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AllShoNoGo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TAKEN FROM ANOTHER SITE:

MKIV DOOR LOCKS EXPLAINED !!! ...

Since so many people with '99.5-'01 MKIV cars seem to be having trouble with their door locks not working properly (also prevalent in B5 Passats), I thought I'd put together a quick explanation about how the locks work in our cars and why there's been so many problems. People with the newer and quieter door lock mechanisms should not have the problems described in this thread - the problem appears to be fixed in these modules.
If your door locks behave like their from another planet (e.g., a door doesn't lock when it's supposed to, the car doesn't recognize a door's been opened, a door automatically relocks itself even when it's open and sets the alarm off ... the list goes on and on ...), then you know exactly how frustrating this problem is. Personally, I'm sick of having to double-check that my driver's door has actually locked - that's why I did a little investigating about what's going on.
Unlike door locks in older cars which are relatively simple mechanical devices along with a separate plunger switch to determine if a door is open or closed (kind of like on your fridge), the door locks in recent-model VWs are complicated electro-mechanical devices with everything (latch, microswitches) in one relatively compact unit or 'module'.
Here are some pics which should help explain what I'm talking about.
The picture below shows the rear edge of one of the doors on my 99.5 Jetta. The only part of the door locks that is visible is the latch mechanism that hooks onto the u-latch on the b-pillar.


Unfortunately for us, this means that VW put the entire door lock mechanism INSIDE the door. To do any kind of work on it, you need to take the inner door panel off and then remove the window regulator carrier panel. The door lock module is attached to the inside of the carrier panel and is also secured to the edge of the door (by the two 8mm triple square bolts in the picture above). If you remove the carrier panel and door lock module from the door, you'll see the following. The door lock module is indicated by the red arrow.


The two images below show the front and rear sides of the module after it's been disconnected from the carrier panel. The red arrows point to the cable that connects to the interior latch used to open the door, the blue arrows point to the edge of the module that's attached to the rear edge of the door and the green arrow points to the cable that connects to the exterior door handle.




The picture below shows the lock module separated into its two major parts, the electronics portion (circuit board, microswitches, etc) indicated by the blue arrow and the mechanical portion (latch mechanism, cable mechanisms, etc) indicated by the red arrow.


By taking the electronics portion of the lock module apart, it becomes clear that the module uses no less than FOUR microswitches to keep track of the state and operation of the door. Two microswitches (red and blue arrows) are used to detect if the key is being turned in the driver's handle to lock/unlock the doors and open/close the windows and sunroof. A third microswitch (yellow arrow) is used to monitor the state of the locking mechanism, i.e., whether the door is locked or unlocked.


The fourth microswitch is actually in the mechanical portion of the lock module (red arrow in picture below) and is connected to the electronics portion by the red and blue wires. This microswitch detects whether the door is open or closed by monitoring the position of the latch mechanism.

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WHY YOU'RE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DOOR LOCKS !!!
... or in other words, why do the locks behave like some demon child conjured up by VW engineers one night after a few too many
s at OktoberFest?
It has been speculated for a while now by myself and a few others that the problems with the door lock module was a sticky microswitch - this would explain the sometimes intermittent nature of the problems and also would explain why a good, hard whack to the edge of the door near the lock module would temporarily solve them. After reading the following DIY REPAIR by TaligentX, it's clear now that the microswitches in the lock module are perfectly fine. Rather, the problems are due to poor soldering of the contacts between the pins on the locks module's electrical harness connector and the printed circuit board in the lock module.
The region of interest is circled in red in the picture below.


The reason for the problems with the lock modules is clear in the close-up image of this region below. For some reason (bad solder choice, not enough solder, too much physical movement ... who knows???), the solder joints that connect the leads in the harness to the printed circuits for the microswitches tend to crack over time, resulting in either an intermittent or no connection between the two. I found two contacts cracked - pin#3 (blue arrow) and pin#7 (red arrow). Based on the few cases I've heard about where the module was taken apart and solder joints were cracked, it appears that the joints for pins#3, 5 and 7 are the problematic ones.

