Sunday, August 14, 2011

2005 Chrysler Town & Country Sliding Door Fix

Our driver's side power sliding door has been acting up over the past year or so.  When you press the button inside the van or use the remote key chain fob to open the door, it will usually only open a few inches and then quit.  When it first started happening it would open pretty far and then quit, so I squirted some WD-40 inside the tracks thinking that something was blocking it.  That actually seemed to buy us some time because it started working again after that.  Over the past few months, though, the door was basically not powered anymore.  It would occasionally open about 2 inches and then stop.  Once open, it wouldn't even attempt to close when you pressed the button.  And if you manually closed the door, you really had to slam it because the motor wasn't taking over to close it all the way (you'll know what I'm talking about if you have one of these).

A side effect of this problem was that our power door locks also stopped working within the past two days or so.  This meant that the only way to lock up the car was to manually depress all the door lock switches in the car.  And the only way to open it up was to use the key in the driver's side door, get in, and manually unlock the rest of the doors.  I know... Boo hoo, right?  Well, once you're used to the power locks, it sucks having to manually lock and unlock all the doors.  It also wasn't locking the doors when you put the car in gear.

I did some internet searching and found the solution to the power door locks issue.  You can either disconnect your positive battery cable for about 5 minutes, or you can remove the 20-amp fuse for "Internal accessories" (I think it's labeled IOD on the fuse panel under the hood) for about a minute.  Once the system resets, the locks should work again (mine did).

I also found some instructional videos on how to fix the power sliding door problem.  This guy has a nice video showing you where to look.  My power cable was frayed in the same exact spot.  As a matter of fact, once I pulled the wire out to look at it, it split in two; so it was pretty bad.  Not taking any chances, I disconnected the positive terminal on my battery so that there was no chance the wire was hot when I was working with it.  I simply uncovered the wire, exposing more of it on either side using wire strippers, twisted the wires together, taped them up with electrical tape, and put everything back inside the door track.  Here's a picture of the wire before the repair:

If you're having the same problem, it's worth it to give this a shot.  I've seen estimates online that say that most dealerships will charge you for a new wiring harness and at least one hour of labor to replace the whole thing.  Probably a $300 job, I'd guess; and you'd be without your vehicle for a while.