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Hi!

I have a 2005 STS4 v8 and just today noticed that the passenger door no longer works. And since the exterior handle relies on electrionics, I can't get in it from the outside at all.

The background:

I recently and proudly put her 70,000th mile on. Not 500 miles afterwards I had my first real problem with the car. The power-steering went. My mechanic said that the lines were leaking and so I had them replaced at a fairly hefty price of almost $600. However that also included an oil-change, geneal check-up, parts and labor (which was actually the majority of the cost).

But anyways, I picked it up today and sat in the driver seat waiting for my lady (my wife) to get in the passenger seat. I unlocked and unlocked but she still couldn't open it. I opened it from the inside as I troubleshooted in the back of my mind. We stopped to get gas and while I filled up I played around with it and it really isn't working. All of the other doors work perfectly though.

I always leave my STS in a garage, and during its stay at the mechanic, I saw that it was outside the whole time. And being a cold week, my first thought was that the cold -20F weather got to it. But I won't jump to any conclusions.

I guess why I'm writing this is to see if this is a common problem or maybe there is even a tiny chance that there is a quick and easy fix for this?

I've read around this site plenty, but never thought to register. I guess I figured it was finally time. And also I've seen that this is a tight community and everyone seems to be of excellent help to eachother. I figured I could possibly get help, or atleast sympathy ;) and contribute myself.

Thanks in advance!

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My first question would be does it act like the door isn't unlocking (exterior handle won't pull out as if it's still locked)?

or does it act like the latch mechanism has come disconnected (exterior handle pulls out but feels loose like it isn't doing anything)?

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Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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My first question would be does it act like the door isn't unlocking (exterior handle won't pull out as if it's still locked)?

or does it act like the latch mechanism has come disconnected (exterior handle pulls out but feels loose like it isn't doing anything)?

I honestly have never really noticed that the handle won't pull out as far when locked. I always have the keys around me so they unlock right away.

However I did do somewhat of a test. I locked the car, threw the keys away from me and pulled the door handle. Now, if the door was working correctly and I pulled the handle, the little red security light on the door panel should blink once. When I tested this, it didn't blink. So I'm guessing that the connection is eroded or who knows what. I'm not very electronically inclined to say anything just yet ;)

And that brings me to your next idea of a disconnected latch. As I remember it, the door handle felt perfectly snug, tight as it always was.

Does it have a physical latch connected to the handle though? I always just assumed it was all electronic with how smooth it is.

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I think you are right about the outside handles being electronic. I think the inside handles are mechanical but the outside ones are electronic.

Check under the passengers seat. I think the door control module is there. Check to see if all the wires are plugged in good. Maybe unplug it and plug it back in.

This may cause your TPMS to briefly come on the next time you start it but after driving over 25 mph for a few hundred yards it should re-read the pressure from the tires and the light will go off.

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Its really a shame that they charge so much for repairs, but its pretty common throughout the industry for top shelf cars. You should hear some of the prices I hear for repairs of BMW, MB and Infinity. My friend with the Infinity was told you are driving a luxury car you have to expect luxury car repairs. The unfortunate thing is that you will never know what was wrong a loose junction, bad o-ring or connection and they replace the line. I would call them and see what went wrong while it was on their lot. Its not likely the low temps hurt you car, but I like that you are concerned about it hurting your car, you obviously care about it. If you ever sell it I am sure there will be more than a few members here that would love to have a car that has been cared for so well.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Texas Jim: What should I be looking for under the seat? Just loose connections or something in particular?

And speaking of the tire monitor, since winter started I've been getting a "service tpm" message after driving for a little bit. It doesn't read from the left-rear. I just kinda ignore it as the tires look fine and I don't really have time to be concerned with it. But could it be related possibly?

BodybyFisher: I hear ya on luxury costs. My brother had an Mercedes and had a hell of a time with it. Window and other electronic problems galore starting at 30k miles just before the warranty was up, and continued until he sold it at 50k (doubt if they ever stopped). And he says they were far from cheap.

Yes, I do care about my car a lot. I love it.

Some say it's an unnatural love. Not really but you get it. I plan to keep the car through the engine's life though. And to me it seems it's still very young. That is unless it starts to give me more problems than I can handle.

