Locked out! No passengers allowed, including my wife!

My wife likes the “chauffeur treatment”, but she would like to sit up front with me on occasion.

I have a 1994 Lincoln Town Car, 4-Door Signature series. Unfortunately, I cannot unlock the front passenger door. Just recently, it stopped working. All of the car’s electric door locks work properly, except this one. Also, I cannot unlock it, manually, using the sliding door lock on the inside door panel; the lever won’t budge.

Any thoughts on how to free the lock, short of using a blow torch?

I’m a do-it-yourselfer. How do I fix it, especially if I need to access the door lock mechanism with the door closed and with no visible way of removing the inside door panel and trim?



Did you try the key outside? Don’t force it for fear of breaking the key, but try that first.

If the key also doesn’t work, your latch mechanism must be jammed. The door panel will need to be removed to access the latch mechanism. This is very difficult with the door closed. One trick that helped me with a similar problem was taking a hammer, and tapping the inside of the door about halfway between the bottom and the window ledge as I tried to move the inside door lock. With every tap, I could move the lock just a bit, until it unlocked. After that, I removed the door panel, and sprayed a BUNCH of white lithium grease spary into the latch mechanism from above and in though the side, and worked both the lock manually and the door catch with a screwdriver until it felt freed up and smooth.

“No passengers allowed, including my wife!”

I was actually thinking that this is a somewhat fortunate “problem.” Why would you want to fix it?

I had this same problem. I took the other door panel off, and actuated the lock/unlock, door open/closing action of the rods, levers, solenoid, etc. I saw where I would need to access the latch and control rod. Using this as a mental template, I pried what part of the locked door panel off, that I could. I used a bi-metal keyhole saw to cut a 2 inch circular hole in the door fascia and inner door panel. Using needle nose pliers and a screwdriver, I was able to move the locking latch lever at the latch, and opened the door.
When I put the fascia panel on, it covered the holes I had cut. You might have to get another door panel (fascia) at a salvage yard.
A “slim-jim” will work on many older cars which have lock mechanisms WHICH ARE IN WORING ORDER.

There is a tool called a “slim-jim” and in the proper hands almost any door can be opened. Used car lot people and Repo-men have these skills as do many tow-truck drivers…

When you do get inside the door, you will be amazed at how crappy the lock and latch mechanism is… It’s just a bunch of rods and plastic clips holding it all together…