CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

How to remove, lubricate or fix and replace door latch on 2000 Toyota Corolla?

Both front doors do not always allow themselves to open from the inside, especially if they get locked. Sometimes the lock will not unlock - until someone pulls up on the outdoor handle to that door. Then it will unlock and open from the inside (and the outside).

Sometimes without locking the door, the inside handle does not open the door - again, until someone lifts up on the outside door handle.

Could this be fixed with a healthy spraying of WD40 penetrating oil to loosen up whatever is sometimes sticking?
Because of where the latch is located, I’m pretty sure I must remove it from inside of the door before I can give it a good spray.

I want to take the latch out from inside the door, but first I’d like to know how to do that. Can someone tell me how to get that latching mechanism out of the door? It does have electronic door locks (that don’t work anymore). The electronic door lock stopped working months before this problem started happening.

I need to fix this before I’m out somewhere with my girlfriend and the latch on her side stops working entirely.

I meant to say that the remote control, not the electronic door lock stopped working. The electronic door locker buttons in the car work okay, except for the sticking locks on the front doors.
MarkWelsch

I have had this problem on a couple of cars. First, try to roll down the window and see if you can get a straight shot at the latch through the top of the door. Spray some WD-40 into the top of the latch. ( Use the little red straw that comes with it.) Even if you are a little sloppy, a good shot will probably fix the problem. Otherwise, you may need to remove the inner door panel.

I would find a spray lubricant, not WD-40. WD-40 might work for a short while, but it’s not good for the long term. I would also buy a Haynes manual for your car, it will give you some information on how to access the various parts of your door mechanisms.

Mark-
You’ll most likely need to get into the door by removing the door panel. In addition to consulting a manual as @texases mentioned, there may be a YouTube tutorial for a door panel removal for a Corolla or similar car, or maybe something like door lock mechanism or window regulator which begins with removing the door panel. That is more likely given that you have a Corolla rather than a Cadillac. But even if you don’t find your exact car, the instructions for any car will give you insight which will help you decipher the tricks for removing your door panel.

You might check a library for Chilton or Haynes manuals. Don’t overlook asking a librarian if they have an online access to repair manuals: I just learned that the library system in my small town has a subscription to some kind of auto repair books, and it’s evidently accessible from any computer using a library ID number. You may have the same or better.

If you are likely to do other repairs on this car, owning one of those manuals may be a smart investment which will pay back the purchase price many times.

Hello @MarkWelsch.
I have had three friends own this model of corolla and for some reason the inside handles become broken after a while and need replacement. You can pick up the part at a car supply place. They are not that expensive to replace and you can do it yourself.