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Danny, VW Mechanic
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 4004
Experience:  ASE Master Certified with L1 Certification, Volkswagen Certified, VW and Audi repair shop owner
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Vw golf: the passenger door..unlock..doesnt work..central locking

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Hi - I have a vw golf mk4 and the passenger door will not open it will not unlock the key doesnt work and the central locking attepts to but it just pops back to the same position either up or down it doesn't unlock

Can you get the door open by opening it with the inside door handle? Usually that will automatically unlock the latch and allow the door to open? Is it frozen over where you are located? I know I've been having problems with my door handles and locks due to the current northern weather situation here in the US.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

the problem is not with the door mechinisim its just not unlocking - using the key doesn't unlock it, the handels work fine in and out but it will not unlock in any way or form,



Ah ok good I was just being sure the door wasn't stuck shut I've seen it before. You have a faulty passenger door latch, it will need to be replaced. As far as I know this can only be gotten from the dealer and requires door panel and window regulator removal. This is a common problem on Vw vehicles built 1999 - present. There is no door mechanism by the way, all door lock/unlock functions as well as the electrical functions of the alarm system are handled by the latches. The latch runs around $170 at the dealership but I don't know what the specific price is at your local dealership as each parts department sets it's own price.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am un happy I have had to pay £8 for this advice as you have not told me a way to resolve the problem or anything to try - the lock tried to open and was working a few weeks ago but now seems jammed

I'm telling you what the problem is, there is no diagnosis needed. I've done a hundred of these door latches for this concern, the problem is the latch. The latch activates the lock rod, it's not like another car that has a separate lock rod and motor. The latch controls everything. I haven't been compensated by the site, I'm a third party working from home answering questions, unless I satisfactorily answer your question to your liking and you click accept I get nothing.

I'm telling you how to resolve the problem, I am 100% certain you have a faulty door latch. You have to replace the door latch to fix the problem, it is broken.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

when you say door latch I disagree because its opening but its still locked? the lock pops up but doesn't open ? how can i open the door to replace it if you say it is broken?


sorry had a nightmare of a day doing so as i am upgrading my interior to an 03 model leather - maybe you can help on this too.the connection switch un der the seat is not the same as the standard seat but the wires are the same colour so i thought just cut them off swap then and rewire them ? but my airbag light stays on ? any idea? if i can get the two problems solved and save money from going to a dealer ill give you more then £8 as its worth while advice.

The latch controls the unlock function, it's all built in, I don't know how it happens but I've seen it probably 20 - 30 times before. The latch fails in a few different ways, another way is when you open the door the car doesn't know the door is open so the dome light won't turn on. Some people complain that when they arm their alarm it starts going off randomly, again the door latch is faulty and tells the car the door has been opened even when it hasn't. Some people can lock/unlock with the key but the rod doesn't move when using the key fob. All very common ways the latch can fail in a Volkswagen.

As far as the connector under the seat, which one? There's a green connector for the seat heater, there's a small yellow 2 wire connector for the seat belt latch, and there's an airbag connector that's a square yellow connector with a sort of protective flap that holds the connector in place if your car is equipped. If you can describe to me the how many wires and what colors I can help you out probably. Do the seats have side airbags in them?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

ok well the rod does move up and down but sound like its jammed or strugggling to move the mechinism - i will try some wd40 in the lock first ?? do you think ?or if so where ?


as for the seat its the air bag switch the three wires on both seats are brown black and blue. hence i thought a straight swap -


WD40 won't work, it's a fault with the latch and it's broken, it isn't binding it's something with the apply mechanism in the latch. You would have to completely remove the door panel, window regulator, window, door handle, and the door latch to get to where you even be able to try the WD40. The lock rod goes directly to the latch through a rubber grommet, I asure you it's not the rod, it's the latch.

You are correct the three wires are the same then. There's two problems though and I have a suggestion but you probably won't like it.

Not all airbags are the same, they have different types that go in the seats with different resistance values and methods of application, you aren't supposed to swap airbags other than with one with the same part number. You actually should pull the upholstery up on the seats and swap your old airbag into the new seat for a couple reasons. First of all since there are different airbags, they have different resistance values. This means that the airbag light may not be able to be turned off even once you get it wired up because the internal resistance of the ignitor is different, and secondly it means that airbags have different apply times in relation to a crash and they may not apply correctly, or at all. This is obviously a dangerous thing.

The second part which you won't like even more is that there's no way to turn off the airbag light now that you've set a fault fault by turning the key on without using a scan tool like the dealer has or with a vag-com scan tool from

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