So I'm sorry to say, but I took the depreciation and now it's time I make the most of it :) She stays!

Back to the passenger seat idea, I'll check it as soon as I can. I'm at work and probably shouldn't leave just yet ;)

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My first question would be does it act like the door isn't unlocking (exterior handle won't pull out as if it's still locked)?

or does it act like the latch mechanism has come disconnected (exterior handle pulls out but feels loose like it isn't doing anything)?

both the inside and the outside door handles have no linkage or cables attached to them.

12.58 second Northstar with a GM/Cadillac PCM

Cadillac Technician @ Crest Cadillac Brookfield WI

Hometown Washougal WA

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Its really a shame that they charge so much for repairs, but its pretty common throughout the industry for top shelf cars. You should hear some of the prices I hear for repairs of BMW, MB and Infinity. My friend with the Infinity was told you are driving a luxury car you have to expect luxury car repairs. The unfortunate thing is that you will never know what was wrong a loose junction, bad o-ring or connection and they replace the line. I would call them and see what went wrong while it was on their lot. Its not likely the low temps hurt you car, but I like that you are concerned about it hurting your car, you obviously care about it. If you ever sell it I am sure there will be more than a few members here that would love to have a car that has been cared for so well.

The P/S line are not that fun to replace on AWD cars. The 4.6L is harder also

12.58 second Northstar with a GM/Cadillac PCM

Cadillac Technician @ Crest Cadillac Brookfield WI

Hometown Washougal WA

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I think you are right about the outside handles being electronic. I think the inside handles are mechanical but the outside ones are electronic.

Check under the passengers seat. I think the door control module is there. Check to see if all the wires are plugged in good. Maybe unplug it and plug it back in.

This may cause your TPMS to briefly come on the next time you start it but after driving over 25 mph for a few hundred yards it should re-read the pressure from the tires and the light will go off.

The Passenger door module is in the door

The remote control door lock receiver is in the trunk and is not likely the issue if the other doors work

12.58 second Northstar with a GM/Cadillac PCM

Cadillac Technician @ Crest Cadillac Brookfield WI

Hometown Washougal WA

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both the inside and the outside door handles have no linkage or cables attached to them.

I guess my mind is still in the stone age. The last door I was into was on my '94 Eldorado.

The remote keyless entry that works automatically when you get close to the car sounds pretty cool, though.

Good luck.

An afterthought: If the door latches work electrically, how would you get into the car if the battery was dead? Could be fatal if the battery is located under the back seat cushion like mine. :unsure:

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Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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both the inside and the outside door handles have no linkage or cables attached to them.

I guess my mind is still in the stone age. The last door I was into was on my '94 Eldorado.

The remote keyless entry that works automatically when you get close to the car sounds pretty cool, though.

Good luck.

An afterthought: If the door latches work electrically, how would you get into the car if the battery was dead? Could be fatal if the battery is located under the back seat cushion like mine. :unsure:

THE KEY

OK the 05 to 07 had a key that you needed to carry around. Customers never have them. The 08 has a key in the remote. The key only works in the drivers door because it is the only door with a lock cylinder. This is Mechanically connected to the latch and the door pops like pulling on the handle.

12.58 second Northstar with a GM/Cadillac PCM

Cadillac Technician @ Crest Cadillac Brookfield WI

Hometown Washougal WA

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Yeah the keyless entry is pretty neat. The keys never leave my pocket.

AJxtcman, are you sure that the inside has no linkage? I was under the impression otherwise because when you open it from the outside, there is a minuscule but noticable delay between pull and unlatch. The inside doesn't show this plus you can kind of feel a certain characteristic about it.

But anyways, I'm going to make an appointment for it sometime. Probably not right away as I just got the car back and the passenger seat isn't really necessary as of now. But sometime late January will do.

Or maybe sooner. It depends on when I get a break.

Until then though feel free to suggest or discuss because I don't see any reason not to.

And when I do figure out what it is, I'll be sure to stay in touch.

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I just had a door panel off to change the outside doo handle aka antenna. The antenna failed. I did not remember a cable going to the inside door handle.

