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Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8622
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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2006 mitsubishi eclipse. Doors lock/unlock with key rmote

Customer Question

2006 mitsubishi eclipse. Doors lock/unlock with key rmote fob fine. When I put the key in the door lock to unlock manually the key turns but does not unlock the door(s).
I have looked all over online and people seem to have the opposite problem (key works remote does not) and say it is the actuator. WHat is it in my case?
thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
When you use the key in the door lock, does only the physical lock not operate, or does the interior lock knob not move either?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The lock turns but nothing else happens. According to the manual the power lock system should unlock the driver door if you turn it once and both doors and the hatch if you turn it again.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Correct.
With the key not operating the inside lock knob either that limits us to either a problem with the connection between the key and the actuator or the actuator itself (if the knob operated, then we would know it was the actuator without exception).
Are you comfortable removing the door panel for further inspection?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am but it is dark now. What would I be looking for? I can look tomorrow morning.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, I thought the inside knob was electronically operated. In other words, the key turns to activate the actuator. At least that how it works on my Camaro. It doesn't turn a knob as such, it activates the lock just as the fob does.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
No the knob is cable operated from the actuator. It uses the actuator to move it, but this is an independent movement from the locking operation. The key operates a rod to the actuator which then relays to the knob. If the knob moved then we would know the key is physically moving the lever on the actuator, the actuator is just not operating the lock. However since the knob is not moving, we do not know whether or not the physical operation of the key is reaching the actuator or not.
What we want to do is get the door panel off so you can look down the top of the door and see if the key is moving the rod down to the actuator. This door has a massive regulator panel that makes up about 40% of the body of the door, so removing it for a full view is not too desirable...looking down the top of the door opening is preferred if you can get a good view, but that will require the door panel to come off.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, so it may just be the rod not connected? It seems to me that it is mechanical not electrical (not the actuator)since the lock works fine from the switch and from the key fob. Is this correct? If so I appreciate your help... I think I can check it out tomorrow.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
I would still be leaning heavily toward a bad actuator. But yes, it could just be the rod came out of position, it does happen from time to time.
The way the actuators are set up is really goofy. The key operates the rod to the actuator which acts like an electrical switch causing the actuator to relay the movement to the knob cable and to the actual internal lock via two different pulses.
You can have the switch fail that the actuator uses to read the rod movement, you can have the actuator windings fail or weaken strength, you can have the mechanical operation fail... no shortage of weaknesses in there. At least they are better than the old style that used a bunch of counter levers to make single movements cause 2-3 different mechanical motions. Those things jammed all the time etc.
Given that the wireless operation works fine, an actuator motor/windings issue is out. Its pretty much going to be the rod popped out or the switch in the actuator that reads the key movement is dead (requiring an actuator replacement).
Anyway.... every once in a while we will see these pop the rod right out of the actuator. The way it fits into the actuator there are actual slots that allow it to pop out if you hit it just right or turn a bit hard on the key etc. VERY weird the first time you see it as there is no obvious way to get it back in short of removing the cylinder entirely which of course makes no sense with regard to how it came out then.
I don't have a good photo of it but I did find this diagram which sort of shows the layout and how the key rod slides into the actuator:

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If you haven't had the door panel off before, they are pretty easy to do. There is a philips screw at the rear upper corner, and the front upper corner, and in the defrost duct.
In the door release bezel there is a small flap to pop out then there is a philips screw behind it and the bezel can then be pried out.
The door pull is halved, you'll need to gently pry the outer half off and that will expose two 10mm bolts to remove.
At that point you can take a screw driver or other pry tool behind the panel and pry to pop it off the door frame. Then lift it up and off the door frame (watch the rubber trim piece between the two windows, it goes flying when you take the panel off).

//f01.justanswer.com/ref/http_i.imgur.com/lYgBn6r.png
Once the door panel is off, you should be able to look down the top of the door opening and see the lock rod, it will be angled away from the actuator if it popped out. If it is lined up OK and turns when you operate the key etc, then the actuator is your only expectation
Whether the rod popped out or the actuator failed, you will need to take the window regulator panel off to proceed with repair. If you haven't seen the inside of this door before that will sound crazy, but you'll get it when you see it... its like ALL regulator in there. When you get to that point, just go real slow and careful (since it is removed with the glass attached) and you'll be OK.