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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 35485
Experience:  #@ years in the Automotive repair field.
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2005 Chrysler 300 AWD LTD - Driver door won't unlock

Customer Question

2005 Chrysler 300 AWD LTD - Driver door won't unlock especially if in the sun. I can enter from passenger and pull inside driver door handle and door opens. I can immediately latch driver door and go around to driver's side and then the door opens right up normally, unlocks and locks easily with keyfob, and is ok until the car sits again.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Just Answer. I have noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here.

The problem you are having can be caused by either a sticking door latch or a sticking lock actuator. Before you do anything try taking some WD-40 penetrating oil and at the latch with the door open try spraying a very librial amount of the oil into the latch and then open and close the door a few dozen times and see if the will free the latch up. Give this a try and let me know and we can work from there if need be.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I firmly don't believe the latch is sticking. I say this because once I open the door from the inside, the problem ceases until the car sits again particularly in the sun; on an overcast or cold day, I don't have the problem at all. It seems like something electronic to me. I can immediately close the driver door from inside, after having just opened it from the inside, walk around and open the driver door up from the outside by simply pulling on the outside handle and it functions as expected. During the winter months (my car remains parked outside), I don't have the problem. I started noticing the problem toward the end of last summer where I had to park my car in the sun. Now that the weather is warming again, as soon as my car is left in the sun, I have the same issue again. It even happened after parking it in a heated garage recently for a couple of hours. I can't open the driver door from the outside; when I hit the keyfob to unlock, the lock doesn't move on the driver door but does on all the other doors. It will not unlock with the keyfob and doesn't work at all with the key although I never unlock/lock the car with the key; just the keyfob. Again, I crawl in from the passenger side, pull the inside door handle and it opens right up and I can see the door lock knob go up as I pull on the inside handle. I pull the driver door fully closed from the inside, walk around and it opens right up with the outside door handle and everything operates, lock/unlocks with the keyfob, as it should.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Okay it sure would not take much to go ahead and lube the latch to at least rule it out . If that dose not solve the problem then the next step would be to remove the door panel and have a look at the linkage and the latch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Agreed it's easy to spray the latch. It's just that it's raining today and even if I spray it, I won't know if it's resolved anything until the car sits in the sun again, and, the fact that I'm not experiencing the problem during the winter months suggests that it's not a sticking door latch. I've noticed a distinct correlation between the door lock not popping up on the driver door when it's in any kind of heat. Nonetheless, I'll go give it a thorough spraying and wait-and-see.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Well I would go ahead and do it once it stops raining and see. Something has to be binding because the door handle as well as the latch/actuator is mechanical. It may be the actuator but that is also part of the latch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just sprayed it. Of course, being overcast and cold today, everything is functioning normally. As soon as the sun shines on the driver's side, I have to crawl in from the passenger side and unlatch it from the inside. As soon as I do that, everything functions normally until I park it and it sits again and the sun shines on it (or I park it in a heated garage for a couple hours after it's been in the cold outdoors). It's been consistent enough that I've noticed the pattern. As long as it's parked outside and it's cold, no problem.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Okay let see what happens when the sun comes out. If it still has an issue then I would suspect the actuator may be the cause but let wait and see.