Door won't open from inside or out

Ben Swann benswann at
Thu Dec 13 18:45:26 PST 2007

Well, I've tried repeatedly to lock and unlock to no avail.  Latest efforts were trying
to jummy the latch with a homemade tool - there is a little detant, a catch for the
latch I'm trying to push down and release the catch.  So far I have made a few tools,
but none work.

I will try to lubricate some things tomorrow and see if that helps.

Following that, I'm looking at getting one of those cable saws so I can get around the
latch pin and saw it off.  I think this is the least damage I can do to get the door
open.  Once open, I can replace the latch pin and get the panel off and fix whatever is


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Defferding [mailto:MstrBlastr at] 
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:48 PM
To: Ben Swann
Subject: Re: Door won't open from inside or out
Importance: High

Hi Ben,

Almost same thing happened to me about two months ago--after I replaced the 
actuator cable, which I'd been carrying around for over a year...  I was 
happy and proud to get it done so I got out and locked the car.  Door 
wouldn't open!!!-- neither by key or by newly operable lever from inside 

Fate smiled on me however.  For about 15-20 minutes I repeatedly did the key 
lock/unlock sequence from the outside while gently holding the outside door 
latch.  It suddenly unlocked!!  I opened the door and locked/unlocked again 
while looking/listening.  I then loosened the big screws on the door latch 
and wiggled it a bit, sprayed copious silicone/other lube in all openings of 
the latching mechanism and gently 
tightened/tested/loosened/wiggled/tightened until it unlocked every time by 
key and internal lever--then tightened good/tested while door was open. 
After all that and another half hour or so I closed the door and locked 
it/opened it, and it's been fine since.  It stays locked because there is a 
little spring loaded cam which you can see with the door open, and if that 
bugger doesn't release the door stays locked shut.  Both mechanisms worked 
(key-inside lever), but that cam wasn't quite in the right spot relative to 
whatever it caught on so the door stayed locked.

Hope you don't do too much damage-- check the passenger side and you'll see 
that cam.  I thanked God that day, oh what a sinking feeling that was.  Good 

Dave D
'91 200Q with working driver's door lock/latch now.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Swann" <benswann at>
To: <audi at>
Cc: <quattro at>; <200q20v at>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: Door won't open from inside or out

Front driver door.  It appears the lock mechanism has come undone or broken 
and neither
manual or pneumatic actuator is unlocking it.

I am trying to jimmy it open from the outside with passenger door open - no 
luck yet.

There is no way I see that I can get the panel off without destroying it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Huw Powell [mailto:audi at]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 3:02 PM
To: Ben Swann
Cc: 200q20v at; quattro at
Subject: Re: Door won't open from inside or out

> I don’t know what I did as I was replacing the window regulator – now 
> working.  I put
> all back together and panel back on.  When I went to open the door, it won’t 
> unlatch.
> Tried it from the inside and it did the first time.  Now it won’t open 
> from inside or
> out.  So any tricks to getting these doors open without removing the 
> panel, since you
> need to open the door to remove the panel?
> Car is a ’91 200Q20V.

Yikes, sounds like you knocked something loose or perhaps didn't get a
connecting rod back in just right!

The only suggestion I'd have is the slim-jim type approach. AAA types
usually carry the full set with instructions for all cars, but not all
of them are good at using the tools.

Is it a rear or front door?

Huw Powell

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