my vehicle be a 2005 or newer model at time of signup. If it is not up to condition, that would show in a ratings drop. If my rating goes too low I get bumped, so that is the mechanism for ensuring a proper condition vehicle. My experience is if I don’t get the door going before the rider gets too close they go to open themselves anyway. Often they express surprise that it is automatic. So that tells me if it is a manual, it would not be an issue towards ratings. A similar experience with a previous vehicle (2004 Sienna) indicated it could be a somewhat pricey fix. As I have enough pressing maintenance to do, I’d rather look for an alternative. If I can fix it at a later time then fine, for now it has to wait, so I’d like to convert it to an easy sliding manual if possible.


#5

Since you’re using this vehicle to generate revenue, I can’t in good conscience recommend a hack repair like the one you’re considering. Take some of the money you’ve made and get it fixed. You’re running a business, so repairing things when they break is a business expense. Letting things go is not an approach I can recommend for a business, and if you aren’t generating enough revenue to keep the vehicle in good working order, it’s time to get out of this particular business.


#6

@AlReset Read Whitey’s post and let it sink in because he is absolutely correct.

If you show up with a hack repair on the door I would wonder what else you have failed to keep in proper condition.


#7

Okay, I found something. The lower section of the door where the gear mechanism is has an cog held in place by a snap ring. Remove the snap ring and cog and the motor no longer engages the mechanism. This is for other people who may want to look into this problem.

Volvo, I do not consider this a hack repair. It is a simple fix that I may either leave or some day repair back to an automatic state, should I have the vehicle long enough and still use it to drive for Uber. Do you not think that people would wonder about proper condition if they walk up and the door fails to open, or it does and now they have to muscle it closed themselves? When it comes to maintenance, riders have commented on how well my vehicle condition is. And I tell them that, even at 162,000 miles, I do what is needed (tie rods this Friday). But to be frank, you have responded to a few of my threads, and they have never been helpful, and sometimes borderline insulting. Not to worry, it doesn’t bother me. For your own edification, I am not an idiot. I have replaced the muffler, fuel pump, water pump, radiator, serpentine belt and pulley, EGR valve, brake pads and rotors, not to mention work on other vehicles as well as the basic stuff (oil change, wiper blades, etc.). I come to this site because, in my estimation, it is a place for advice, for those of us who are not trained mechanics but still perfectly capable of turning a wrench. I seek the wisdom of those who are familiar with an issue at hand, not (paraphrasing from one of your previous comments to another one of my threads) “take it to someone who knows what he’s doing”. I will note from looking over your profile a vast majority of your responses are demeaning, so you’re not just picking on me. I’m not going to respond to any of your replies anymore, as trying to congenially explain my situation (see above) does not change your approach. I will end by saying this is a forum for support. Why not be helpful, and provide gainful insight to someone who needs to repair something themselves? I wish you happiness and safe drives.


#8

Well, I do and I am not the only one.


#9

I have to agree with @VOLVO_V70 about this being a hack repair. I have a Toyota Sienna that has the power sliding doors. This is the first minivan of the four that I have owned with this feature. I frequently have older passengers or passengers carrying musical instruments and this feature is very handy. I can make certain the doors are closed from the driver’s seat. I can open the doors remotely allowing my passengers to get in while I am loading in the larger instruments. I am not a Uber driver, but if I was, I would want the power sliding doors. It might even mean a bigger tip.


#10

Triedaq, well I just did it, and happy to say the door operates normally, the same as the other side. I will be driving tonight, so it is important I am not battling a defiant power door. When I see a rider approaching with large items, I am sure to jump out and open the hatch for them, a common occurrence for airport runs. My Uber schedule is mostly the Friday and Saturday night crowd, which is more pleased that they can plug their phones into my sound system and crank tunes than they are the door opens by itself. If and when I can afford both time and cost, I will consider replacing the motor (or whatever is causing the problem). Until then, this is a better option than a sticking/not working/freakish strength required door. By the way, riders who tip are very rare, and usually no more than a couple dollars.

I also offer curbside umbrella service when it’s raining.


#11

The sliding door was designed to be operated manually or automatic however the clutch in the motor begins to drag after a few years making it impossible for some people to open or close the door. I have disconnected the drive cable for people who chose not to replace one of the expensive power door parts inside the door, you can’t expect people to climb through the window, it doesn’t open.

Take a close look at the track wiring below the door, breaks in the wiring are a common problem. Replacement track wiring is not too expensive.


#12

They allow a 12 year old car to be used for customer transport? I rarely use a taxi service but still appreciate late model vehicles and annual or more often inspections. Learn the difference between gross proceeds and net. Net is what is left after expenses are deducted like for repairs. Lots of people look at gross and forget about the need to replace a 12 year old car used for business.


#13

“Lots of people look at gross and forget about the need to replace a 12 year old car used for business.”

My impression is that is why Uber and it’s ilk are so popular. Drivers don’t make the proper calculations of their costs. (Could be wrong)

b


#14

Since you’re using the vehicle commercially to transport paying customers, I have to agree with those that say it should be fixed properly. Should something happen and someone get hurt, even if that “something” is the door sliding closed on an elderly person’s foot and causing injury while they’re boarding while stopped on an incline, your liability could be substantial.

Me, I’m a disabled senior citizen, and if I called for an Uber ride and someone showed up with a manual sliding door that should be automatic, and I had to slide its weight closed with the vehicle on an incline, I would not be happy. There would be a formal complaint.

Once you start using a vehicle to professionally transport others, your responsibility changes.


#15

Yep, when you don’t reserve enough of your business’s income to cover repairs, it means the income is being misappropriated and paid out as profit in place of upkeep. In the business world, that’s blatant mismanagement.

I have a friend who drove for uber, but he ran his business like a business (tracking every cost and putting revenue aside for repairs), and he realized he wasn’t making enough for it to be worth the risk and expense. Many uber drivers think they’re wringing money from their vehicles, but that’s because they’re ignoring the per-mile costs from wear and tear.


#16

Power doors are an option, how will you know if the van you are in is equipped with power doors?


#17

Are you suggesting that the OP should not bother to be concerned about it?
Injury lawyers’ legal assistants would find out by noon of the first day! And not even break a sweat!


#18

Why would someone become injured? The door is designed to operate manually, no different than the same van without power doors.


#19

If you insist. No sense arguing about it.


#20

If I read the original post correctly the van in question has doors on both sides. The OP stated the passenger side was not working properly. If that is correct then the door should be fixed as soon as possible because the van is a business location.