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Power Door Latch Description and Operation

Power Door Latch System Components

Remote control door lock receiver (RCDLR) -- GMLAN device that provides passive keyless entry status information to the DDM and PDM

Driver door module (DDM) -- GMLAN device that receives door handle switch inputs and controls the power door latches

Passenger door module (PDM) -- GMLAN device that receives door handle switch inputs and controls the power door latches

Door handle assembly -- includes the lift handle and unlatch enable switches on the driver and front

Power door latches -- electrically operated door latches in the driver and front passenger doors

DRIVER DR MOD 10 A fuse

FRT PASS DR MOD 15 A fuse

Power Door Latch Controls

Control of the power door latches is dependent on the door lock status. If the status of the door lock system is UNLOCK, the power door latches will electrically release after lifting the exterior door handle. If the status of the door lock system is LOCK, one of the following inputs will be required before the latch will release:

A door unlock switch activation

A door key cylinder unlock switch activation

An active keyless entry unlock command

A passive keyless entry unlock command message is received by the DDM or PDM from the RCDLR

Once any of the above inputs has been received, the power door latches will electrically release after lifting the exterior door handle.

The interior door handles provide a mechanical link between the handle and the latch and requires no electrical inputs or outputs to release the door latch.

For further information on the power door lock status, refer to Power Door Locks Description and Operation . For further information on the active and passive keyless entry system, refer to Keyless Entry System Description and Operation in Keyless Entry.

Power Door Latch Unlatch Operation

When either exterior door handle is lifted, switched ground signals are sent to the DDM or PDM and the RCDLR through the LF or RF door handle switch signal circuits. Upon receipt of these inputs, the DDM or PDM and the RCDLR will check the door lock status of the system as described above. Once the enable criteria has been met, the DDM or PDM will supply power and ground to door latch control circuits and the door will release.

Keyless Entry System Description and Operation

Keyless Entry System Description and Operation - Active

The keyless entry system is a vehicle entry device. The keyless entry system is used in conjunction with the door locks to unlock the vehicle. Keyless entry will lock/unlock a door or open the rear compartment lid when a corresponding button on the keyless entry transmitter is pressed. This is accomplished by the transmitter sending a radio frequency to the remote control door lock receiver (RCDLR). The RCDLR interprets the signal and activates the requested function via a serial data message. A low transmitter battery or radio frequency (RF) interference from aftermarket devices, such as 2-way radios, power inverters, computers, etc., may cause a system malfunction. High RF traffic areas, such as gas stations that use pay-at-the-pump RF transponders, may also cause interference that could lead to a malfunction. Keyless entry allows you to operate the following components:

• Door locks

• Rear compartment lid release

• Illuminated entry lamps

• Panic alarm/Vehicle locator

• Remote vehicle start

The keyless entry system has the following components:

• Keyless entry transmitters

• LH and RH door antennas (part of the door handle assembly)

• Rear compartment antenna

• Headliner and console antennas

• Console active antenna

• Instrument Panel Module (IPM)

• Rear Integration Module (RIM)

• Remote Control Door Lock Receiver (RCDLR)

Keyless Entry Transmitters

The keyless entry transmitters are used to passively or actively lock and unlock the vehicle doors.

By operating either of the front exterior door handles, a nearby programmed transmitters is challenged by a keyless entry antenna. The transmitter will passively send an RF signal to the RCDLR via the door antennas; the RCDLR will then interpret this communication and either allow entry into the vehicle or deny it.

Door Antennas

The keyless entry door antennas are used to transmit and receive RF communications from the keyless entry transmitters.

The keyless entry door antennas are molded into the vehicles LF and RF exterior door handles. The antennas are serviced as part of the door handle assembly. The antennas are controlled by the RCDLR. When the exterior door handle is operated, the respective antennas sends out sends out a challenge to the keyless entry transmitter which begins the passive entry communications.

Rear Compartment Antenna

The rear compartment antenna is used to transmit and receive RF communications from the keyless entry transmitters for entry to rear compartment.

The rear compartment antenna is located under the rear fascia and is accessed from under the vehicle. The antenna is controlled by the RCDLR. When the rear compartment touch pad is pressed, the antenna sends out a challenge to the keyless entry transmitter which begins the passive entry communications.

