Ever had trouble locking or unlocking your Jeep doors? Well you are not alone. While problems with your doors might not be the first thought that comes to mind when you think about car issues, it is still a serious issue. Read on for more on Jeep door problems.
The door is one of those parts you’d least expect to bring you trouble on your car. However, once it happens, door problems can be quite problematic. You might even end up locked in our outsides your vehicle. Luckily, door problems often affect individual doors at a time. However, they must still be dealt with with as much seriousness as you would any part.
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Last update on 2023-03-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Take a look at our guide to some of the more common door problems Jeep owners experience and what you can do about it.
Common door issues with the Jeep
Most door problems on Jeeps and many other models are often caused by either failing components or damages and breakages. Some of the poplar issues Jeep owners experience with their doors include the following:
Doors won’t open from outside or inside
Another common issue across many jeep models is issues opening the doors from outside or inside. Generally speaking, there are several reasons why your doors would refuse to open. Finding the best suiting solution is dependent on properly diagnosing the issue.
Power lock door problem
This is the electric actuator that operates the door mechanism in your car. The actuator system runs on a motor that turns gears in a gear reduction with the last gear driving a gear set connected to the actuator rod.
Using the power of the gear set, the actuator is able to convert rotational motor motion to motion needed to move the lock. Issues with the driver power lock door are quite common especially among Jeep wrangler. Some of the most common door lock actuator problems include the following.
The motor on the mechanism found inside the lock wears out. If this happens, then the door may frequently unlock slowly. In fact, a faulty motor may trigger the door to lock and refuse to unlock or vice versa. Door lock actuators have a switch which will signal that the door is closed. Malfunction on this switch triggers a warning light that causes the door open light to stay on indefinitely.
In some cases the door lock mechanism will break down completely and stop working. This will prevent any locking and unlocking.
Servicing or replacing your door lock actuator
Replacing a door lock actuator is an inexpensive operation that anyone with working knowledge of cars can perform. You only need to know what to do and how to do it. Using Jeep service repair manuals, you can obtain diagrams showing you what goes where, making the whole replacement easier.
In order to replace a faulty door lock actuator,
- Remove door trim panel and waterdam.
- Remove door latch retaining screws
- Disconnect all rods from door latch
- Disconnect wire connector, if equipped.
- Remove door latch from door.
Getting this replacement done in the shop will cost you several hundred dollars. On average, car owners spend between 80-200 dollars while the parts could go up to about 300 dollars. However, some aftermarket actuators are available for cheaper prices but these aren’t always available for all car models.
Testing the door lock actuator
If you take in your car to the shop over door issues, you may notice some models allow the use of diagnostic devices to test the voltage on your actuator. Usually if the device reads that there is a voltage but your actuator doesn’t work, then you will need a replacement.
However, if the voltage doesn’t read but the actuator still works then the issue must be investigated further. Often the wiring harness is the cause, a bad connector or even a failed connection module that is triggering this problem.
Broken locks or components
Sometimes, the only reason you’re experiencing locking or unlocking issues may be due to breakages or malfunctions. Some of the reasons why your door won’t lock properly include the following.
Faulty key fob
Faulty key fob can be cause for worry when it comes to door locking. If you suspect a faulty fob, have your mechanic check the programming and confirm that the fob is still good.
This is often when you have issue with one or two of the doors locking. This may indicate that the problematic door(s) needs a fuse replacement to resume normal functioning.
Even doors integrate electrical components for proper functioning. If the door has wiring issues, you will experience issues with locking and unlocking the door. Usually professionals’ will help identify these wiring issues and reconnect them properly.
A bad solenoid
The door lock mechanism has a solenoid that will cause issues if bad. A problematic solenoid may cause you problems with opening and locking mechanisms. You should suspect the solenoid if everything else checks out but the door still doesn’t work.
A dead key fob battery is the most common cause for issues with your door locking. Usually all you need to do is replace the battery and the door will resume normal locking function.
Passenger door problems
A good number of Jeep owners’ complain about the passenger door as the most problematic. Some experience difficulty reopening the door once they use the inside mechanism to lock then unlock the door.
The only way to get the door to open is to use the key. While some owners believe this a safety design feature that will help keep away burglars, other owner do not appreciate this mechanism.
This issue is easily resolved with a good lubricating oil. You will have to pull the door panel and generously distribute the lubricant on the latch. Ensure the levers and buttons are well coated for an easier time However, if you have any damaged or worn parts inside the door,
TIP: Before you decide to lubricate or replace any parts within your passenger door, ensure you check it thoroughly for build up, wear and tear. You might be surprised how heavily these will influence the door mechanism.
Taking off Jeep factory doors
In case you decide you’re done with doors altogether, Jeeps usually give you the option to take off your doors. The process of removing Jeep doors isn’t as complicated as you would think. It’s a series of simple steps that requires careful hands to avoid any damage from forceful removal.
First, you want to bring down the windows in order to protect them. If your model doesn’t have windows, then you can skip this process. You will then proceed to loosen and remove the nuts and door hinges. It is helpful to apply lube to ease the process.
Next, you want to remove the foot well which is under the dashboard. You will then proceed to disconnect any cables that are connected. Jeeps with power windows, locks and mirrors usually have a wire harness that must be unplugged. You can do this by disconnecting the wire harness and then proceed to sliding the locking pin and pushing on the tab release.
You can then lift the door straps off the hooks and very gently and carefully slide the door off then away from the body. After which you can proceed to storing your jeep in a safe and dry place. There are many options when it comes to Jeep door and window storage.
Driving without your doors
While we are still on the matter of Jeep doors, you may decide to ultimately take off your door, which is great. It is safe and legal to drive without windows or doors. However, you must replace the factory mirrors after you remove the factory doors.
This is because mirror laws across America dictate that you have mirrors reinstalled on your vehicle. These laws may vary depending on which state you live in.
Maintaining your door locks and hinges
Because of the role hinges and door locks have in causing door problems on your jeep, it is important that you maintain them properly. This involves cleaning and lubricating these parts properly.
Before applying any lubricant, always clean these parts with a good solvent that penetrates through build up and dirt. Once your hinges and locks are clean, you may then apply an appropriate lubricant to them.
Different lubricants serve different parts because not all your door parts are exclusively metal or plastic. If you are unsure about the kind of lubricant to use, you can schedule a door lubrication appointment with your mechanic.
They will know the right kinds of lubricants to use and perhaps recommend lubricants you may buy in case you want to perform the process on your own.
There are many issues that could trigger failure in properly functioning door mechanism. It is quite problematic to have the door stuck on a single mechanism. The good news however, is you can have the actuator or faulty section of your door easily fixed by a professional or you may do it yourself.