Door won't open from inside or out

Ben Swann benswann at
Fri Dec 14 04:17:18 PST 2007

RKE would not work in this case, as the pneumatic actuator and key portions work.
Apparently the part that goes into the latch itself or the latch itself has broken.  It
simply will not unlock.  I suspect I will need to replace the latch mechanism entirely.

Now to find a wire saw.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bernie Benz [mailto:b.benz at] 
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:48 PM
To: Ben Swann
Cc: 200q20V mailing list
Subject: Re: Door won't open from inside or out


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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