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Fixing a Door Lock

I own a 2002 Chevy Silverado 15, 1/2-ton, regular cab. Yesterday when I pulled the driver’s door shut, I noticed some “give” in the inside door panel, and now the lock won’t work. It’s a manual lock, and the little plastic switch seems to have come disconnected itself from the mechanism. I was wondering if anyone out there could tell me how to take off the door panel, including any special tools, and then tell me how to re-connect the switch to the mechanism if that’s indeed the problem. Then I’ll need to tighten the panel down again, and I was also wondering if anyone could recommend some “extra parts” I could get from my local hardware store that I could use to “batten down” that panel tighter than the factory parts alone. Hint: I’m not looking to win any beauty contest for having a pristine interior; strength is what I’m looking for (it’s a work truck). Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Door panels are held on by spring clips around the sides and bottom and usually a couple of screws, sometimes hidden, near the handle and/or latch… Look up from the bottom to spot them. Once those center screws are located and removed, pry one of the bottom corners out with a stiff blade and work your way around…When it’s loose, lift it up out of the top channel and it will come free. No destructive force is needed.

To reinstall, get the top channel lined up, then get all the edge clips lined up with their holes and with the palm of your hand, gently pound the clips home…Reinstall the handle screws.

Today, many lock mechanisms use electrical servos or solenoids to operate the lock mechanisms instead of mechanical linkages…

There are two screws holding the door panel, one at the bottom near the front of the door and one hidden under the armrest. I’d probably still need that special spoon-like notched tool to remove the window crank, though. However, the little insert that holds the lock switch is loose and seems to be on a “peak”, or “bump” inside the door, so I kinda think that when the lock switch disconnected itself from the bolt mechanism that it “rode” up on top of that, which I’m guessing is also why I can’t lock it with the key from the outside. It definitely seems to be jammed. I think I’m gonna pull the lock switch out (its loose anyway) and see if I can un-jam it before tearing the door apart. Worth a try, I figure.

You should be able to remove at least one panel somewhere on the door (window controls, or lock panel), and find another screw in there.