1996 Pontiac Sunfire with door locks issue


Old 07-27-06, 11:49 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
Arrow 1996 Pontiac Sunfire with door locks issue

Hi, there. I have a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire. I have manual door locks. About 2 months ago the driver side door lock stopped working. I put the key in the lock and it turns but does not unlock the door. Sometimes I can hear a small rattling inside. I started entering thru the passenger side until I could find time and money to look into the driver side door lock. This morning my trusty little passenger side door lock stopped working. It is acting completely different though. I put the key in the door lock and it refuses to budge. I cannot turn it in either direction. For today it sits where it is parked but I'll have to enter thru the trunk if i can't get it fixed tonite! . Sad thing is, I'm not joking. Any ideas would be so very greatly appreciated. BTW.... the weather is quite warm where I am.... steamy actually with high humidity. So it's not cold weather related.
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Old 07-27-06, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 33
Door locks work using little metal rods that move back and fourth when you turn the key in the door.
Sounds like one of the rods may have gotten disconnected in your driver's side door (probabaly what you hear clanging around in there).
Also sounds like a rod in the pass side door got bent.
Do you feel comfortable removing the door panel?

To remove the door panel:
Look carefully around the panel for obvious screws holding it on. There is always a couple of big screws near where you pull the door closed. Sometimes they are hidden behind small panels that may be popped out with a little help from a small screwdriver.

After all the screws are removed, there's sometimes panel retainers that need to be popped out to remove the panel OR the whole panel can be slid upwards off some plastic hooks that are molded into the back of the panel. Once the panel is off, you will easily be able to see the rods that I'm talking about. See if there's one just hanging there. Try turning the key in the door and watch these rods and you should be able to diagnose.
Old 07-27-06, 01:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
rulouder22, thanks for the advise! I'll try taking the door panels off tonight after work. I hope you're right. Just curious, what would cause one of those rods to bend? The door lock worked fine 11 hours prior to this morning's failing. I'll look tonight and post what I find. Thanks again!
Old 07-27-06, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: nc
Posts: 616
You could always keep the window rolled down and enter and exit Dukes of Hazzard style.

Just kidding...it may be something like a broken clip that hold the rods in place. Here is an illustrated guide to help you remove the panels: http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBr...3d80192b03.jsp
It may be best to remove the panels on both doors. If you have different problems on the 2 locks, this will help you figure out excatly how the parts should go together. If you see a loose rod in the driver's side, there could be a retaining clip that has come off the end of the rod. If you can operate the passesnger side lock from the inside of the car, you might have a bad lock cylinder.

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