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THE SOLUTION !!!
The solution to the problem is actually very simple. Using a low-wattage soldering iron and some solder, all you need to do is remelt the solder joint (to reestablish the connection) and add a small amount of solder (to beef up the connection).
I did this on my Jetta today and the module now works perfectly!!! If only I had know about this three years ago when the lock module started acting up. To make sure that the problem shouldn't happen again, I not only resoldered the joints for pins#3 and 7, but also for pin#5 ... just in case!
If you want to do this on your car, you can use the following DIY to remove the door lock module from your car door ...
HOW TO REMOVE YOUR DOOR LOCK MODULE
As I write this, vasillalov is putting together a DIY for disassembling the lock module and resoldering the damaged contacts. I'll post the link here when it's done.
You can also use the TaligentX DIY to repair the lock module - the door panel removal portion is Passat-specific, so use my MKIV DIY instead.
Finally, here's a case of
for TaligentX. We all owe him big time for figuring this out.


UPDATE: (8-20-04)
I fixed my front passenger's door lock module this weekend and found exactly the same thing wrong - pins#4 (blue) and 8 (red) were also cracked. Ironically, this lock module was actually working recently, but gave me problems for over a year a while back.


Between my two modules and the one in TaligentX's DIY, the failures have all occurred on the same two pins (3 and/or 7 on driver's side and 4 and/or 8 on passenger's side). Even though this is only three cases, I'd bet that most/all of the other failures out there are for exactly the same reason. I'd say there appears to be enough of a reason for VW to issue an extended warranty on these parts.

UPDATE: (8-26-04)
I met up with a local Vortexer (melmandc) on 8-24-04 to fix his door lock module. Upon taking it apart, we found that the solder contacts that failed in my and other modules were perfectly fine. What failed instead was the microswitch in the mechanical portion of the module that detects if the door is open. It's the one marked by the read arrow below.
 

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AllShoNoGo
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should have figured this out before removing and opening up the module since his symptoms were slightly different than most. On his car, if you unlocked the driver's door, opened it up and didn't put the key in the ignition or open another door, the driver's door would automatically relock. This is the classic situation that most people experience - the car doesn't recognize that the door has been opened. The thing that makes his situation different is that the lock module WILL lock and unlock whether the door is open or closed, unlike most problems where the lock module WILL NOT lock whether the door is open or closed.

UPDATE: (11-4-04)
I should have posted this info a while ago, but better late than never! The Cherry part numbers for the three small microswitches in the electonic portion of the lock module in the picture below are as follows (info taken from HERE or HERE:
DK-1-G-UL-A0 (red and yellow arrows)
DK-1-G-TR-A0 (blue arrow)
I still haven't found the Burgess part number for the fourth microswitch in the mechanical portion of the lock module. I'll post it as soon as I find it.
 

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AllShoNoGo
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
UPDATE: (7-30-05)
a cheap fix for failures of the 4th microswitch (the one in the mechanical portion of the module).

I have my drivers door all tore apart. I am trying to fix my door switch. The one that tells you if the door is open or not and turns on the interior lights and the door light on the door. I have determined that the little switch that does this is bad since it fell apart when I removed the lock assembly! Does any one know where I can get a replacement switch from? I hate to replace the whole assembly when just the little switch is bad. I figure Cherry electric must make a switch like this one. Someone must have found the part number/vendor for this little switch. It will be a piece of cake to fix just this switch.

