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Josh, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1571
Experience:  13 years of experience, Factory training for Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Saturn
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2003 Kia Optima SL 6 cyl. with 85,000 miles. Been a great car.

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I have a 2003 Kia Optima SL 6 cyl. with 85,000 miles. Been a great car. No problems....until today. The driver's side door won't open. When I press the FOB, it will partially open the lock, but when I go to open the door, the lock closes again. If I press the FOB twice, all the other doors open, but not the driver's door. Any ideas, suggestions? Thanks, Kevin
Hello Kevin,

This is a very common problem on these cars, what happens is the linkage for the door lock on the latch seizes up, what we have to do, the same as you, is just play with the door until you can eventually get it unlocked, via the power lock, the lock cylinder, and the lock lever inside the car. Once you get the door open don't close it and lock it again until you can get a new latch for it and replace it, let me know if you'd like instruction for replacement of the latch once you can get the door open.

If you have any other questions please let me know. If you're happy with the information I've provided please click accept.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Josh,
Thank you for your answer. I did fiddle with it and got the door to open. I have one clarification to request: is this repair something that a decent local car mechanic can do...or is it something that requires going to a Kia dealer, (which is not near me)?? Also, I have to lock the car tomorrow (in LA) so I guess I'll have to take my chances re the door seizing up. Your thoughts on the mechanic would be helpful. Thank you, Kevin
You'll need to get a new latch from Kia, but any competent mechanic should be able to install it without too much trouble.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Josh,
first, you are replying so quickly. Thank you. I will push the "accept" button in just a bit...but would like to take you up on your offer re giving me the instructions for replacement of the latch? ...and when I talk to Kia parts, what part(s) should I ask for? Thank you! Kevin
You'll want a drivers door latch.

Kia doesn't offer detailed instructions for repair procedured on their vehicles, but here's the procedures directly from the optima service manual, if you've comfortable doing it yourself it's not too bad, just take your time.

(1) Remove one screw from pull handle bracket.
(2) Remove two screws from right side of door trim.
(3) Remove two screws and cover from left side of door trim.
(4) Remove two screws from bottom of door trim.
(5) Remove inside handle cover.
(6) Unfasten door trim.
(7) Disconnect electrical connector.

Now once you have the door panel off, here's the instructions to remove the latch.

Disconnect two remote control rods from outside door handle assembly.
Disconnect door lock actuator connector.
Remove two mounting nuts from door lock actuator.
Remove one screw from rod cover of inside door handle.
Remove three screws from door lock assembly and remove assembly from access hole.

You'll need to swap the lock actuator from the old latch to the new one before you reinstall.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you. BTW, what do you think the driver's door latch will cost me, ball park, from Kia parts? Kevin
I did one a couple weeks back I believe the part was $59 and change.
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