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Door lock stuck. 2000 Toyota Corolla

Having an issue with my 2000 Toyota Corolla passenger side door.

I am unable to get the door lock to go up. I popped the handle area open to make sure it was nothing in that area. That was fine.

When I try to unlock with the key from the outside, the lock looks like it wants to come up but it pulls back down when the key reaches a certain point.

What would be my next plan of attack.

And on a side note, I have had more problems with this car’s doors during Chicago winters than any other car I have ever owned. In cold weather they are constantly not latching closed. I always wind up having to defrost the car somewhere for a couple hours to unfreeze the locking mechanism. My mechanic has supposedly sprayed the areas affected on several occasions but it keeps happening. Any suggestions on a more aggressive treatment to stop my door freezing issues? Car is in relatively good shape so I don’t think I have any leaks where water would be getting in there on a constant basis.

Thanks for any help on either point. It is greatly appreciated.

To free up the sticking lock the interior door panel will have to come off to inspect the mechanism.

As for the latches maybe someone needs to do a bit more than your mechanic in terms of cleaning and lubing. His heart probably isn’t really in it since its not easy to make money this way. You can also get a can of silicone spray and shoot them with it regularly during the winter (instead of the once in a while by the mechanic).

I had a Plymouth Horizon that was was doing the same thing and I punched a hole in the door on the latch side above the actual latch and sprayed the inside of the door with WD40 periodically.To be clear it is on the side of the door not the outside.

Thanks Cig. Dumb question though… If I can’t get the door to open/unlock whatsoever, how am I getting the door panel off? Does this mean something is going to have to be broken/mangled in order to pop the latch?

Do slim Jims still work on these newer cars? Try that route to get it unlocked, or stop by a towing company and let them give it a try.

Use a few rubber wedges at the base of the window to open up the gap and use a flashlight and look and see if you can see what’s binding up the lock. It could be a bent rod or its binding on something.

Once you get the you might be able to use a slim jim to unlock it once you can see what’s going on.

Another think look at other door and see if there is a way to take the door panel off without opening the door. On some cars it can be done, most door panels are clipped in with only two or three screws, so you might be able to take the panel off without having to open the door. Then you could see what happening and fix it.

My opinions are subject to change with new facts.

Did you ever get the passenger door unlocked? I have the EXACT same problem on my '98 passenger door. The Toyota dealer just had it for three days, got the door panel mostly off without too much damage, and had the front seat out to get better access. But they never could get it unlocked. (What a mess!) Does anyone else have this problem, or does anyone know how to get this unlocked? It’s not just a corrosion/rust issue; something in the latch is jammed or otherwise out-of-place.

I also have had the issue of freezing latches not staying closed (Utah winters, below zero). Other cars have this too; for me it takes 5 minutes of heat to unfreeze.

Thanks for any comments.

I used to have a Mazda 626 with a freezing door lock problem. I’m pretty sure that what was happening was that moisture would collect on the windows when temperatures were above freezing and drain down into the latch. Then when the cold front came through the latch would freeze.

Fortunately, it was only the front latches that froze, and that only a few times each winter. I could always enter through the rear doors and – with some acrobatics – get to the drivers seat.

In retrospect, I think drilling a couple of access holes that would let me manually trip the latch and plugging them with rubber plugs would have been a satisfactory solution. However, I wouldn’t recommend that with a popular car model in a place where car theft is a significant problem.