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Discussion Starter #1
Went to open the backdoor on the driver's side the other day and nothing happened...door handle felt like the door was locked. Checked the inside door handle and same. Tried locking and unlocking the door both with the remote and the latch on the inside of the door, still no joy. Took it to the local Hyundai dealer, $135 later still not fixed. They gave me a $650 estimate but weren't sure that their diagnosis was correct...I brought the car home.
Here is the dilemma, the only way to open the door at this point is to remove the door panel to gain access to the door lock actuator. Since the door is closed, removing the door panel without damaging it is not feasible. I have already purchased a new door lock actuator assy...I think that this is the part that is defective plus I wanted to see what it looked like for when I finally got access to the inside of the door.
I thought that I would throw this out there to see if anyone else has had this problem with their Azera. So far this is the first issue I have had with the car in five years of ownership...oh, did I mention, the dealer informed me that the warranty ran out last month so all the work is on me to cover. UGH.
 

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It sounds like the door locking actuator is stuck in the dead lock position. What might be worth a try if it's possible (I'm not familiar with the car) is check the wiring between the car body and the rear door to see if there is any damage. You can often access the rear door wiring via front door opening so you might not need to open the rear door to check it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I don't think that it is a wiring issue because I can feel the actuator click inside the door when I lock or unlock it. The whole mechanism is plastic, I am almost ready to place a 2x4 up against the inside of the door at the mechanism mounting point and give it a few shots with a BFH. I don't have much to lose since I already have the new part in hand. The thing that makes this so perplexing is that the door lock lever opens and closes when the buttons are depressed on the remote...it just seems that the "door lock actuator" is not responding.
 

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It sounds like a link between the actuator and latch is disconnected. I'd remove the right side rear door panel and have a look at how it all works. With that knowledge, you may be able to slide a Slim Jim tool into the defective door and activate the latch. I don't think you can remove the door by unbolting the hinges because the door check and latch would still hold it in place. Whatever you do, keep in mind that a new replacement door panel is about $700. If you can find one used, they usually sell the whole door as a unit for about $400-$600. You could then harvest parts from it.

Another possibility is that something has jammed between the door and body, like a seatbelt buckle, and that is preventing the latch from releasing. Try pressing in on the door (from the outside) while you try to unlock it. That may relieve the pressure enough to allow the latch to unlock.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Appreciate the reply. The actuator and the latch are one contained unit so there is no way to determine if there is a problem with the internals until such time as the unit is removed. Given the sealed nature of the lock actuator there is no access for a Slim Jim. I have already purchased a replacement door panel ($200 on ebay) should I need to destroy the one on the car to gain access to the latch assy. Here is my hypothesis about what might have happened: the child lock on this door is activated thus restricting the inside door handle from opening the door latch. There is a physical failure, either of the door lock actuator or the outer door cable, that is restricting the outer door handle from opening the latch. If I can post photos I will post a pic or two of the door lock actuator so you can see how the unit is constructed.
 

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I was thinking that the child lock was activated and that was why the inside door handle wasn't working. Is that the actual case, or a guess?

From looking at the pictures, it looks like the outside door handle either pulls on one of the cables, or mechanically interfaces with a lever on the actual activator. What often happens is the plastic handle breaks off at the place where it fits into the latch. If that happened, the handle usually feels very loose and doesn't pull back in when you pull it out. If you can get a Slim Jim or other flat tool pull the cable or lever, you may be able to open the door. That is why I recommended you open the other door and look at how it works. If the handle is not broken internally, then it is most likely the actuator itself and yes, you'll have to open the door to replace it.

The only other idea is if you are sure the child lock is activated, you could remove the rear seatback and trim to expose the area of the door jamb by the child lock. Then carefully drill a small access hole large enough to get a screwdriver through the jamb to unlock the child lock. You would get your measurements from the right side rear door. Afterwards, you put a plastic body plug in the access hole to seal it. However, if the actuator is broken internally this idea probably won't work. If you try this, be careful just in case some wire harness goes through this area.

Please keep us updated. This will be an interesting fix.

By the way, $200 for a replacement door panel is a great price.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A little bit about myself...I am a degreed and retired electrical engineer. I do paint and bodywork both on my projects and for others willing to pay the price for show-quality work. I am finishing up a 40 Ford coupe right now and have a 56 Ford F100 that is 75% completed and waiting in the wings. I really don't like spending time on daily drivers and I usually have no qualms about paying others who are experts on the vehicle I need repaired...but I refuse to be a party to the extortion of the dealers who have no expertise yet want to charge me as if they did.
MrV...good call on the child safety lock access, that was my next step before tearing into the door panel. The wife seems to recall that this door had had issues in the past where a passenger could not get out using the inside door handle. I remember opening the door for them from the outside but I don't recall whether I switched the child safety feature off afterwards. We seldom have passengers in the back so the only time the door is opened is when there are packages or whatnot on the rear floor...that is how the wife learned that the door was inop. When I get back on this job I will post any progress made. Thanks again.
 

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I discovered this forum and see you had the same problem I am having on the same year Azera. First, my back driver-side window would not roll up. I could kick myself for not removing the door panel then, as a few days later, the door would not open and now not sure what to do or how to remove panel with a closed door. How did you end up resolving? Thanks
 

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I had to replace the actuator assembly on the LR door of my 2012 because it was stuck in the “unlock” position and power door locks could not move it. I could manually lock it though. Funny thing is that when it was locked, the power door locks could unlock it. So odd. Anyway, it’s bitch to replace on your own, but well worth it. It was a few years ago, but if I remember you have to remove: door panel, inner door panel, exterior handle, window frame and glass. Then, once all that’s out, it’s pretty straight forward. Lol


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