Economy - Longevity - Performance
The #1 Source of TDI Information on the Web!
Forums Articles Links Meets
Orders TDI Club Cards TDIFest 2016 Gone, but not forgotten VAG-Com List Unit Conversions TDIClub Chat Thank You

Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs

VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

Thread Tools
Old December 16th, 2007, 19:14   #1
Veteran Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Kentucky, USA
Default Drivers door will not open

Hello all,

The drivers door on my 98 Jetta won't open. Both the outside and inside latch releases feel like they are not connected to anything. My question is: How do I get the door open so I can work on it?

Thanks for any help you can give me.
2003 Jetta TDI, 118,000 mi plus lots o goodies.
2002 Jetta TDI, 168,000 mi
1999 Beetle TDI, 164,000 miles
1998 Jetta TDI, 248,000
1997 Passat TDI, 375,000 miles
bigtom111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2007, 19:17   #2
Veteran Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Viroqua, WI 54665
Fuel Economy: 39/43/47

I've had a similar problem, but could open from the inside. Anyway, will the key lock and unlock the door? Try unlocking the driver's door, leaving the key in the lock, and then try to open.

1996 B4V, Navy blue, 260K SOLD
JerryPT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2007, 15:36   #3
Veteran Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Fuel Economy: 54/42/35

Check the small roll pin inside the door handle assembly. If you can get the door open, only one screw releases the handle. Be careful, that screw is reverse threaded. At the end of the inside handle, there may be a small pin that is coming out or has fallen out. Check the bottom of the door sill (if you can) for it. You have to put it back in and align it with some other part of the door handle mechanism, but this might fix it. This happens to me all the time on not the driver's door, but the passenger one.

sfierz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2007, 05:32   #4
TDIClub Enthusiast
Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Lug_Nut's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 1998
Location: Sterling, Massachusetts. USA

The B4 Passat retainer screws are left hand (reverse) threaded only on the right doors. The retainer screws on the left doors are right hand (normal) threaded.
But that's a moot point if the door isn't open for access to the retainer screws....
Tom, If you can get the driver's window down you might be able to trip the release with a coat-hanger wire or similar.
Open the right front door, remove the door panel to see what you have to trigger, and how it's supposed to be connected on the driver's side. Then, "Go Fish" inside the left door.
If the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression,
the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

Svante Arrhenius 1896

Cogito ergo soy (I think, therefore: Biodiesel)
Lug_Nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2007, 13:27   #5
Veteran Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milford Pa.18337

Try the mentioned in post #12 of mine a while ago.


James K.
1996 Passat TDI wagon, 04 B5.5V 1.8T 4motion, 02 Audi A6 Q.
PaJames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2008, 20:03   #6
Veteran Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: pittsburgh
Fuel Economy: 45MPG average,mostly city with a sprinkle of HWY

Did you end up finding the problem? My car just did the same exact thing after work, I immediately associated it with the very low temps. It feels like both handles are not garbing something, exactly how you explain. My remote lock worked fine, but when I tried to unlock with the key there was alot of resistance(something frozen), I finally got the doors unlocked with the key but door still not opening. the previous owner said this happened to him and I am almost positive it happened when it was super cold outside( I was way to excited that the car was actually mine and wasn't paying much attention)
Did this happen during low temps?

keks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2008, 06:56   #7
Veteran Member
jollyGreenGiant's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bradford Massachusetts

Did this happen during low temps?

jollyGreenGiant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2008, 11:53   #8
Veteran Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: pittsburgh
Fuel Economy: 45MPG average,mostly city with a sprinkle of HWY

The problem seemed to remedy itself for me, it got warmer.

keks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2008, 17:34   #9
Veteran Member
mittzlepick's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: union maine
Fuel Economy: 1175 record tank

got tripple A get them out they can fish it open from between the window and gasket. or try it yourself take the passenger side apart first to get a see on how it works. you need to push the spoon down to open unless the lock is buggered up. seeing you have a 97 you must be pretty familiar with bugger door handles
mittzlepick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2008, 10:16   #10
Veteran Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Elyria, OH
TDI(s): 1998 Jetta
Fuel Economy: 46 mpg ave

This happens to both of my front doors everytime its really cold out.

I carry some PB Blaster, spray some in the key hole and down the lock button hole and it will open for me. My locks freeze too; won't open with key or remote, but only happens to my front doors, the rears always work.
98JettaTDI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2008, 02:06   #11
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
TDI(s): MK4
Fuel Economy: 56mpg (UK gallons)

Why not fit a new lock barrel?
poor1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2008, 20:23   #12
Veteran Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MI, USA

I have the same problem but I do not see any posts that would explein some more as to what the solutions are.
My passenger side is locked and I can open it.
The central lock starts pushing the pin up - no dice.
The inside/outside handles do not help either.

Thanks a bunch
"here is my full post"Well I thought I had it all solved. A brand new latch went in and it worked great. Then I installed the remote door module by BULLDOG.

After installing the bulldog I can open and close the doors no problem - EXCEPT for the passenger's side.

This morning I noticed the "bulldog" was unable to lock that door.
I could see the little pin going down but then it would retract up like there was not enough "power" to lock the door.

THEN throughout the day it somehow managed to lock the door but now I can't open this door. I tried the internal release latch, I tried pulling on the pin, I tried the key - do dice. The door is stuck in the lock position with the "pin" down.

Is there some kind adjustment? The door handle was very easy to operate (both from inside and out) before the power lock kicked in and locked it for good?!

Any ideas?
euromade is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:42.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright - TDIClub Online LTD - 2017
Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Forum Rules | Disclaimer
TDIClub Online Ltd (TDIClub.com) is not affiliated with the VWoA or VWAG and is supported by contributions from viewers like you.
1996 - 2017, All Rights Reserved
Page generated in 0.14435 seconds with 11 queries
[Output: 101.81 Kb. compressed to 85.04 Kb. by saving 16.77 Kb. (16.47%)]