Ok, we can fix this door switch for $3 USD! You need to go to Radio Shack and purchase Part number #275-016A. This is a Submini Lever Switch. It has NO and NC contacts. Now here is what you need to do.
1) Tear the door down to the door lock assembly. This is detailed in the Bentley.
2) Remove the door lock assembly from the door carrier assembly you just removed. You will need to drill out a rivit to do this as detailed in Bentley.
3) Once you have the door lock assembly out, you will see the switch in question. It is the one that has a red and blue wire going to it. Mine was ruined as outlined above.
4) You will need a dremel tool to slot out the holes that hold the switch in place to the new switch fits in.
4) Observe the posistion and how the old switch works.Then remove the old switch. It is held in place by two plastic plugs that are melted to hold the switch. Pry it out with a small flat bladed screwdriver and clip the wires at the switch. Then slot out the holes for the new switch with your dremel. You will be able to see what you need to slot by comparing the two switches.
5) Take the new switch and remove the lever by slowly twisting it out with a pliers. You don't need it, just the main body of the switch.
6) You will need two tiny screws and nuts, which I had laying around, otherwise you can get them at the hardware store. Attatch the new switch and solder the red and blur wires to the switch. One to the Common and one to the NO (normally open). Plug the electrical plug back in and test the operation of the switch.
7) Button it all back up and rejoice in the money you saved!

I also lubed the new switch with electrical grease and hopefully it will last for awhile. Now that it is all modified, I can slug a new one in if it fails again in the future. (hopefully I wont have to!)

I know these instructions are very basic, but if you have the ability to get all of this apart, you can change out this switch.
 

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Awesome write up.

I am wondering if this will work im my situation.

1998 Jetta GLX. I hit the remote to unlock. The alarm light goes off but the car remains locked ( I even double click like I used to do with my 2000 Audi A4). I use the key to unlock and do a second twist to unlock the other doors. ONLY the driver door will unlock with the key.

I have to reach over and pull each lock individually to open and close.

Will this DIY benefit me or is there something else afoot? I'm asking before I open the doors up because it's cold out and I have limited use of a heated space. I want to make it count.
 

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I just wanted to post and say THANK YOU for posting this. I just repaired my 2006 MKV Jetta door lock using these instructions. Mine was also a faulty micro switch so the Radio Shack $3 switch replacement did the trick.

For anyone considering doing this for an MKV, the procedure is close to what's detailed here but not 100%. For MKV, you will need to do the following...


  • Remove door trim covering door skin bolts.
  • Remove door handle. Remove the single bolt that is behind the door handle you just removed.
  • Remove outer door skin (you don't need to remove the inside door panel). Remove bolts holding outer door skin. Note that although all these bolts are Torx T-30, there are three distinct sizes. Make note of which bolt goes where. Remove door skin.
  • With door skin removed, remove the inner bracket that holds the door handle. It's pretty simple, there are no bolts, it just comes out. There is a small rubber band on one of the upper mounting points.
  • With the door skin off, you are now ready to remove the door lock/latch assembly. Undo the wiring harness. Now using a triple square/12-point 6mm bit, remove the two black bolts holding the door latch assembly to the door.
  • With the lock assembly loose, swing it toward you so you can undo the door latch cable. This is the cable that opens the door when the inner door handle is used.
  • After the cable is removed, the door lock/latch assembly is now free.
  • Follow the above instructions in the original DIY to repair your door lock/latch.
  • Reverse these steps to put everything together.
Again, thank you for posting this. Saved me a lot of money with the $3 switch fix.
 

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Re: A cheaper more elegant solution for the 4th switch fix

I have discovered a way to fix the switch without soldering, or splicing that makes it easy to remount the switch perfectly without drilling, and only costs $2 per switch.
I purchased some V4NT8 SAIA-Burgess switches off eBay. Link. These can also be purchased in UK from Farnell for about £1.53.

Close up with lever removed.

The trick is to gently prize the switch into its two components without breaking the tabs.

Next remove the top on the lock switch in exactly the same manner. This can be done without cutting the wires, however I did for ease of photography. You do have to prize it out of lock mechanism itself. be sure to leave the tabs.

Next put the new top on the old switch, the button goes over the spring.

Then just snap back into mechanism. Be sure switch works first of course. I use two drops of cheap superglue for extra hold. The cheap stuff in case you ever need to remove it again.

Put everything back in door and enjoy.;)
 

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Re: A cheaper more elegant solution for the 4th switch fix

Nice work. Those switches are now $10 each plus shipping. Why are some of the pictures in the tutorials blanked out?
 
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