Tip & How-To about 1988 BMW M5

Makes the door close easily

The little plastic cap on the end of the door latch (on the door) is what makes the door close easily, without slamming. If yours is missing, replace it. A short length of plastic or rubber tubing will substitute temporarily.

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Side door was slammed shut hard and now door wont' open


There must be a way to get the inside panel off. Then you could see and work the handle levers. From the handles to the latching mechanism, small rods work them. They attach on both ends. You will be able to see how the handles trip the latch, then grab the right rod and pull or push it in the right direction to open the door latch. You can do it, hard to describe w/o seeing one, but all work similar. Little rods, that's all you need to know. Uh, well, getting the door panel off is the biggest hurdle. Several screws, some may be hidden, be patient, plastic pin type fasteners along the bottom and up the sides of panel have to be popped out-usually one about every 4-6 inches. Once you get it loosened up, you will easily find the rest of the attaching points. Lift the panel up from the window channel and away. Peel the plastic ("waterproof barrier") film off carefully. You will want it to get a good reseal when you are done. Now you can see the inner parts, and how the handles operate the latch.
Once opened, spray with a penetrant, check the door sill all around, check for visible reasons it stopped opening. Sometimes the rods get stretched or bent, and the handles won't work. Good luck, big "do not slam" sign on that door, okay?

Jan 06, 2014 | 2000 Chrysler Town & Country

2 Answers

The rear latch/handle on our ford freestar 2005 came off in my hand. it looks fine. I can;.t open the rear latch now. I got inside the van and removed the little plastic cap/tab the sits directly behind the outside rear latch. I can push what appears to be the latch mechanism but it does not release the door lock. I am left to assume that I need to remove the inside rear panel to re-hook the latch handle to the latch mechanism. However, without being able to open the rear gate, I don't see hoe I can get the insided panel off. Does anyone have any adivice?


Here's how I repaired mine. Go inside and remove the plastic 2" square plastic cover. By pushing on the lever inside this area, the latch will release. Push on the door at the same time, when the latch is pushed. With the door open, remove all four screws from the plastic panel. Now pry carefully the big plastic panel off the door. There are plastic snaps holding this on, all around the edges. Now there is another metal cover over the latch mechanism under this panel. Remove this. You now can see into the latch area and put the handle back into the slot where it came out of. You'll see that the ends of the handle can be put back on the round bar, but to hold them in place, I attached 2 nylon ties on one end. You can also purchase a metal push on retainer from the local hardware store. Mine has been repaired for 8 months and had no trouble. Ford used no retainer on these handles and after prolonged use, they bend and the handle can be pulled off. A twenty minute job. Your wife can even do it.
Fred C

Dec 31, 2010 | 2004 Ford Freestar

1 Answer

rear door does not close


Look at the door's locking mechanism. Is the Latch Gate in the down position? Is the Door Mechanism properly tightened to the door? These are Torx/Hex head bolts. Tighten these if needed.
If the Latch Gate is down:
1. Unlock the door.
2. Lift up/out on the Door Handle as if you were opening the door.
3. Use a screwdriver to lift the Latch Gate so it lifts the Gate up and out of the way.
Alot of these Gates have plastic coverings that sometimes split and stick or cause the door mechanism to jam. Inspect the Door Mechanism for anything that could be causing it to jam. Using a pair of needle nose pliers remove any of this split plastic (if so equipped) pulling as much of it off the Latch Gate.
Use WD40 with the red spraying hose on and stick it as many openings you can and lubricate as much of the Door Mechanism as you can.
Check the operations (plural) of the Door Mechanism, Opening and Closing the Gate using the screw driver to push in the Striker Gate causing the Latch Gate to rotate back down into position. Repeat... checking for the Latch Gate to Release Up (on it's own) when you "open" the door. If it doesn't, then there is either jammed or a return spring is broken.
Have you dented or distorted the Door and / or Door Mechanism in the process of trying to slam the door close? You will have to either bend the the door area back to as close to possible the original shape. Use the other door on the other sides as a guide on this. You may have to replace the Door Mechanism itself, as when they are malfunctioning and are slammed (over and over) it could break the Mechanism itself. If the Mechanism is broke, you will have to remove and replace the entire mechanism.
Let me know if this helped, or if you have additional information of questions. Feel free to conatct me at FixYa.com!

Jan 17, 2010 | 2005 Saturn Relay

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