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Door AJAR Switch Replacement on 2002XLT w/Photos

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
borland
Camarillo, CA
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Door AJAR Switch Replacement on 2002XLT w/Photos

I’ve had the false “DOOR AJAR” warning lamp on my instrument cluster for some time. This is on my 2002 XLT.

This problem is intermittent, but seems to be reoccurring more often now than before. Often enough that I've been leaving the courtesy dimmer switch in the off position for about a year.

From searching the prior posts, apparently it can be either a bad switch or a broken ground wire at the door. Since mine is intermittent, the switch is the likely problem.

If you think your switch is bad, wait until you have the warning lamp and then immediately do the following troubleshooting to isolate the specific door causing the warning, using the alarm and wireless remote entry to set the alarm:

A. With all the windows in the down position, activated the alarm and waited about 30 seconds. Then open one door only from the inside door handle. If the alarm goes off that means that door switch tests OK.
B. Reset the alarm again, trying this on each door. Unfortunately, you can’t do this test on the rear liftgate and rear glass. At least not on my truck.
C. If no doors sounded the alarm, you probably have a problem not related to the switches on the doors or door's ground wires.

On my car, the driver’s door switch tests to be the problem area.

If you think your problem is the ground, checked the wires in the rubber sleeve between the door frame pilar and the door. If any damage is found it should be repaired.

The door ajar switch is attached to the bottom of the latch mechanism. The latch assembly is held to the door by 3 screws and two rods. The screws you could access from the outside of the latch. The rods are hold in place by two yellow plastic clips.

This assembly has two electric plugs one for the lock actuator (the biggest of the two) and another for the ajar switch.

There are several post claiming spraying wd40 through the outside door handle fixes this problem. The switch appears to be sealed so not likely that the spray could get inside the switch. If the warning lamp is intermittent, the spray repair may just be coincidental and actually have no affect. So I suggest replacing the switch.

Here’s how I removed the door panel and the AJAR switch.
1. Remove the plastic cover around the door handle. There are two forward clips, so use a putty knife as shown to pry from the front and then pull out.



2. Lift up the door switch panel from the front and remove. Disconnect the electrical plugs.



3. Remove three screws holding the door panel in place. One screw at the top, two along the bottom.





4. Lift the panel enough to reach the electrical connector to the outside mirror switch. It helps to insert a small flat blade screwdriver between the switch and the plug so as to relieve the detent holding the plug locked in place.

5. Slowly pull back the window liner from the bottom corner enough to permit working inside the door as shown in the photo. Use one of the window wiring plugs to grip the corner to hold it back as shown.



6. Disconnect two latch rods (one vertical, one horizontal) by disconnecting the ‘yellow’ clips. Here's a photo showing the AJAR switch way in the back using an inspection mirror. Annotated is (1) AJAR switch, and (2) the AJAR wiring harness and connectors.



Here's the latch mechanism pulled out enough to allow removing the AJAR switch. I've annotated with the (1) marker pointing to the switch.



7. The AJAR switch can be removed by rotating it 90 degrees toward rear of the latch.
8. Reinstall in reverse order.

After removing the switch, I found I was sent the wrong part. The part they sent is very similar but has a rectangular electrical connector, while the one I need is square. So I have reassembled everything and will wait for the correct part.

Hope this helps anyone with this common problem.

borland
2002 XLT

Last edited by borland; 01-30-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:42 AM   #2
thepotroast
Asheville, NC
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That is a great write up.

On a side note, before going through a complete replacement of the switch, you can spray WD40 into the door latch opening on each door, as these become stuck sometimes....and this can alleviate the issue.

This worked for me, after going for more than a year of the "door ajar" light coming on occasionally...mainly after a car wash, high humidity, or rain....making me unable to lock/arm the vehicle from the door keypad and keeping the dome lights on. Worth a try....it worked for me
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #3
EasyRhino
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I am currently surviving on the WD-40 (actually spray brake parts cleaner) trick; however, I expect to have to replace them someday, so thanks.




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Old 07-13-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
thepotroast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyRhino View Post
I am currently surviving on the WD-40 (actually spray brake parts cleaner) trick; however, I expect to have to replace them someday, so thanks.
Try WD40 instead of the brake cleaner...different solvents....brake cleaner evaporates, doesn't lube.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
Mussin
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excellent write up.. Does anyone know the correct part number for the door ajar switch? Can you pick this up at autozone or advance auto parts or is it a dealer item?

THANKS

Jeremy
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
thepotroast
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Originally Posted by Mussin View Post
excellent write up.. Does anyone know the correct part number for the door ajar switch? Can you pick this up at autozone or advance auto parts or is it a dealer item?

THANKS

Jeremy
I believe it's called a "door jamb switch" and they are about $15 online at http://www.directfordparts.com Select your 02 Mountaineer and then type "door" in the search box, first 2 parts that pop up....one for the right side, one for the left side.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:02 PM   #7
borland
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Following up to my post….

With the correct part from Ford I was able to complete the switch replacement.

On the 2002 XLT, the AJAR switches come in left or right doors, so order accordingly. I replaced the switch on my driver door (left):

p/n 4L2Z-13713-AA

You can see that the part removed looks basically the same as the new.



I think the switch has been redesigned, because I used a depth gage and measured both switches and the newer switch is slightly longer by 0.16mm. Also the new switch has less spring tension on the plunger.