Headliner and Console Antennas

The keyless entry headliner and console antennas are used for both keyless entry and vehicle starting functions. In their keyless entry function, they are used to locate any keyless entry transmitters within the vehicle. In the antennas vehicle starting function, the antennas transmit and receive the needed communications with the keyless entry transmitter to enable vehicle starting.

The keyless entry headliner antenna is located under the vehicles headliner. The console antenna is located in the vehicle center console. The use of two antennas and the placement of the antennas is to ensure complete coverage of the vehicle interior. These antennas share a driver and are controlled simultaneously by the RCDLR. When the start button is pressed, both antennas send out an identical challenge to the keyless entry transmitter.

Console Active Antenna

The keyless entry console active antenna is located in the center console. It has a small pocket next to it where the key fob can be inserted if the key fobs battery is dead, weak, or the RF signal is being interrupted.

The purpose of the console active antenna is to send a low frequency RF challenge to a programmed key fob when the start button is pressed. The console active antenna is controlled by the RCDLR.

Remote Control Door Lock Receiver (RCDLR)

The RCDLR is a multi-function module which controls all the vehicles antennas for passive and active keyless entry, as well as vehicle theft deterrent and vehicle starting. The RCDLR will send an AC voltage signal and provide ground to the passive antennas. This will enable the antennas to send out the low frequency broadcast challenge to a keyless entry transmitter within range.

Keyless Entry System Description and Operation - Passive

Passive keyless entry allows entry to a locked vehicle without pressing any buttons on the keyless entry transmitter. You must only have the transmitter with you. This passive system is also part of the vehicle starting system. It allows you to start and run the vehicle having only the transmitter as your key. The passive entry and starting system use low frequency antennas in 5 different areas on the vehicle to determine the location of the transmitter. When passively opening a locked door or the rear compartment lid, you must have a programmed transmitter with you in your pocket, purse, or briefcase. As a customer opens the door handle or presses rear compartment touch pad, the low frequency antenna sends out a challenge to the keyless entry transmitter. The transmitter must be in a one meter range of the door or rear compartment lid in order to receive the challenge. If the challenge is met, the transmitter will respond, allowing the door to be unlocked and opened.

Starting the vehicle also works in much the same manner. The key fob must be within the passenger compartment of the vehicle when the START/ACC/OFF button is pressed. The low frequency antenna sends a challenge to the transmitter and if the challenge is met, the transmitter will respond to the RCDLR. The RCDLR will then send out a fuel enable password to the engine control module (ECM). As long as all security requirements are met, and the ECM receives the password over the serial data line, the engine will start and run. A low transmitter battery or radio frequency (RF) interference from aftermarket devices, such as 2-way radios, power inverters, computers, etc., may cause a system malfunction. High RF traffic areas, such as gas stations that use pay-at-the-pump RF transponders, may also cause interference that could lead to a malfunction.

Unlock Driver Door Only - Active

Momentarily press the transmitter UNLOCK button in order to perform the following functions:

• Unlock only the driver door

• Illuminate the interior lamps for a determined length of time, or until the ignition is turned ON

• Flash the exterior lights, if enable through personalization

• Disarm the Content Theft Deterrent (CTD) system

• Deactivate the CTD system when in the alarm mode

Unlock All Doors - Second Operation - Active

Momentarily press the transmitter UNLOCK button a second time, within 5 seconds of the first press, to perform the following function:

Unlock the remaining doors

Unlock Front Door Only - Passive

If enabled through personalization, approach either front door with a valid keyless entry transmitter to perform the following functions:

• Unlock only the approached door when door handle is operated

• Disarm the CTD system, if equipped

• Deactivate the CTD system when in the alarm mode

Unlock All Doors - Passive

If enabled through personalization, approach either front door with a valid keyless entry transmitter to perform the following functions:

• Unlock all vehicle doors when the approached door handle is operated

• Disarm the CTD system, if equipped

• Deactivate the CTD system when in the alarm mode

Lock All Doors - Active

Press the transmitter LOCK button to perform the following functions:

• Lock all vehicle doors

• Immediately turn off the interior lamps

• Flash the exterior lights, if enabled through personalization

• Chirp the horn, if enabled through personalization

• Arm the CTD system

Lock All Doors - Passive

If enabled through personalization, exit the vehicle with the keyless entry transmitter to perform the following functions:

• Lock all vehicle doors

• Flash the exterior lights, if enabled through personalization

• Chirp horn, if enabled through personalization

• Arm the CTD system

If two keyless entry transmitters are within a vehicle and a single transmitter exits, the transmitter left within the vehicle will be ignored and the vehicle will be locked as normal. The transmitter left inside the passenger compartment will be ignored until a valid transmitter unlocks the vehicle again.

