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How To: Fix the Door Ajar Problem

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by synyster, February 13, 2010.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Jobert

    Jobert Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2002 Explorer XLT V8
    Hi synyster

    I see that your pictures still aren't working. I have this problem and it's likely a broken wire rather than the switch.

    Can you recall what color your broken wire was?

    I'll continue reading this long thread to see if anyone else had a wire other than a black ground wire.

    Thanks
     
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  3. bertolli

    bertolli New Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
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    It is the black wire. I disconnected
    The wiring harness in the door panel completely so I had some more room to work. Remove the electrical tape as it nears the boot from the door to the body of the vehicle so you can spread the wires out. In addition to the break, the insulation was cracked in several locations on mine. I spliced a new wire in to make the repair easier. Rewrap the wires with electrical tape and reconnect.
     
  4. sk_mountaineer

    sk_mountaineer New Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
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    Here is my report on how I diagnosed and solved my “door ajar” problem on my 2005 Mercury Mountaineer AWD V8 with almost 90,000 miles. Bottom line: Repaired a single, broken small, black wire in the tubing between the door panel and body.

    Symptoms:
    1. Door ajar message on all the time with the key in the ignition. Also, the interior lights would stay on unless you either: 1) Turned off the dashboard/interior lights with the dashboard dial know, or 2. Waited 10-20 minutes after parking when the battery saver would kick in.
    2. Power seat memory controller in left door would not work when door was mostly or totally closed. (Worked when door was wide open.)
    3. Power door lock button on drive side would not work when door was mostly or totally closed. (Worked when door was wide open.) Passenger door lock button always locked.
    4. Did not have any issues with anything else like the car alarm, power windows, radio, etc.
    Credits/forum resources used:
    1. Thanks to everyone who wrote in all these threads!
    2. This thread from Synyster. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-fix-the-door-ajar-problem.270081/
    3. BigRondo’s instructions removing/replacing our 3rd Gen Door Panel: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...-to-remove-replace-3rd-gen-door-panel.303524/
    4. Specifically FordyFour’s post and photo, that shows you how to take apart/move the accordion/tubing between the drive side door and body without damaging it: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-fix-the-door-ajar-problem.270081/page-9 You still need to open up the door panel to open this tubing since the tubing going into the driver door has 2 tabs on it that are taped with black electrical tape to the wiring harness inside the door. You need to undo this tape to release the tabs and allow the tubing to open up
    5. Borlands’ thread: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/door-ajar-switch-replacement-on-2002xlt.249253. I didn’t replace my door ajar switch, but still a great read if it was needed or to rule out this issue.

    Diagnosis/problem discovered:
    1. I suspected it was as issue with the driver’s door since almost everyone else had that problem, of course since most people user the driver’s door in their car.
    2. First, I sprayed a bunch of WD-40 into the driver doors latch and the other door latches first since this was easy. Nothing changed.
    3. Once I had issues with the power door lock and power seat memory controller, I suspected it was an electrical wiring issue and not the door latch unit.
    4. Opened door panel, pulled off some of the electrical tape on the wiring in the door panel … did not see any broken wires.
    5. Opened up the accordion/tubing between the drive side door and body without damaging it.
    6. Moved wires around a bit. Almost immediately found broken small black ground wire in accordion/bundle between the driver door and car body.
    7. As others stated, once a ground wire is cut, then you can have random behavior.
    8. Did not find any other wires broken or stripped. However, check around as others had multiple wires broken here.
    Fix:
    1. I bought a small spool of twisted, 14 gauge wire at the auto store (and crimps but didn’t use). Cut out about 4 inches of wire and added it in between the broken wires.
    2. I tried to crimp the wire, but I didn’t have enough space to use the crimping tool in between the door and body panel. It was close, but not good enough space with my standard combo stripper/crimping tool. I was barely able to strip one of the two ends of the wires due to the tight space, but I did it.
    3. I ended up soldering the wire in, rather than just trying to twist the wire together and tape it (which I would have done if soldering didn’t work). It is a very tough fit to solder in between the door/body and an amateur soldering job at best, but I pulled it off. Be careful to make sure you don’t burn any other wires!
    4. Then wrapped up wires with black electrical tape.
    5. Re-taped up the wiring harnesses in the door that I untapped before. Make sure you push your new wire in a way to give plenty of slack on both sides of your tape job, so it doesn’t break again.
    6. Before reassembling door, I closed it to confirm the door ajar light went away, and that the power seat memory controller and power door lock worked all the time. All worked as expected!
    7. Reassembled door panel and took for test drive. Everything now working as expected.
     
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  5. Shawn MacApple

    Shawn MacApple New Member

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    Which fuse can I pull until I can get this damn thing fixed?
     
  6. beingsneaky

    beingsneaky New Member

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    Lillooet, BC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2004 Explorer XLT
    to bad one cant see the pictures anymore.
     
  7. 01fordexploder

    01fordexploder New Member

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    City, State:
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    01ESpt,01XLT,04EB,13XLT
    Not much to see inside the wire bundle in the rubber cover between the door and vehicle when the door is open. Common problem on this model..took mine to the local mechanic and explained the issue and they fixed it pretty easily...usually same thin wire that doesnt hold up well to the repeated open/closing stress on the wire bundle
     

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