Door Handle Malfunction - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Door Handle Malfunction

Hello

Went to get into my Elise and the driver's side door would not open. The door will lock/unlock fine. I push the door button in and nothing happens. Passenger side door opens fine.

Any ideas about a fix. I hate to drive four hours each way to fix a door. Has anyone taken the interior door panel off yet?

Thanks

Marc
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:25 PM
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>>>Hello Went to get into my Elise and the driver's side door would not open. The door will lock/unlock fine. I push the door button in and nothing happens. Passenger side door opens fine. Any ideas about a fix. I hate to drive four hours each way to fix a door. Has anyone taken the interior door panel off yet? Thanks<<<

I've had it off. It's pretty simple in there. See my thread about window trouble and you can see a bit. It sounds like a piece of linkage is the issue in your case. I'll post some PICs...
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:26 PM
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:26 PM
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wow!

Thanks for the response! I will try over the weekend.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 02:58 PM
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Make sure that the door was not accidently locked with the key, since if it was it will prevent you from opening it from the outside even if you use the remote. You should still be able to open it from the inside.

There is sometime in the manual about how to deadbolt your doors so that the doors cant be opened either from inside or outside. Maybe you accidently did this.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hey

I tried the key on the outside door lock. Feels as if nothing is turning inside the key drum. The key meets no resistance at all.

I did look at the manual and saw what you are referring to but no avail. I will keep everyone posted on what I find out as I take apart my brand new $45,000 car.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 05:38 AM
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>>>I tried the key on the outside door lock. Feels as if nothing is turning inside the key drum. The key meets no resistance at all. <<<

It could be the "exterior lock control rod" or other linkage or the button assembly itself... I'm sure that it is something quite simple, but obviously this is exasperating and needs to be resolved ASAP.

>>>I did look at the manual and saw what you are referring to but no avail. I will keep everyone posted on what I find out as I take apart my brand new $45,000 car.<<<

The car is very simple and easy to work on - like older British cars. The inner door panel may need to be removed in your case - this is not difficult and no special tools are needed. You use the 3 mm key from the took kit along with a Phillips head screwdriver. From the diagrams I posted it looks like there may also be an access port on the side of the door that may help with inspection and remedy of this issue.

My passenger side window stopped going up all the way after a few months. It would stop about 3/16 of an inch below all-the-way-up. I fixed it in something like 10 minutes, see other thread. By properly torquing the lock nut, it should become a nonissue for me. While you are in there I would check that same lock nut as this is very easy once you have the panel off.

In many ways the Elise truly is like a street legal race car. My old Europa never stranded me, always started and so forth. But little things would come up. Once things are sorted, smiles return. If you have a cheerful can-do attitude many of them are very easy to resolve. I'm glad that I am fairly handy - it is so much more convenient to do simple stuff like this on your own compared to going into the dealer and waiting or leaving the car. Imagine if you had to wait until the maid comes next Tuesday before you could get a new bath towel or toilet paper roll.

Personally I am fine with the Elise NOT being as worry-free as a Toyota Camry. To make it so, the Elise would have to cost 2-3 times as much. Lotus would have to robotize the assembly, redesign parts to accomodate this, buy robot spray booths, etc, etc. When you have to raise the price for things like that it drives sales volume down so there is a vicious circle in that there are fewer cars over which to amortize the huge capital investment. So in a sense Lotus subsidized the car by making it prone to little aggravations so that we could even get the car in the first place.

Last edited by Stan; 12-03-2004 at 06:10 AM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 07:07 PM
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Going back to this thread.

My daughter had gone into my car to see if she had left her running shoes in it. But the door would not open. The keylocks went up and down when you pressed the fob button... but nothing when you pushed on the lock.

I could open the door from inside (crawling in through the passenger door).

Doing a search on Elisetalk, I found this thread.

Turns out, my daughter had locked the car with the key manually. And this (to everyone here's amazement!) disables the door handle.

Now, if you put the key in and turn it... nothing happens. As the original posted noted. But if you turn the key and then press the handle button WITH THE KEY... it opens and then returns to normal use.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 09:02 PM
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The moral of the story, as I see it, is never ever stick your key in the door lock.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 09:27 PM
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how about this one...

the same thing happened to me, driver's door wouldn't open from the outside. i tried it about 20 times during the day, no luck. the next day, after doing absolutely nothing, it worked fine.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Chase
Turns out, my daughter had locked the car with the key manually. And this (to everyone here's amazement!) disables the door handle.

Now, if you put the key in and turn it... nothing happens. As the original posted noted. But if you turn the key and then press the handle button WITH THE KEY... it opens and then returns to normal use.
Rube Goldberg would be proud...

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Chase

Now, if you put the key in and turn it... nothing happens. As the original posted noted. But if you turn the key and then press the handle button WITH THE KEY... it opens and then returns to normal use.
oddly enough, this was one of the first things my dealer showed me.

apparently a LOT of people were having this issue as well.

i would be terribly confused as well.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:13 AM
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Yep,
You absolutely can't open the car with the key if it was closed with the fob. They even mention in the manual only way to open the car closed this way with no power is to charge and/or replace the battery.
Chris

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by zvezdah1
Yep,
You absolutely can't open the car with the key if it was closed with the fob. They even mention in the manual only way to open the car closed this way with no power is to charge and/or replace the battery.
Chris
Yikes! Does this mean if the vehicle is in an accident (where power is lost) and the door was locked from the inside that you couldn't get out of the car? I know that the door handle doesn't do crap if the locks are engaged.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:34 AM
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Good question,
Don't know, I was just thinking in terms of activating the locks when parking. Check the manual in the alarm section I think, it explains what happens. From the dim recesses of my mind they specify the door lock(where the key goes) can be turned perpendicular or parallel with the ground and this has some affect as to how it locks. Again, don't remember the specifics tho.
Chris

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:38 AM
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What an odd problem. What the hell difference does it make if you lock the door with the key or with the fob? You're still locking the door!

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Genjuro
Yikes! Does this mean if the vehicle is in an accident (where power is lost) and the door was locked from the inside that you couldn't get out of the car? I know that the door handle doesn't do crap if the locks are engaged.
You're able to manually pull up on the lock levers on each door. It takes quite a bit of effort, as it's directly engaging the motorized locking mechanism (I think), but the manual says you can do this.

One really must wonder how Lotus managed to engineer such a contraption...it's a design that's been worked out for decades now, you'd think they'd look at how most other cars do it.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:02 AM
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I was wondering the same thing.. in a car prized for simplicity and purity of function, we have door locks that need four pages to explain?

I read it twice and still don't understand all the different permutations they can get into. If I ever have a dead battery, at least the trunk will open so I can get the manual out and study up on how to open the car.

Truely bizzare, but so long as I use the key fob to lock/unlock, then there are no key scratches on the door either.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MattG
it's a design that's been worked out for decades now, you'd think they'd look at how most other cars do it.
I'm sure that they sourced the parts/mechanism from some other manufacturer that uses them on their cars. It's common for them to do so - it's much cheaper to buy the parts (ever with strange quirks) than to design and manufacture them.

I don't consider it a problem, as I don't ever expect to use a key to lock the door - I'll use the fob to arm the alarm (and incidentally lock the doors), otherwise I tend to leave convertibles unlocked so that the thief's don't cut up the tops to break in and find there is nothing in there to steal anyway...




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