Rear Compartment Lid Release - Active

If the vehicle transaxle is in PARK or NEUTRAL and the ignition is in the OFF position, a single press of the transmitter rear compartment release button will open the rear compartment lid.

Rear Compartment Lid Release - Passive

Approach the rear of the vehicle with a valid keyless entry transmitter. Press the rear compartment lid release touch pad. The rear compartment lid will open.

A keyless entry transmitter left inside the truck will allow the trunk to be reopened at any time. This feature will not allow a customer to lock the transmitter in the trunk.

Vehicle Locator/Panic Alarm

A single press of the panic button performs the following functions. Some functions may be dependent on personalization settings:

• Pulses the horn three times

• Flashes the exterior lamps three times

A press and hold of the panic button performs the following functions:

• Illuminates the interior lamps

• Pulses the horn and flashes the parking lamps for 30 second or until the following conditions occur:

- The panic button is pressed

- The ignition switch is turned to the RUN position with a valid key

Remote Vehicle Start (RVS)

The remote vehicle start (RVS) function allows engine starting while not in the vehicle. It also allows the vehicle HVAC system and other vehicle systems to enable, providing a comfortable vehicle upon entry. RVS functions have an operating range of up to 195 feet, depending on conditions. The RVS sequence begins by pressing and releasing the lock button and then pressing and holding the RVS buttons on the keyless entry transmitter. The turn signal lamps will illuminate to indicate the vehicle has received the remote start request. Each time an RVS is performed, the vehicle doors are locked, however they may then be unlocked/locked with the transmitter or vehicle key at any time. Once activated, the engine is allowed to run for 10 minutes. The RVS time may be extended by an additional 10 minute by again pressing and releasing the lock button and then pressing and holding the RVS buttons on the transmitter. This feature is called a RVS continue and allows a maximum of 20 minutes of engine running. If the RVS continue is performed at 7 minutes into the initial 10 minute time-out, a total of 17 minutes of engine running would occur. The RVS event may be suspended at any time by pressing only the RVS button on the transmitter or by entering the vehicle and turning ON the hazard lamps.

In between ignition cycles, only two RVS events may occur or be attempted. Once two events or attempts have been made, future RVS events will be suspended until the vehicle is started using the ignition.

Enable/Disable RVS

Using the driver information center (DIC), RVS may be enabled or disabled as a part of vehicle personalization. Refer to the vehicle owners manual for more information.

Hood Ajar Switch

The hood switch provides status of the hood to the RIM for RVS purposes. The switch is integrated into the hood latch assembly. The hood ajar switch provides 2 separate inputs to the RIM. These separate inputs allow the RIM to actively monitor for a hood ajar switch fault.

RVS Circuit Description

The RCDLR receives a signal from the keyless entry transmitter indicating a RVS request. A message is then sent to the IPM which determines if a crank request message will be sent to the ECM to activate RVS. To determine if conditions are correct for an RVS event, the IPM will request information from the RIM. The IPM looks at the following inputs:

• Vehicle is not in valet mode

• All vehicle doors are closed

• No keyless entry transmitters are inside the vehicle

• Rear compartment lid is not ajar

• A valid hood ajar switch closed signal

• The doors are locked

• The hazard switch is OFF

• Battery reconnect has not occurred

• Vehicle power mode is correct.

When the IPM determines all conditions meet those required for an RVS event, a message is sent via serial data to the IPM. The ECM relies on the RVS message from IPM, to enable RVS when the crank request signal is received. If the ECM does not receive a valid RVS message, it will not ground the control circuit of the crank relay and start the engine. While the ECM is in RVS mode it will cut fuel to the engine if any of the following additional conditions occur:

• Vehicle speed is greater than 0.

