Caravan Power Sliding Door Latch Repair


Inside the car

Time to remove the door panel. First remove the drink box cup from the ledge of the door. There is a philips screw underneath the round cap at the bottom of this cup. That screw attaches to the door.

I was able to gently pull the door panel away using a standard screwdriver. I didn't leave any scratches. In the picture you can see the plastic trim retainer clips in the back of the door panel. They will make a loud pop when they release. These might break as they come out. Work your way around the door. After the first few let go you can pull the panel off with your hands. I did not need to pull the cap off of the door lock knob. The rod is pretty flexible. I was able to push the rod through the whole and get the panel off.

In the picture above you can see the trim clip (white) above the screwdriver. Just give it a good pry and it will pop.

Panel off

Now you will see a rubber sheet over the inner workings of the door. This is sticky on the edges and peels back easily. The first thing you'll see is a big block of ridge black foam. This just lifts out.

Now you'll see the back of the latch mechanism. There is a silver rod connected to the latch mechanism. This is the door lock. There is a red clip holding it in place. With your thumb, push the clip off the rod. The rod has a left angle on the tip. Just push the rod toward the outside of the door. (The rod has already been removed in the picture above.) It will pop out. Now you can pull the latch mechanism out. Leave all the cables on for now. Some of the metal edges in the door are a little sharp, you may want to wear gloves.

Click the picture above for more details.

With the latch mechanism out, now it's time to swap the cables to the new unit. First move the electrical plugs off the old unit. Two of the plugs have simple tabs on the side you push to release. The third has a red plastic tab in the coupler. Open this by sliding a small tab in the open end of the red blade tab to the left. Then pull the broad end of the blade tab out about 1/4 of an inch. The tab won't come out. Once the blade is pulled out a little the coupler will release. Click on the picture above for more detail.

Now you can remove the cables from their clips. Not too hard. Just make note of where they go. What is tough is removing the cable casing ends from the brackets. Use a narrow headed standard screwdriver and slide it in behind the plastic barrel casing ends. With a hard twist they will come out of the bracket. Use pliers to push them into the new latch mechanism bracket.

Be careful around the actual latching mechanism opening. The unit is active and if you push inside the latch it will close. It is getting power. It could easily crush your finger,be careful.You may want to pull the fuse if you want to de-energize the latch. I didn't find it necessary.

Replace all of the pieces on the new latch mechanism and you're ready to reinstall. This is the easiest part of the whole job. Getting the new latch mechanism into the door was a little harder. It's a tight fit going back in. I found putting the bottom in a little ahead of the top helped. Once it is in place you need to put the 3 star bolts back in.

Don't replace the interior trim yet. Leave it all open.

Snug those 3 bolts up and grab some duct tape. Tape the interior rubber sheet up inside the door so it won't drag when you test the door.

Test the door

This is the moment you've been waiting for. It should work normally now. Give it a shot. Did you get your clunk back? I did.

If it didn't work ... did you?

-Unlock the door?

-Switch the child lock button to on?

-(It should always work with the keyless remote regardless of the above)


Closing up

I bought 5 plastic trim retainer clips in anticipation of them breaking. They cost a stomach churning $2.05 each from the dealer! Murray's didn't carry this kind. But I think I should have looked harder. $10 for 5 cheap little clips is ridiculous. I think I could have made something work. A reader on the automotive forums recommended for trim clips.

If you broke a clip, remove the base from the door with pliers and remove the tip from the inside of the door panel. Put the new assembled clip into the inside of the door panel. Hang the panel back on push the clips into the door. Look at the door from the side and be sure the points are hitting the clip holes.

To snap the clips I needed to apply a lot of pressure. I closed the door, took off my shoes and pressed the panel back in with my feet. You can press pretty hard. I'm sure I didn't get all the clips to hold. I'm quite sure not all of them were attached from the factory. But it seems to be holding fine with no rattles.

You did it! Now stand around a gloat for a bit. Then decide if you're going to buy an iPod or a digital camera with the few hundred dollars you saved.

Drop me a note if this was helpful.


Back to Page 1