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Why does rear passenger side door of 2000 Toyota Avalon occasionally not lock securely in freezing weather?

Scenario: Scraped ice my off windshield, then opened the rear passenger-side door to put the scraper on the mat, then closed the door but it wouldn't click shut, and would swing freely, so I has to bungie cord it tricky cuz there's no loop to attach to on the door and drive 25 minutes to workplace while the open door light came on frequently. On arrival I removed the bungie cord, opened and shut the door and it clicked shut normally. This happened when skiing last year too and the passenger had to hold the door for the entire drive back! Unsafe! Also I cannot leave the car parked anywhere securely locked when this situation occurs. I had clicked the key fob to lock all doors and all did lock except the left rear. The master control on the driver door also would lock/unlock all doors except the left rear.

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  • Toyota Master
  • 14,585 Answers

The actuator/latch is bad. Basically a spring in it is not tight enough to close it.

Posted on Dec 23, 2016

  • 1 more comment 
  • Paul L.
    Paul L. Dec 23, 2016

    Thanks for the tip Randy. If it's a matter of a spring not being tight enough, why is it only rarely in cold weather that the symptoms occur, and not more frequently year-round?

  • Randy Ohler Dec 23, 2016

    Since you said it won't latch. It is the problem. I diagnose things. I tend to tear things apart after they have been replaced. Me, I just want to know why they died. With latches, they have to be drilled to get rivets out. Most times it is the springs in them. The other times it is rust. Between cold and hot. cold springs contract, hot they expand. Less pressure cold, more pressure hot. Not to mention the other worn out parts on it.

  • Paul L.
    Paul L. Dec 24, 2016

    Thanks so much. I appreciate your response! Regards.

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