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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I have a great 2002 with 342k miles that has been a solid truck and that I love. For the past several months, I've had an intermittent problem with the door locks.

Normally, you can click unlock on the key fob and hear the driver's door lock slide open inside the door. Click it again and the other three doors do the same. Lately, I occasionally hear what sounds more like a 'dragging' inside the door instead of a 'sliding' sound and the door handle becomes somewhat loose and will not open the door. I can usually get in from the passenger side, but still cannot pull the inside handle to open it or slide the unlock button on the door back and forth to fix it. The only real workaround seems to be to click 'lock' on the fob again...then unlock...then lock...then unlock and it usually works. There have been times that I have had to climb over the console to go to work.

I thought something might be wrong inside that door, but I also have the problem on the passenger door from time to time and also have it occasionally on the back lift gate. So far, it seems to only happen on one door at a time so there is a way to still get into the X, but I'm waiting for the time when they ALL act up at the same time.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?
 

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Hey guys,

I have a great 2002 with 342k miles that has been a solid truck and that I love. For the past several months, I've had an intermittent problem with the door locks.

Normally, you can click unlock on the key fob and hear the driver's door lock slide open inside the door. Click it again and the other three doors do the same. Lately, I occasionally hear what sounds more like a 'dragging' inside the door instead of a 'sliding' sound and the door handle becomes somewhat loose and will not open the door. I can usually get in from the passenger side, but still cannot pull the inside handle to open it or slide the unlock button on the door back and forth to fix it. The only real workaround seems to be to click 'lock' on the fob again...then unlock...then lock...then unlock and it usually works. There have been times that I have had to climb over the console to go to work.

I thought something might be wrong inside that door, but I also have the problem on the passenger door from time to time and also have it occasionally on the back lift gate. So far, it seems to only happen on one door at a time so there is a way to still get into the X, but I'm waiting for the time when they ALL act up at the same time.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?
Sounds like it's time to dig in and take off the inside panel to get access to the moving parts. I would hope that it's just a matter of lubricating some dry or worn parts and looking for issues that cause mechanical binding on the moving parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like it's time to dig in and take off the inside panel to get access to the moving parts. I would hope that it's just a matter of lubricating some dry or worn parts and looking for issues that cause mechanical binding on the moving parts.
That is definitely Plan A. That could be the case and isn't a big deal considering that I've never had to do it until now. I'll post the results of the effort back here, but am curious as to whether anyone else has had this problem and, if so, how they fixed it.
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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You can also consider finding an aftermarket remote door lock kit. You can get the kit with or without a remote, depending on your needs. Replacing the actuators just means unplugging the stockers, wiring in the new ones, and attaching their lock rods to the stock lock rods.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can also consider finding an aftermarket remote door lock kit. You can get the kit with or without a remote, depending on your needs. Replacing the actuators just means unplugging the stockers, wiring in the new ones, and attaching their lock rods to the stock lock rods.
I'll start researching that too. I've had this truck since it was new in '03 and haven't had a payment on it since '06, so I can't complain if a few things are tired and need replacing at this point. Thanks for the idea.
 

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2001 Red Xterra SE 6.6 4x4 Automatic I call him Ol Red
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That is definitely Plan A. That could be the case and isn't a big deal considering that I've never had to do it until now. I'll post the results of the effort back here, but am curious as to whether anyone else has had this problem and, if so, how they fixed it.

I have recently been having this happen to me as well in my 01. Though it has happened with the back gate in warm weather, my 2 front doors have been stuck. As well as all 4 main doors. Have had to climb through back gate ove subwoofers just to start my truck to warm it up. I have noticed something in particular when it happens. If my truck unlocks like normal with the key fob, and I start my truck and take my key fob inside while my truck stays locked and warming up, it wont unlock when I go to leave. But if I sit in my truck while it warms up no issues with the doors. I have had situations where I was locked inside my truck. Just keep going back and forth, lock, unlock, lock, unlock, etc. Seems my truck dont like to be away from the key fob. Or vise versa. I honestly believe my problem is just the SECU is incredibly cold. Was negative 26 here the other night. Extreme cold makes electronics funky.
 

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I have recently been having this happen to me as well in my 01. Though it has happened with the back gate in warm weather, my 2 front doors have been stuck. As well as all 4 main doors. Have had to climb through back gate ove subwoofers just to start my truck to warm it up. I have noticed something in particular when it happens. If my truck unlocks like normal with the key fob, and I start my truck and take my key fob inside while my truck stays locked and warming up, it wont unlock when I go to leave. But if I sit in my truck while it warms up no issues with the doors. I have had situations where I was locked inside my truck. Just keep going back and forth, lock, unlock, lock, unlock, etc. Seems my truck dont like to be away from the key fob. Or vise versa. I honestly believe my problem is just the SECU is incredibly cold. Was negative 26 here the other night. Extreme cold makes electronics funky.
What you've described is the perfect storm of condensation that freezes and interrupts the electrical current by separating the terminals on a plug or the contacts inside a switch or relay.

