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    Thread: Passat Exterior Door Handle Problem

    1. 02-23-2010 08:31 AM #1
      I had a problem last month where one of the rear exterior door handles stopped working. Over the weekend the front passenger door handle also stopped working. Both feel like there is a reduced amount of friction compared to the working doors so I assume this is some sort of linkage problem. As this has happened on 50% of my doors I'm hoping this is a common problem that someone may have resolved before. Does anyone know how I would go about fixing? Can I remove the door handle without removing the door panel?

    2. Junior Member Sandman626's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 08:56 AM #2
      Ah ha! Someone else with the same problem; I thought I was the only one. It's only happened to my front passenger door and I think I've figured out when it happens. It usually occurs when the doors are still locked and someone pull on the handle hard (sometimes even normally). Once they do that, it feels like it's not catching something or kinda loose. As for a fix, I have no idea. Sometimes it's magically corrected itself on its own and sometimes I just repeatedly open and slam the door shut until it works again. Not the best of "fixes" but it usually works. I wonder if anyone else out there has a more intelligent fix?

    3. 02-23-2010 09:05 AM #3
      I think that is exactly what happened. My wife went to open the door just before/or at exactly the same time as I was pressing the button to unlock. VW want £70 per hour to investigate! I'm convinced it must be something simple but too scared to try to remove the door panel without the right instructions/tools. Door is slamming worth a try however!

    4. Junior Member Sandman626's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 09:36 AM #4
      Yeah I know that pain oh too well. First time I had it happen was when a couple of co-workers were fighting for the front seat and tried to open when I was unlocking. I rolled down the windows to get the handle from the inside, and just kept on trying to slam the door. It worked...eventually I like to think it "jiggled" whatever was "loose" back into place. Good luck and here's to hoping someone else has a better solution!

    5. 02-23-2010 03:19 PM #5
      My friend Sandman626. You just saved me a small fortune in VW bills. Took out my rage on my car and slammed both of the doors with some force and hey presto 2x working handles and no need to take my car in for repair. You made my day. Thanks again.

    6. Junior Member Sandman626's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 06:58 PM #6
      Glad to hear it all worked out! I just try to warn someone not to touch it if I see them going for it or I try to unlock before anyone's too close to the car just in case. I also threaten my passengers that they'll be paying the repair bill if they break anything in my car!

    7. 02-23-2010 08:19 PM #7
      I had the same problem, but with the driver's door handle. One night it just stop working and it was kinda loose. I went to see my repairman and just in front of his garage the handle starts to work by itself. I'm still confused

    8. 03-03-2010 10:54 PM #8
      I had this happen in December of 08. At first it happened and within a day corrected itself. A few days later it happened so I took it in to the dealer (under warranty). The replaced a cable to the door latch (driver's side on mine). That fixed it until last week when it happened again. Now it is out of warranty, as is their fix because it is over a year now. The service manager said to remove the inner door panel and I should be able to find the problem. He said there is a clip that sometimes comes off or loose. I have not done this yet. One of those little annoying VW problems that don't leave you stranded but really bother me.

    9. 03-05-2010 08:44 PM #9
      I gave the door a couple of slams and it worked again. You guys were right!

    10. Member Bill6211789's Avatar
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      03-05-2010 10:02 PM #10
      had the same problem with my passenger do last week and i took the door pannel off which out of all the door panels i have removed had the stupidest clips then need to be released befor they will come out of thee little holes they are in or they break thing (i broke a few lol and now im trying to figure a way to fix them) but the door magically started working again onec i broke the clips on the panel.
      Unitronic Stage III w/ PT5558BB Turbo Unitronic.ca, IE HPFP, 3in B&B TBE, BSH throttle pipe/27mm RSB/Endlinks , Forge 007 DV , RalcoRC/Forge SS, 42Draft Design CNC Shifter bushings, BFI stage 2 motor/tranny mounts, 034 Dogbone, KW V2 coilovers, Nuespeed 25mm FSB, Whiteline Anti-lift kit/Front control arm bushings, 18x8.5 VMR VB3s, JBL stereo, CTS Turbo 2.0t FSI Big turbo kit!

    11. 01-23-2013 02:22 PM #11
      Don't know about you guys, but I never had a car that auto-fixes problems. After 2 days of having this issue on my passenger door I did as other people here said and slammed the door a couple of times. Didn't work so I thought it was impossible for it to self fix. After those 2 days, I tried it and it was working like nothing had happened! I find that amazing! So don't wast time or money trying to fix it. Just slam the door a couple of times and wait. Don't know what caused it though.

    12. Semi-n00b
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      01-24-2013 10:30 AM #12
      I have had this problem since I got the car three years ago. One time, all of the doors stopped working and I had to climb thru my hatch (thankfully I have a wagon). I slammed the drivers door and it started working. The only one that hasn't worked is the rear passenger door handle. VW told me they could replace all of the cables for $600. I said, go f yourselves. Going to remove the panels and try to zip tie that cable to the locking mechanism.

    13. Member jddaigle's Avatar
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      01-24-2013 10:57 PM #13
      The lock cable is attached to the actuator by plastic barbs. My guess is that the barbs work themselves out over time and the cable no longer has enough tension to operate the mechanism. Might mean a new cable unless some way of renewing the barbs is possible and slamming the door doesn't work any more.

