Passat door won't close

natescape

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2000
Location
Between Providence and Cape Cod
TDI
None at the moment. *sniff*
Passat door won\'t close

OK, this happened last year a few times and happened again today. I'm sick of it and want to figure out how to fix it (and if it's a recurring problem like the door open issue).

When it snows/rains, then gets really cold, I have serious problems closing the driver's side (and sometimes passenger's-side) door. It opens fine, but when I close it, the door just bounces back open. I've taken to carrying a bungee cord around and bungeeing the door closed until it warms up enough to close.

This is really annoying, and I'd like to know if others experience it and if there's a solution.
 

tomo366

TDI Lifer, Member #68
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Location
Kensington, Maryland USA
TDI
2015 Jetta SEL TDI
Re: Passat door won\'t close

I have been dealing with this issue for over 4 years and there is really nothing that can't done short of selling the car.......
I have replaced both front door handles and the right side lock mechanism.
the design su*ks
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Didn't someone suggest packing the internal mechanism with grease to keep the water away?
 

Hintertux

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Location
Fort Walton Beach, FL
TDI
2013 Beetle TDI DSG Candy White
Re: Passat door won\'t close

This happened to me this year, I did just that I parked it in a warm garage over night, the next day it was fine. I hit the lock mech with some WD40 and has not done it since.

 

MITBeta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Location
Boston's Metro South-West
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 2004 Sprinter CDI Passenger (Mid/High), former: 1996 Passat TDI Variant
Re: Passat door won\'t close

I feel your pain. This morning I was knee-down in snow puffing warm air on the mechanism trying to get the door to close.

This also happened on the passenger side door on Thanksgiving night, which was promptly rectified with the use of a blowtorch at my parent's house.

I ran a search on this problem just before I found this thread... I'll see if there's anything interesting in the search.

One solution that occurred to me is to buy one of those little butane torches that works in all weather and wind and use it to thaw out the door.

In the meantime, Nate, what are you bungying the door to?
 

MITBeta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Location
Boston's Metro South-West
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 2004 Sprinter CDI Passenger (Mid/High), former: 1996 Passat TDI Variant
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Nate:

It appears as though you asked this same question last January. Did you ever try re-greasing the door?
 

GoFaster

Moderator at Large
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Re: Passat door won\'t close

I've found that lubricating the linkage helps but doesn't solve the problem 100%. I carry a nylon tie-down strap inside the car and tie together the left and right inside grab handles to keep the door closed when this happens, without having to hold the door while driving (although I've had to do that if I've forgotten the tie-down strap).
 

GTP

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Location
Navarre,Ohio
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Nate, this happens to my car periodically. It is really no big thing, just keep a can of WD-40 in your car. When the door freezes, spray it and you will be fine. good luck.
 

natescape

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2000
Location
Between Providence and Cape Cod
TDI
None at the moment. *sniff*
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Oy. Yeah, I knew I had posted about it before, but couldn't find my topic.

I run a bungee across the car from one door handle to the other, using the handles. It's about belly-high. Not recommended for short, fat folks. Thankfully, I'm a tall, fat folk.


Damn, these doors suck. There's just NO EXCUSE for this kind of shoddy engineering.

Golfstream, it was actually partly fear of karmic retribution that I decided to keep the car.
 

tdipoet

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Location
hooksett, nh
TDI
'11 Jetta TDI
Re: Passat door won\'t close

nate's car rocks. it's so much fun!

this happened to me after the CT gtg. a day of having the door open and the sill getting wet, then FREEZING temperatures resulted in a frozen passenger side door lock, frozen driver's door lock, then a driver's door that would not open.

after about five minutes of holding my door and trying not to slide into a telephone pole - almost made an unintentional nate turn - i got out and scraped the sill. or lower foot area thing, whatever you want to call it. the door then closed, no problem. try it, anyway.

your car will still be your car, but at least the door might close.
 

natescape

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2000
Location
Between Providence and Cape Cod
TDI
None at the moment. *sniff*
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Mainly, it just needs to warm up. I'll add silicone spray (my lubricant of choice last year) and keep the bungee cord ready. *sigh* It usually will warm up enough to close within 5-10 minutes of driving.

I just keep it attached to the passenger side door and stretch across when needed. VW should be ashamed of the doors on this model.
 

Big Red

Veteran Member
Joined
May 22, 2000
Location
Newark, DE, USA
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Wow, how ironic. This just happened to me this past weekend. I started the car and began loading in my luggage and family ready to head home from Thanksgiving. I closed my driver's door and BONK! It popped right open again. Several slams and no luck. Manual manipulation of the levers and still no luck.

I just let the car warm up a bit with the heater on high. 20 minutes later the problem went away.

Anyone report this to the National Highway Saftey board yet? Seems like there should be a fix.
Anyone know of any TSBs?
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Re: Passat door won\'t close

nate, I have experienced it once during a bad freezing rain storm. It's kind of an accomplishment to be able to shift, hold the driver's door closed and negotiate Storrow Drive while sliding all over the place!


Solution: park car in warm garage!


(you probably didn't want to hear that)
 

riddei

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 1999
Location
Northern New England (barely)
TDI
Passat, 1997, Storm Grey
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Yup!

