Question about 2000 Dodge Caravan

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2000 Dodge Caravan Rear Door Latch

I've got a 2000 Dodge Caravan. The rear door latch is seized, not letting me open the rear door at all. Is there a way to get at the latch mechanism to allow me to see what's going on?

Thanks very much

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  • tootired663 Jul 15, 2008

    I had a friend remove and replace faulty latch (with one from another rear door), but it too has stopped working. The back door can be opened from within the back of the van by lifting up on the latch with a screw driver inserted into the hole in the back door...u must be inside the van to do so and somewhat flexilbe to boot! The small catch that holds the floating 'arm' within the latch seems to be what gives out and stops the latch from releasing.

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    the latch is stuck and wont open the door

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I had the same problem and fixed it using the following steps. I am not an expert or even very mechanically inclined, just desperate to get this fixed without spending any money. This was done on a 1996 Dodge Caravan. Similar steps should apply to a number of years of the Caravans and Voyagers. 

Two people will make removing the panel easier. To do this, you'll need a phillips screwdriver, penetrating lubricant, and pliers. 

First, if you cannot open the door at all: There is a small plastic disc plugging a hole just above the latch on the inside. Pop out that disk, and use a screwdriver to lift the latch mechanism. It should not take a great deal of force to move the latch. When the latch moves, push the door and it should open. 

1. Remove the plastic panel on the inside of the van. You need to remove the handle and several screws on the perimeter of the door. 
2. Disconnect the interior door lights by gently pulling the wiring harness (two of these). 
3. Looking at the door from the interior, there is a small electronic plunger mechanism on the right side with an "accordion" (this is the electric lock). There is a rod that goes from the to the middle of the door, just above the lock mechanism. Another rod goes from the key lock to the latch. This rod, threaded on one end, snaps into a small bracket on the latch. It may need to be snapped back in. There may also be a rubbery/tar-like sticker near the locking mechanisms that can be removed (it can interfere with some of the moving parts). 
4. Manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. Mine was extremely stiff. It should move the rod at least a full inch. 
5. Spray lubricant on the latch, the back of the key lock, and the back of the exterior handle. Also spray lubricant into the key lock itself (where the key goes). Do NOT spray lubricant on the electronic lock mechanism or plunger. 
6. Just above the latch, there is a small hole (only about 1/8" around). Carefully and liberally spray lubricant into that hole in every direction (this is where the rods from the key lock, electric lock, and latch meet). There is a white plastic post that comes out through another nearby hole. Spray lubricant liberally into that hole, too. 
7. Again, manually operate the plunger on the electric lock several times using pliers. It should be considerably smoother to operate. 
8. Put your key into the key lock and pull it out several times. 
9. Spray lubricant into the key lock again, then carefully operate the lock with the key. If it didn't work or was stiff before, it should operate much more smoothly. Operate the electric locks several times. 
10. When operating the lock, you should see the plunger on the electric lock move to its extents (at least an inch). Watch it when using a key and using the electric lock. 
11. Check the movements of the rod and plunger when operating the lock, and the movements of the latch when operating the handle (when unlocked). If anything is still really stiff, use some more lubricant and operate the lock and handle again. 
12. When reassembling the door panel, remember to plug in the two wiring harnesses for the interior lights. 

I hope this helps!

Posted on May 09, 2009

  • sirrcolville
    sirrcolville May 16, 2013

    Thank you this just happened to my 1996 DGC

  • Patti Wright Jul 08, 2013

    Thank you...we'll give it a try!

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Call lock smith

Posted on Jul 06, 2008

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I agree 100% with jairgee but I would also add that copper antiseize on the latch mechanism on the backside works great since it is plastic against metal. I live in Canada, lots of salt and dirt on the roads and this works.

Posted on Nov 06, 2009

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