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Old 03-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
jtab4994
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Driver door locked & wouldn't unlock, then magically fixed itself

Greetings, today my 2011 Focus SES decided to engage the latch on the driver's door while it was open, then I couldn't close it. Tried the key, the fob, and the unlock-all button mutliple times but no luck. I ended up driving home with the window rolled down and my arm on the door to kepp it from flying open.

Well when I got home I was going to tie it shut, to keep the wind from blowing it open and run down the battery, when it decided to disengage the latch and shut OK. Tried it a few more times and it seems magically fixed - for now.

It seemed like something mechanical, but mechanical stuff doesn't usually fix itself like that, does it? Any ideas what went wrong? Anyone ever have this happen?


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Old 03-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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Well I highly doubt this is the same scenario, but when its really cold outside my door will open abruptly. Then when I close it, it will bounce off because the latch is still closed, but all I do is just reach down in the latch and move it up. I don't know if that's the same problem, but try moving it the next time it happens.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #3
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Lube the latch with lithium or silicone spray grease. Do not lube the latch with WD40, unless you want this problem to happen permanently.

That might help you, it's uncertain at this point. Did you try opening the door handle from the inside? Fords typically unlock automatically when the handle is pulled from inside.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Well I highly doubt this is the same scenario, but when its really cold outside my door will open abruptly. Then when I close it, it will bounce off because the latch is still closed, but all I do is just reach down in the latch and move it up. I don't know if that's the same problem, but try moving it the next time it happens.
Thanks for the reply. Actually it may be related to cold and wet weather. The afternoon before, we had about an inch of wet snow. I had parked outside but I did drive the car in the evening and parked it under the carport. Next morning when I opened the door it made that crackling sound when there's frozen precip on the door but I forgot about that until now.

So, it's possible some water got into the door, froze, then thawed, then froze again in such a way as to prevent the latch from moving. Hmm, that would explain why it "fixed itself", i.e., that the ice melted again. The door was fine this morning.

Without knowing what the mechanism looks like on the inside, though, I can't know for sure.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind about the WD-40!

I think I tried the door handle from the inside but I'm not sure because I was concentrating on the latch. I know I did not try the handle from the outside. Next time, (which hopefully never happens) I'll try the moving the handle both inside and out.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind about the WD-40!

I think I tried the door handle from the inside but I'm not sure because I was concentrating on the latch. I know I did not try the handle from the outside. Next time, (which hopefully never happens) I'll try the moving the handle both inside and out.
Hi jtab4994,

You can always have your dealership take a look. If you don't want to make a special visit for this concern, you can always combine it with an upcoming maintenance appointment. Let us know if there are any changes; if you need my assistance, I'm just a PM away.

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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Thanks Crystal, I'll wait until my next trip to the dealer. I'm 99% sure it was some melted precipitation that decided to freeze inside the door at an inopportune moment. I'll try running the heater for a while if it happens again.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Thanks Crystal, I'll wait until my next trip to the dealer. I'm 99% sure it was some melted precipitation that decided to freeze inside the door at an inopportune moment. I'll try running the heater for a while if it happens again.
Sounds good, jtab4994. Keep us posted!

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:35 AM   #9
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Just a quick update on my door issue, and then the obituary of my gangsta black-on-black SES.

A few days after I had posted this thread, the door locked itself while open and prevented me from closing the door, while I was at work going to lunch. This time while the latch was engaged I chanced to use the inside door handle and the latch disengaged. I vowed to remember to try the inside handle if that ever happened again, but it never happened again!

Anyway fast forward to November 26, 2013 and my Little Black Car or LBC as we called it in my family, met its tragic end. A kid in a 2001 Charger pulled out in front of me while I was going 50 mph on a rainy night. The airbag deployed and while I was mostly OK save for some whiplash and chemical burns from the airbag, the car was gone. RIP, LBC.

I now have a 2014 SE and it's nice but by golly I miss the handling of the SES!
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