Hasn't happened this year (yet). But last year I had this happen to BOTH front doors.

Really fun hanging onto doors, the steering wheel, and shifting, at the same time!



I hate Passat doors and locks!
 

golfstream

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Location
Balmer, Hon
TDI
Golf, 2000, Black
Re: Passat door won\'t close

When it snows/rains, then gets really cold, I have serious problems closing the driver's side (and sometimes passenger's-side) door. It opens fine, but when I close it, the door just bounces back open. I've taken to carrying a bungee cord around and bungeeing the door closed until it warms up enough to close.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Jeez, and to think I was actually considering buying that heap!


-Mel
 

jck66

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 4, 2001
Location
Greenwich, CT, USA
TDI
12 Passat SE / 14 BMW 535d
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Originally posted by natescape:
Thankfully, I'm a tall, fat folk.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">LOL! Me too!


When I had everything apart in the spring of this year, I placed a drop of superglue on the evil "pins" that are a constant source of annoyance to Passat owners, and I greased the CRAP out of all the moving parts of the door handle. So far so good, although the cold weather has just begun...

Also, having the keyless entry has saved me cussing at the frozen locks.
 

riddei

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 1999
Location
Northern New England (barely)
TDI
Passat, 1997, Storm Grey
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Thanks Nate!

After reading your thread, I picked my Passat up from the dealer who replaced my ruptured fuel line, slammed the door shut... and "bounce".

Nice coincidence! I hate Passat handles and locks!

Nice to hear I'm in good company though!
 

tonyp

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Location
MA
TDI
96 Passat Sedan
Re: Passat door won\'t close

I discovered this problem too on my first wet/freezing day in the Passat. You know, my '88 Fox had the same kind of problems. You'd think they'd come up with a fix with 8 friggin' years to find it


Something I found in a scan through the archives: Use silicone spray to keep the lock and latch from freezing, NOT WD-40. The lubricants dry out/evaporate/disintegrate, leaving you worse than you began.

White lithium grease for the hinges (e.g. for squeaky door).

From experience don't open the other door to see how the latch should operate
. And if you're on the highway it helps to open the moonroof a crack (no pun intended), the vacuum will help pull the door shut.


So who else has the similar-but-different, door won't open problem? You pull the handle, nothing happens. You pull harder, nothing happens. You wiggle the locks, push the remote unlock button, reposition your body, give it a hard yank and it catches.

I see there's a "free play adjustment" in the Bentley. Is that the problem?

[ December 04, 2002, 13:52: Message edited by: tonyp ]
 

riddei

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 1999
Location
Northern New England (barely)
TDI
Passat, 1997, Storm Grey
Re: Passat door won\'t close

So who else has the similar-but-different, door won't open problem? You pull the handle, nothing happens. You pull harder, nothing happens. You wiggle the locks, push the remote unlock button, reposition your body, give it a hard yank and it catches.

I see there's a "free play adjustment" in the Bentley. Is that the problem?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Actually also common on the Passat. Nate has posted a great step by step "fix" (I don't know exactly where).

There is a pin inside that needs to be re-alligned. It is fairly easy.
 

hamilgs

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 1999
Location
Huntsville, AL USA
TDI
2004 Jetta & 2014 JSW 6MT
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Nate: Thaw the door lock, gently pry off the black plastic cover, insert the tube extension into various holes in the lock, fill it up with spray white grease, open & close the door a few times, top off the grease again.--that does it for me. Just have to do it periodically.--george
 

jck66

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 4, 2001
Location
Greenwich, CT, USA
TDI
12 Passat SE / 14 BMW 535d
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Originally posted by tonyp:
From experience don't open the other door to see how the latch should operate
. And if you're on the highway it helps to open the moonroof a crack (no pun intended), the vacuum will help pull the door shut.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes, I warned against this last winter. One morning I had three (count 'em, three) doors out of four frozen open before the glow plugs in my brain cycled! Doh!
 

natescape

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2000
Location
Between Providence and Cape Cod
TDI
None at the moment. *sniff*
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Thanks Tony!

Today was another bungee cord day. Sadly, I had left my gloves in the car last night and had to open it up right away to get them so I could shovel the driveway (8" of snow). Of course, the door didn't close, so my dome light was on for about 90 minutes while I shoveled and got ready for work.

This weekend: lubrication. Lots of lubrication.
 

GregK

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 23, 1999
Location
Akron, OH
TDI
1996 Passat, wagon, white
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Sign me on as a member of the Bonking Door Brigade!


I wonder if you can get a hair dryer that plugs into the cigarette lighter oops, auxiliary power outlet
.

You would think that they could have used a "bit" more sheet metal to design the door so that the latch is internal to the door (like just about every other car manufacturer). Sigh.

Greg
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
Re: Passat door won\'t close

Originally posted by GregK:
You would think that they could have used a "bit" more sheet metal to design the door so that the latch is internal to the door (like just about every other car manufacturer
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Actually, there is too much metal. The problem is not so much that water is getting in and freezing the catch pin. It is that the water that does (and always will) get in can't get out before it freezes in there. Open up the gaps at the bottom by drilling out the corners in addition to inserting grease.
 
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