Door won't open from inside or out

Bernie Benz b.benz at
Thu Dec 13 19:48:24 PST 2007


Not to belittle my heartfelt empathy for those having suffered this  
problem, and probably I just don‘t understand
the problem and have been fat dumb and lucky but, having installed a  
RKE 10 years ago and having never put a key in a door lock since, may  
have been my saver?


On Dec 13, 2007, at 6:45 PM, Ben Swann wrote:

> 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
> wrong.
> Ben
> -----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
> car.
> 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
> Luck!!
> 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.
> Ben
> -----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
> it
>> 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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