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2005 Elise driver’s side exterior door button is not working: here's how to fix it

Hey all, I wanted to share a quick fix for this problem I had. One day, the exterior door button worked fine, the next day, I went to press it to open the door and it wouldn’t work. This issue was with the exterior door button; all of the locks were working fine. Mine was not a CDL problem.

Troubleshooting: the fob could unlock/lock fine, but when I tried to open the door, the silver door button seemed disengaged. The interior lock button worked fine to lock/unlock the doors. I could reach inside and open the door, using the interior door latch. The only way I could get into my car, when the window was up, was to use the key fob to unlock both doors and then open the passenger side door, climb in, reach across to the driver’s side door, and open it using the interior door handle. Not an elegant way to get in to drive.

It turns out that when I inserted my key to open the door on the previous day, the mechanism in the cylinder became misaligned with the white rocker arm that sits atop the rod assembly. To fix it, you will only need two tools: a Phillips head screwdriver and a thin blade for prying. A flashlight always helps.

1) Open the door
2) Unscrew the red reflector with the Phillips head screwdriver
3) Using a thin blade, gently pry out a section of the black plastic disc. Note: it is glued to a metal support bar. Once you pry off a section, you can gently lift the whole thing out. Make sure to keep as much of the glue intact on one surface, whether it be the silver support bar or the black disk.
4) Shine a light into the hole. Look for the dark cylinder that pops out when you press the silver door button. There is a flange on this cylinder that should line up with the white rocker arm below. You may need to put in your finger to feel for it, if it is turned away from you. If you see the flange in any position but 6 o’clock, this is the problem to fix, because it is missing contact with the rocker arm.
5) To align the flange, insert your key and turn it until the flange is facing downward (6 o’clock position). You may need to press the white rocker arm toward the interior of the car, to give the cylinder enough room to rotate. At this point, it should engage the white rocker arm, when the exterior door button is pressed.
6) Test your work to see if it is operating properly by shutting the door and opening it again, pressing the silver exterior door button.
7) Reattach the black backing to the reflector, lining up the glued areas properly.
8) Screw in the red reflector.
9) Pat yourself on your back and never use your key again to open the door! ;)

I hope this helps someone and saves them $$ by avoiding labor costs at the dealer. Happy driving!

:) Cynthia
 

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I had the same issue on a 2008 Exige S240 passenger door. For the door to work, my key slot needs to run front to rear on the car not vertical. Driver door is the same way.

Thanks for the tip.
 

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Haha, just figured out the same after I turned the key vertical on my test drive before purchase. PO did not know why the door stopped working. Pulled the reflector to find I was the one who did it!
 
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