Electronics love cold. It's the connections that suffer, especially when humidity is or has been high. If you search around for "fretting corrosion" on the web, you may find some good stuff. In short, you unplug the suspect module, then plug it back in and unplug a number of times (5, 10, etc) to burnish the terminals and improve the connection. Then you unplug it one last time and apply dielectric grease to the plug and socket and then plug it back in.

The grease serves to exclude changes in the humidity around the terminals and block the transfer of oxygen that corrodes the metal. The burnishing knocks off (like sanding, but not as aggressive) the little spikes that formed from the corrosion to allow the metal terminals to come into contact with each other.

Search the internet for folks who have super-cooled their CPUs with nitrogen in an attempt to overclock them. The cold isn't what stops them, but instead it helps control the heat generated inside. Some have cooled theirs to many degrees below zero!
 

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2001 Red Xterra SE 6.6 4x4 Automatic I call him Ol Red
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What you've described is the perfect storm of condensation that freezes and interrupts the electrical current by separating the terminals on a plug or the contacts inside a switch or relay.

Electronics love cold. It's the connections that suffer, especially when humidity is or has been high. If you search around for "fretting corrosion" on the web, you may find some good stuff. In short, you unplug the suspect module, then plug it back in and unplug a number of times (5, 10, etc) to burnish the terminals and improve the connection. Then you unplug it one last time and apply dielectric grease to the plug and socket and then plug it back in.

The grease serves to exclude changes in the humidity around the terminals and block the transfer of oxygen that corrodes the metal. The burnishing knocks off (like sanding, but not as aggressive) the little spikes that formed from the corrosion to allow the metal terminals to come into contact with each other.

Search the internet for folks who have super-cooled their CPUs with nitrogen in an attempt to overclock them. The cold isn't what stops them, but instead it helps control the heat generated inside. Some have cooled theirs to many degrees below zero!

I will research asap! Its funky though. Sometimes I can't even turn the key in the door to lock/unlock my truck. I can definitely hear it when it jams. Like it doesn't fully unlock. Only moves halfway roughly. Or there is even times when I use the key fob, only when the vehicle is running, there is no response whatsoever. No click or anything. And it's at operating temp. All warmed up and thawed out. Only going back and forth on the fob hundreds of times will it eventually start working. Wont be able to go through anything until the weather warms up as I don't have a garage and the high for the next couple weeks is 20 here. My fingers just can't work in that. Any specific part/relay/actuator/whatever I should be looking at to start? Like wherever the most likely to get pinched or frayed or wet is? Just looking at my door and frame it looks good. A little dirty but nothing wet or dripping. No exposed wires and seals all look good. Thank you for taking the time to explain all that. It's very helpful information and I appreciate it.
 

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This sounds very much like the problem that I have with my 04's driver door. I am going to be replacing the entire mechanism, as the actuator is PART of the actual lock mechanism itself. This may have been accelerated by trashed door hinge bushings putting an odd load angle on the lock, at times. Stupid AND non-serviceable, all in one package. F%#$ engineers and bean counters. Stupid is stupid, regardless of whom ever design it.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
This sounds very much like the problem that I have with my 04's driver door. I am going to be replacing the entire mechanism, as the actuator is PART of the actual lock mechanism itself. This may have been accelerated by trashed door hinge bushings putting an odd load angle on the lock, at times. Stupid AND non-serviceable, all in one package. F%#$ engineers and bean counters. Stupid is stupid, regardless of whom ever design it.
I've considered replacing the actuators on the two front doors, but can't seem to get past the question I have of "how would ALL of them start being a problem at roughly the same time." It really makes me think it might be more of a control module issue, but I am just not sure. I do know this is a pain in the rear!
 

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Thanks for all the info guys! I don't have a "do this and it is fixed" kinda solution yet, but all of this certainly could help. I keep hoping that there might be a solution that has fixed this in other situations, but if nothing else I'll just start replacing parts until it is resolved. Ha!

Seems like there should be a white paper from Nissan on this.
 

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I'm on the hunt for the parts from a NON power lock X, or a Fronty...
 

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I have a car with the latch, lock motor, and door switches all in one unit. If the lock motor fails, I would get the external actuators and hook them up to the lock rods, abandoning the stock lock motor where it is, inside the stock unit. So long as moving the lock rod causes the lock to operate as it should, moving it from inside or outside the unit doesn't matter.
 
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