      The self-study guide illustrates the mechanism on page 18:
      http://www.volkspage.net/technik/ssp/ssp/SSP_339.pdf

      ELSA shows how to get in to the door and access the latch:
      http://elsaweb.spaghetticoder.org/na...2/57/10101410/
      Last edited by jddaigle; 01-31-2013 at 10:44 PM.
      - Jeff
      B6 Passat 3.6 & 4motion Resource Thread
      Now: 2008 VW Passat 3.6 4motion Wagon, 2013 Fiat 500 Sport
      Then: 1987 Volvo 745GLE, 1989 Volvo 740GL, 1994 Volvo 940T, 1995 Infiniti G20, 2000 VW Passat 1.8T, 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Ed (x2), 2004 VW Golf TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI

    14. 02-12-2013 01:40 AM #14
      I have the same problem and my child locks are on so I can not open the rear doors from the outside nor inside

    15. Member Shtbox's Avatar
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      02-26-2013 07:02 PM #15
      Elsa web no longer has any stuff on their site. Anyone have a diy to get a rear door card off? Really need to fix my window tomorrow!
      coolWATER

    16. Member Quickfry's Avatar
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      03-29-2013 08:32 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Shtbox View Post
      Elsa web no longer has any stuff on their site. Anyone have a diy to get a rear door card off? Really need to fix my window tomorrow!
      Anyone? My handle isn't working and the child lock was on when it quit...

    17. Member jddaigle's Avatar
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      03-30-2013 03:30 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Quickfry View Post
      Anyone? My handle isn't working and the child lock was on when it quit...
      I believe you start by prying off the cover of the door pull on the inside. Remove the screws you find there. Remove screws around the perimeter of the door card. Use a trim removal tool (looks like a plastic fork with two prongs) to pop the clips free or pull gently, but have some spares because it's likely some will break. Unhook the wiring harnesses and the interior door latch cable.
      - Jeff
      B6 Passat 3.6 & 4motion Resource Thread
      Now: 2008 VW Passat 3.6 4motion Wagon, 2013 Fiat 500 Sport
      Then: 1987 Volvo 745GLE, 1989 Volvo 740GL, 1994 Volvo 940T, 1995 Infiniti G20, 2000 VW Passat 1.8T, 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Ed (x2), 2004 VW Golf TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI

    18. 04-12-2013 10:20 PM #18
      This just happened on our drivers side rear door, which had the child lock active. After reading this thread, I pounded on the metal around the door first, then started pounding on the door handle itself - just with my gloved hand about as hard as I could handle comfortably. I heard the click of the mechanism engaging and the door worked. The first thing I did was turn off the child lock. I hope this help!

    19. 06-11-2013 10:14 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Sandman626 View Post
      Yeah I know that pain oh too well. First time I had it happen was when a couple of co-workers were fighting for the front seat and tried to open when I was unlocking. I rolled down the windows to get the handle from the inside, and just kept on trying to slam the door. It worked...eventually I like to think it "jiggled" whatever was "loose" back into place. Good luck and here's to hoping someone else has a better solution!
      Quote Originally Posted by nreinke View Post
      This just happened on our drivers side rear door, which had the child lock active. After reading this thread, I pounded on the metal around the door first, then started pounding on the door handle itself - just with my gloved hand about as hard as I could handle comfortably. I heard the click of the mechanism engaging and the door worked. The first thing I did was turn off the child lock. I hope this help!

      Holy hell I was about to give up on trying to fix this w/o taking the door panel off until I found this thread. I kinda used a combination of both methods quoted above. I slammed the door 2x then pounded around on the metal but didn't hear anything. Frustrated, I sprayed 1/4 of a can of WD40 into any opening I could find that I thought might help. I waited for a min or two, pounded around the metal then slammed the door again and that's when I heard the click of the mechanism engaging. Don't know if the WD40 did any good but the door locks & unlocks and I didn't have to pay anyone or take the panel off.

    20. Member jddaigle's Avatar
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      06-12-2013 12:22 AM #20
      Panel removal DIY is here:

      http://www.passatworld.com/forums/74...lator-etc.html

      Getting a trim removal tool for the barbed clips is worth it.
      - Jeff
      B6 Passat 3.6 & 4motion Resource Thread
      Now: 2008 VW Passat 3.6 4motion Wagon, 2013 Fiat 500 Sport
      Then: 1987 Volvo 745GLE, 1989 Volvo 740GL, 1994 Volvo 940T, 1995 Infiniti G20, 2000 VW Passat 1.8T, 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Ed (x2), 2004 VW Golf TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI

    21. 06-24-2014 06:03 PM #21
      Just had this happen to me .. For the last hour I was opening the door from the passenger side .. Spent the last 15 mins googling threads and slammed my door a few times and all is good .. LOL..


      I plan to lube /penetrant in the latch area when I get home
      Beauty is in the details.

    22. 06-25-2014 12:03 PM #22
      I too have an exterior door handle that is not working. I slammed it a few times and still no luck.

      The door will only latch and close if I press the lock button. If the door is slammed shut when in the unlock position it won't latch. The door just bangs into the locking mechanism and bounces off. Is this the same for your doors?

    23. 09-13-2014 05:07 PM #23
      Thanks to all on this thread! I had this happen under similar circumstances as many of you the other day - I went out and shut the door hard once, presto! Kind of odd that works for so many of us, but we'll see if it happens again.

      BTW, the Anchorage, AK dealer wanted $109 to analyze the problem - this after the technician asked me if it opened from the inside. As I imagine the technician had seen this before and knew what to do (or at least try), I sense a bit of a possible lack of integrity here. If I would have taken it to them and had them slam the door and charge me $109 (or more for parts that weren't needed) I would have been upset if I'd read this later on.

      As it was, I didn't take it in, so I'll just be wary of the dealer's practices if I need to go to them in the future. This thread saved me a bunch of money - thanks!!

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