Question about 1990 Toyota Celica

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1990 Totota Celica manual door lock will not unlock

Our 1990 Totota Celica passenger door manual lock will not unlock with the key or the button inside. Rolling down the window and looking down on the mechanisim (I sprayed it with WD40) the arms move but the lock does not unlock. I can't take apart the door as far as I know without opening it. Any suggestions?

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  • csmcl Oct 26, 2008

    Thanks for the post!

    I can see that there are screws on the driver's side -latch side of the inner door panel. If I successfully pryed the problem panel away from the door these would still hold it. I suppose I could remove the passenger seat so that the panel could move far enough to get at the latch but that would be tough without the door open too... The latch arms do move inside the door. After studying the drivers side I am finding that the same problem is developing there too. The latch is rotating over the "U" bolt but the lock mechanisin is not managing to reactivate the inside and outside door handles. The door is also too tight to wiggle it and shake the latch free. It has not been in an accident but the unibody has had considerable new metal added to the floorboards as it was a tow behind for a motor home in a past life. The doors do not scrape or line up poorly when opened and closed.

  • Anonymous Feb 05, 2009

    I have the same problem on a 94 Corolla on the passenger door. It gave warning of trouble twice while I was out and unable to work on it. I can't find any screws to pull out. I am planning on taking the driver's side apart to see if I can get any ideas on what to do. Any help out there? Thanks for any there is.




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Wow, sounds like fin. but you actually can take apart the door inside the car. it would be a b#$%(, but i'm not sure you have a choice. unscrew the handle in the appropriate places, remove plugs if you have to. the door is in with clips. you can remove the door cover by prying it away slowly with a long screw driver or nail bar. be careful, but also use force, it isn't easy and you might stop b/c you're afraid of breaking something, it sounds bad when they pop too, you might break the clips or the door panel, but that's the way of the world.

once you remove the door panel it will likely be obvious what the problem is. has the car ever been in a accident? have you shut the door on the belt alot?

hope this helps.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008

  • Paul Hitchings
    Paul Hitchings Oct 26, 2008

    I suppose your only choice is to use pliers or another tool to try to get the latch to unlock and/or open. if you like, take a pic and e-mail it to me at


  • james snyder Jan 29, 2013

    I will give it a shot, Though I was able to pry the top of the panel back far enough to see the linkage and latch assembly. Pushing on the linkage and mechanism that looks like it should cause it to unlock did nothing to help. If those are only clips and not screws on the panel sides i will try to pop them. Other wise cutting the panel up will be my only choice thanks.



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