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The rod from the handles to the lock mechanism could have come off or become bent to the point that it won't work the latch anymore. The prior problems were probably just symptoms of the problem you have now. Will have to take the door panel off and manually trip the latch.
On the passenger door,make sure the latch isn't in the closed position(have someone pull on the handle while pulling the latch mechanism with a screwdriver)The drivers side is gonna be interesting.You might be able to get at the door latch mechanism by rolling the window all the way down,and use a coathanger or similar tool to operate the linkage levers that way.
It's a very common problem. A greasy and temp fix is to press the thumb button on the handle, then take your finger and lift the top locking lever in the door mechanism that has fallen down to prevent the striker from closing both levers. This will not fix the problem. Most likely the striker (the bolt that the lock affixes to) has lost the vinyl sleeve and has damaged the lock from repeated use. You may have to replace the mechanism which isn't to hard to do if you can swing a wrench.
Fixed this last week in my Cherokee Classic. I started by releasing the hatch catch from the the interior by manually placing a flat screwdriver (something flat) under the catch, pulling the door inward, and letting the hatch open. From here unscrew all screws around the interior panel including the 2 screws under the rubber caps that mount the interior pull handle. Then carefully pull the panel, one section at a time, (carefully...this plastic is cheap) until all panel clips are free and the panel is removed. At this point you will see the inner mechanics of your door latch. Pushing your key fob lock you will see what you have been hearing, and lifting the outside handle you will see what it is supposed to be doing. As you sit in the interior of the car and face the inside of the hatch door, on the drivers side of the latch mechanism you will see a small threaded rod that is attached to the latch mechanism and the catch on the bottom of the door. This threaded rod must be adjusted/returned to the proper setting in order to lift the door catch. This entire mechanism is so cheaply made that you could have something broken in it also....but after finding the aforementioned adjustment mechanism, I realized that it would not take much for this part to self destruct. Hope this helps!
Hello, we have a 2003 Kia Rio- problem as above- unlocking and then locking- only way in and out through passenger door.
This is what I have done and everything is back to normal- I hope it works for you.
1 Remove 25AMP fuse that controls door central locking from main box under the bonnet.
(AT this stage my passenger door opens- drivers side does not, the mechanism won't fully rotate)
2, Spray key with WD40 (or similar moisture repellent lubricant). Gently turn key to loosen mechanism- Partly remove key and spray lubricant into lock, have fun locking and unlocking!
3, Replace 25 amp fuse
4, Write yourself a cheque for garage labour and parts and wife brownie points!