New DIY Project

The rear passenger side door handle on my 2003 Suburban is failing. The doors lock automatically whent he car is shifted into drive. They automatically unlock when shifted in to park. Betweens kids and other carpoolers prematurely pulling the handle up something has gone wring.

As long as I am holding down the unlock button you can open the door from the inside and outsdie handles. I cannot fully unlock the door from the inside using the manual lock slide.

I’ve never done lock work before. Any suggestions on where to start or what the problem is? My first guess is that the automatic lock motor is damaged and needs to be replaced. Regardless a helping suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks.

I would actually start with a Haynes or Chilton’s manual. That way you get info for both removing the door panel & the anatomy of the locking mechanisms.

If holding down the unlock button will allow the door to be opened, I’d not suspect the electronics. The first step is to pull the door panel to see what is going on.

I agree with cigroller. Get a manual. I also suspect the problem is the latch mechanism, not the lock solenoid. Does this truck have child-proof locks with the selector lever in the door jamb? See if it is fully locked or unlocked, as this may be the root of the problem. I’ve heard some can break inside the latch mechanism, causing problems like this.

I do not know how handy you are, but finally getting the lock mechanism on our windstar to work was due to no help from the internet, but basic tear apart and find the problem. It ended up a 90 degree bend in a bar had hopped its harness. I spent days looking for diagrams, on the net, at the library for chiltons and manuals that were of no help, so just ended up tearing it apart and figuring it out. It was basically free except for my labor, but much better than the $400.00 quote from the dealer.

Door locks can be tricky. Even with the interior door panel off sometimes you have only a little bit of space to access the parts. Getting the door panel off without damaging it or the clips can be tricky too.

If you are sure you want to DIY, get the Haynes manual as suggested. Then pop the panel and get a good small flashlight and look for a bent rod or broken plastic connection in the lock mechanism. You may need to pop off the other side door panel to see what “correct” looks like. Once you can see the problem it will help to have small hands to find a way to fix it.

Do you have a salvage yard nearby? Go to one and look for a door set-up like yours . . . tear it apart, buy the whole set-up except the window, then bring it home and test it with a battery. I’d bet you could get a whole door for less than $50, chances are high that you’ll not have one with the same problems as yours. Other than that I’d follow the suggestions of the other posters who basically advise to tear your own door apart and try to figure it out. Rocketman

Good idea. It does have the child locks. I’ve taken doors apart to fix window motors, replace window switches, and reattach new rearview mirrors, but never locks. As others posted it can be tight and thought I’d get some sage advice. Thanks to all. I’ll let you know after this weekend.

This is why I come here. I played with the child safety latch and got it working. Lucky for me. Thanks again.