I placed a liberal amount of white grease on the tip of the switch and dabbed some inside where it fits into the latch assembly before reassembly.

Also I forgot to mention that prior to removing the three screws holding the latch assembly to the door, I marked their position with masking tape for alignment reasons. So later, on reassembly, it was easy to tighten them in the same position as they came out.


Last edited by borland; 07-27-2009 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
Critter92X
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Thanks for the write-up.I am getting ready to tackle this same thing.I had been getting by on the wd-40 trick for about 2 years.Every 2-3 months I would spray it and the problem would go away but about a month ago the wd-40 would no longer do the trick.It will be nice to see my message center again,instead of the "door ajar" warning.




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Old 08-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Cool Thanks!

Folks, thanks for the help. Got the door adjar alarm reset with some WD40. Thanks for the tips. If I need to replace the switch in the future, I will use you instructions.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #10
1992explorer
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WD40 has stopped working for me. I want to punch a hole through my door beacuse the door ajar light goes on and off and is accompanied by the "BEEP!!!" It's enough to drive you crazy. I will be getting on this ASAP. Thanks for the write up!
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #11
edwx
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Great write up. Way to go!
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #12
RickM
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Great write up.

I ordered a switch off Ebay a while ago for my driver side front door, and, as mentioned in a related thread, the switch was of the wrong configuration (sold on Ebay as MOTORCRAFT #SW5528 / FORD #XF1A-14018-AA). The electrical connector is rectangular as opposed to square and the nib on the nipple of the switch is in a different position.

I will now purchase the proper 4L2Z-13713-AA as stated above by Borland.

FWIW, the original switch in my Explorer is FORD OE part # 1L2T-10B997-AA

Last edited by RickM; 11-02-2009 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Update on the Door Ajar switch for my '02 XLT;

According to Mike @ Direct Ford the 4L2Z-13713-AA is for an '04 Explorer and not my '02. The correct P/N appears to be 1L2Z-13713-AA for vehicles produced up to 12/2/02.

Moral of the story here is to have the vendor of choice use your VIN to select the proper component.




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Old 12-31-2009, 04:41 PM   #14
jlbanderasb
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WD-40 worked properly for me on driver's side. Keep in mind using WD-40 is a band-aid, the latch assembly needs to be inspected and cleaned out as well.....Good Luck!!!
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #15
RGK
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!

Last edited by RGK; 03-28-2010 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Duplicate
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:02 AM   #16
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Thanks for a great writeup, the best I have found to solve this problem. A question; is this switch magnetic or plunger activated and is it part of what looks like a button surrounded by a black plastic retainer that comes thru the door jamb below the latch? I ask because my driver door has a hole there and I think the switch has come loose, The passenger side has the button/retainer. I'll try to get a picture and edit this post with it.

Until I figure this out I have removed the relay located over the driver side rear wheel well. This keeps just the lights and chimes off.

Thanks

Update;

The 1997 version is a bit different than what is described in this post. The part at Rock Auto is part # DS850, which fits front/rear, left/right sides, a picture can be found at this link,

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=319619

It is located on the top of the latch assembly and attached with a single screw. The latch assembly does not have to be removed. Remove the screw, give a half twist to the switch and then disconnect from the harness which contains one lead. Very easy, just place a paper towel or rag at the bottom of the inner door in case of droppage. The part is also available at Silverstate, but no picture or part # is availbale, however the price is about half of Rock Auto.

What I described in my original post is the attachment point for the power lock mechinism. Apparently mine broke off. It is a rivet so I am going to try and tap what's left and use a small machine screw and washer to re-attach it.

Last edited by RGK; 04-02-2010 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:27 PM   #17
tpritch
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Great post...but I have a question

Great post. Excellent detail and super timely for me.

We've been able to go step by step through your instructions, but got hung up on disconnecting the latch rods. Is there a trick to this. Frankly I don't want to push/pull to hard for fear of breaking something and turning a "small" problem into a larger one.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Tim
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:27 PM   #18
edwx
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I also did a "how to." Not as good as this one but maybe a different look will help.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=198230

The latch rods are attached with clips. Just undo them.




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Old 08-06-2010, 04:01 PM   #19
rlgdguy
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I just went to order my parts at direct ford parts and the right side "Door jamb switch" is $33.31, where the left side (drivers) switch is $15.16. A difference of $18.15. What in the world could be the explanation of the higher price? Price and demand perhaps? I'm going to order it, but it seems a bit unfair. When I called to inquire, the guy who answered the phone ( who was very friendly and polite) said he's been in the business for 20 plus years at that same place and could not give me an absolute answer, other than the right and left sides are made by different manufactuers. One charges Ford more for their parts and one charges less. Oddly enough, these prices were still cheaper than two of my local Ford dealers. How do you figure?

Last edited by rlgdguy; 08-06-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:37 PM   #20
rlgdguy
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Got my parts today (ordered Friday), outstanding service! Put the part in and the "door ajar" light went out. Again, outstanding! Now I have to tackle the door lock actuater issue. I got a call from the Silver State Ford dealer before they shipped the parts out Friday (again, superb customer service!), who told me that unfortunately, Ford changed out the manufactuer of the actuater halfway through 2002. The problem is the 2nd company they utilized, used a different plug. If I have the different one, it's gonna cost me another $38 just for the adapter. He couldn't tell if my car was part of the switch over by the vin, as Ford did not keep good records he claimed. I'll keep you all posted.
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