Drivers door locking by itself | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Drivers door locking by itself


Explorer Addict
June 12, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Corner, AL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
Ok-here we go. I have a 2001 Sport. When the doors are unlocked and you try to open from the outside more than once it will pull the lock mechanism down causing the door to lock. I can open as many times as i want from the inside and all is well. Does anyone have any experience with this? I have removed the door panel and I don't see any smoking guns (broken linkage, linkage components or bent components). It slowly has gotten worse over time. I used to could open the door several times before this strange phenomenon occurred.

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Do u mean like electronically pulling it down, or just like falling down to the lock position? My 98 had a issue where the previous owner was in there and messed with god know what, and the rod moving down the slightest bit would lock it. Some stuff was bent in there, and still is. I bent some stuff back and put a new power lock in there, which fixed the alignment somewhat, but still sticks up more then it should, but doesn't lock so easy now. Doe your outside handle have some play in it, because mine did, and still does.

It is like something is mechanically pulling it down when you use the outside handle. It is not electronic. If you barely hold up pressure on the lock mechanism (black round button that screws on) it will not lock. It just started doing this, I've had it for 10 years and the door has never been into before other than panel removal the other day to see if there was a smoking gun issue. There wasn't.

I just changed my door latch on my Explorer Sport last week. The door handle and manual unlock black knob both are of course attached physically to the door latch by 2 different metal rods. If the door latch itself somehow internally weakens (it only takes very little physical force to lock) or the manual lock metal rod somehow is making contact with the door handle rod it could cause the door to lock.
My guess is the latch itself internally which are known to wear out early due to problems with a small metal spring breaking inside. Many here have resolved the broken spring with the "helper spring" work around. I don't know if it would help your problem. Replacing the latch is really such a PITA because it's so deep inside the door where you can't see what you are doing easily. One way I knew my latch was bad was me being unable to unlock it with a key on the door.

I forget the fix but I just used a spring to fix mine

Something like this


Mine has done this for over 10 years and so far I can't figure it out so I just make it a habit not to leave my keys in the truck or I just keep the windows down enough so I can get into it if it locks itself. The only thing I can figure is that the GEM Module is acting up some how. Other than that, I guess it will remain a mistery.

Thanks guys for this information. I did notice that when I barely held pressure up on the door lock linkage it wouldn't do it. I am going to watch the video and see what becomes of it. Thanks again!