2001 Sienna door locked can't open.

M

MikeP

Guest
The passenger side door of my 2001 Toyota Sienna will not unlock and cannot be opened. Some part of the linkage has broken or has become disconnected. When one tries to unlock the door the electrical solenoid can be heard engaging & disengaging. but the door stays locked. When the key is inserted into the lock and turned nothing happens, the door still stays locked.

Removal of a small round plastic cover next to the door handle (this is accessible with the side slider door open) gives access to the door handles inner linkage. Everything appears to be place and can be seen moving as one turns the key in the lock as well as when one tries to pull up the door handle. The window operates but it is difficult to see any of the door lock linkage.

My questions to the forum are:

1. Can the door be opened (unlocked) without removing the inner door panel?
2. Can the inner door panel be removed with the door closed?

Any suggestions on solving this problem will be appreciated. Thanks for your support.
 

Whitecougar

Full Member
Joined
May 22, 2007
Messages
63
Points
6
Age
120
Location
Kentville, Nova Scotia Canada
Does the door unlock when the door handle is activated from the inside... if not the only way to open it in my opinion is to some how remove the inner door panel, unless you can access the lever on the latch unit through the small hole.
 
M

MikeP

Guest
The door does not unlock when the door handle is activated from the inside. Complete removal of the inner door panel is not possible since several of the fasteners is blocked by the dashboard.

What I have been able to do so far is remove the passenger seat, a side garnish and enough fasteners from the inner panel to allow access to the lock assembly. Now that the inner door panel can be pulled away enough so one can reach into the door and feel the various levers and latch mechanism. My conclusion at this point is that all the hooks & handles attached to the latch mechanism are in place and functioning properly. I was able to determine this by removing the inner panel of the driver's side door and observing how a working latch operates. The problem is the passenger side latch is stuck in the locked position and won't release.

At point this point I'm thinking that I need to remove the front fender to access the door hinges. Unfasten the door check (if possible) then remove the hinge fasteners from the body. This I am hoping will permit me to move the door enough to remove the inner panel. Hopefully I can also get access to the latch/striker assembly. Depending on the situation I may either cut the striker off with a hack saw or try to force the latch open.

I noticed that the Hondadude posted some pictures of a Honda latch showing some drill points that will release the latch. Does anyone have some information like this for Toyotas? Is there an easier way to get this latch to open ?

Thanks for your support
 

jjm

Hero Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
349
Points
0
Location
NYC
What you are considering doing will almost certainly end-up in costly paint and body damage. Forget trying to cut the striker off with a hacksaw too, you don't have enough room, and will end up causing a lot of damage.

You should also be able to pry off at least part of the door panel, enough to get your hands inside and feel around. You likely won't need to get the entire door panel off. With the seats and adjacent trim removed, you should be able to get enough access. Since you have the other door panel off, "feel around" how that working mechanism works, so you can replicate it on the defective mechanism.

Even if you end-up damaging the door panel, it's a heck of a lot better than body damage. You could get a replacement from the bone yard - from the dealer you're looking at over $1,000 (but probably still cheaper than the body and paint damage).

Does the power window go down? With the window down, you should be able to poke around there with a hanger. Worse comes to worse, you could always break the window, which is a lot easier and cheaper to repace than any body damage.

I wish I could do better on a diagram:

<img src="http://www.trademotion.com/schematics/images/8/8511410.gif">

But this is all I can get.

Joe

If you found this information helpful, please support BATAuto!

<a href="http://www.batauto.com/php/donate.php"><img src="http://www.batauto.com/images/donate.gif"></a>
 
M

MikeP

Guest
JJm,

Thanks for the timely response, diagram & warning. I have as you mentioned removed the adjacent trim & passenger seat. I do have access to latch area. Since the other door was apart I was able to see & feel how a correctly operating mechanism works. I spent a few hours with hanger wire duplicating the operation of a working latch in the inoperable door. The problem is all the rods, levers etc that attach to the latch are working, nothing has come loose or off. The latch simply will not release. When I operate the door locks & latch mechanism from inside the door the lock/latch feel jammed. It feels like it needs to move a little more to unlock but something is binding.

The window goes down but that really doesn’t help much. When the window is down it bisects the space within the door cavity and prevents access to some areas of the latch/lock assembly.

You did bring up a good point, the interior panel may be less expensive to replace than fixing some body/paint damage. I’m going to review my options in light of this suggestion. Thanks …
 

jjm

Hero Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
349
Points
0
Location
NYC
Did you try spraying the heck out of the lock mechanism with penetrating lube, both from inside the door and outside through the crack? Give that a shot and let it work in overnight. Next day, try operating the lock and inside and outside door handle and see what happens.

After a good lubing up, you could also try moderately striking the lock mechanism a few times in the hopes of getting it to unstick. The operative word here is moderately... you don't want end up completely jamming the unit.

The only other suggestion I can offer - and a long shot and should absolutely only be used if you'd actually consider taking the whole door off- is if you have access to center pillar from the inside (after removing the trim), where the passenger door and sliding door meet, perhaps you can undo the striker screws from inside. I believe the Sienna has a "U" shaped striker held in place with two Phillips screws. If you've got enough room, possibly you can grab the ends of the screws with a vice grip to loosen them up initially, then tap the screw ends to clean them up, and unscrew them the rest of the way out with an extractor and socket. I might even suggest drilling them out, but those are strong screws, and you might not have enough clearance even with a right angle drill.

If you can get those screws out, the door should open - with the striker still stuck in the latch mechanism - at which point you can then replace the latch mechanism. You must also replace the destroyed screws with genuine Toyota screws for safety reasons.

Also, if you do decide to sacrifice the door panel, you may not need to totally destroy it. If there's only one or two fastners or screws holding the panel in place around the dash where you can't get to them, just try pulling the door panel off. You might elongate some fastener holes, but the panel should still be usable. Also consider if just the lower portion of the dash can come off, around the glove box area, to give you more access (if available).

There's gotta be a way to get this done without extensive damage to the vehicle. I still think going after the latch mechanism itself with the previously mentioned suggestions and some wire hangers is the way to go... or as Toyota says, "way to move forward" which you're probably not feeling right about now.

IMPORTANT: If this vehicle has side air bags, you should disconnect the battery while attempting working in the door pillar area to prevent accidental deployment.

Joe

If you found this information helpful, please support BATAuto!

 
M

MikeP

Guest
Joe,

I was able to finally get the door opened. The procedure depends on as you earlier suggested getting the inner panel off the door. After one removes the passenger seat, the side garish, all the inner panel sheet metal screws (except the one hidden behind the dash) the inner panel can be removed. One pulls the door panel away from the door as much as possible then rotate it counter clock wise. This rotation pulls off the plastic pins and the final sheet metal screw behind the dash. The inner panel came off without any damage. Several pins and the nylon sheet metal screw insert will need to be replaced. Cost for that will under $5. Once the panel is off one pries off the latch mechanism’s plastic cover. At that point one pulls out the lock release spring which allows the latch to release. I still haven’t determined what part of the latch failed, I really don’t want to disassemble anything else until I have the new parts ready to install. I figure it is going to take week to order the receive it.

As you mentioned “there’s gotta be a way to get this done without extensive damage”, I believe this method rather than my original idea of removing the hinges is the way to go. Thanks again for your time & suggestions, it pointed me in the right direction.
 

dce

Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
1
Points
1
Mike,

I know this is an old post. I had the same problem with my Sienna front passenger door. I followed your instructions and got the panel off intact. I was wondering, what happened to be the problem and how did you fix your Sienna door lock? What part broke and how did you replace it???
 
Top