• Transmission is not in P.

• Excessive engine coolant temperature

• Low oil pressure

• The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is commanded ON.

• Engine crank time is greater than 30 seconds.

• Excessive engine speed.

• Accelerator pedal position too high.

• Remote start timer equals 0.

• Vehicle Theft Deterrent (VTD) tamper.

Keyless Entry Personalization

Vehicle lock/unlock functions and remote vehicle start (RVS) settings may be personalized for 2 separate drivers. For functional descriptions and programming instructions, refer to the vehicle owners manual.

Low Fob Battery Message

A LOW FOB BATTERY message may be seen on the DIC when the fob’s battery voltage has been lower than 2.6 volts for three consecutive ignition cycles (OFF to ACC or OFF to RUN). The RCDLR monitors the voltage of each fob independently; however, if two fobs are present when starting the vehicle, the voltage will be monitored only on the fob that starts the vehicle. For example, if Fob 1 enters from the driver door and Fob 2 enters from the passenger door, the RCDLR will monitor only Fob 1. To determine the fob being monitored, check which driver ID is present when the vehicle is started. The driver ID will correspond with the fob being monitored.

Fob battery voltage may also be observed using the scan tool. The scan tool displays the actual battery signal voltage, as well as the low voltage signal. These parameters may be used to determine which fob has caused the LOW FOB BATTERY message to be displayed.

12.58 second Northstar with a GM/Cadillac PCM

Cadillac Technician @ Crest Cadillac Brookfield WI

Hometown Washougal WA

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  • 5 years later...

I purchased a 2005 Cadillac STS just over a year ago and have had a problem with my driver’s side front door not responding to the fob or pulling on the handle. This has occurred intermittently over the past 6 to 8 months. At first, it would only occur during the heat of the day ( I live in Phoenix, Arizona) but now this happens more frequently and any time of the day.

When I approach the door I can hear the electronics of the vehicle “kick in” from under the hood. If I press the “open” button on the fob, all of the other 3 doors open but there is no sound from the driver’s door. It is the same if I pull on the handle: all of the other 3 doors open but there is no sound from the driver’s door.

I have done plenty of research on the issue and it appears that there are numerous Cadillac STS owners (as well as other models) experiencing this same issue.

I first tried replacing the batteries in the fobs but nothing changed.

I also tried disconnecting the battery overnight but it still did not correct the issue.

To tackle what I read is the most common repair, I purchased a new “Housing Kit” from GMPartsGiant.com (least expensive after reaching extensively) for $80 plus shipping. The part number is 19120306. This is the housing that goes on the inside of the door assembly that has the internal mechanical door latch and the wiring and the micro switches that connects to the door handle. There are a couple of YouTube videos that can help with the removal of the old unit and re-installation.

The real tricky part of installing the new “housing is sliding forward and locking the external door handle into the housing. My impatience with installing it the first time caused me to break the actuators so use caution and practice on your existing unit as the videos suggest. It will save you having to get a replacement part and $95.

On my second attempt with the new “housing” I replaced it successfully but the front door still performed the same.

I then purchased a used door handle assembly from State Auto Salvage in Homestead, Florida. These handle assemblies are hard to come by. The part and shipping totaled $50.

I was hoping that the issue could be the antennae in the existing handle have become faulty. I again tore down the door assembly and replaced everything with the used handle assembly I had purchased and still no difference.

It was strange though that when I sprayed electronics cleaner on the micro switches and allowed them to dry, the worked for a brief period of time. This happened with both the new housing and the used housings I had installed.

I did notice that when I am inside the care and the window button is pressed to close it normally the window raises all of the way to the top automatically. But, when the door handle is working properly, the window button needs to be held to get the window to close completely.

I am not sure if this is related to my problem but it sure is strange.

I don’t know if it is hocus pocus but I have even tried unhooking the battery cables and holding the positive and negative ends together for 15 minutes to reset all of the modules in the vehicle but still no change.

The final option I have is to replace the driver’s door module if that is not functioning correctly.

I was hoping there is an experienced technician somewhere who has already been through this process and can give me some advice.

Should I focus on the driver’s door module next?

Is there anything else I should look at?

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