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x6gas

Locked out - S4 central locking problem - help required!

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Hi all,

Been a long time since I've been on here (long story) but I'm back needing help please!

Last time I moved my S4, I closed the door, somehow locked it (not sure what I did), and now I can't get the doors open.

When I turn the drivers' key anticlockwise I can trigger the deadlocking (satisfying noises of something locking), but turning the key vertical again doesn't unlock the deadlock and I can't turn the key much beyond 12 o'clock.  I can unlock the deadlock using the remote central locking, but this doesn't trigger the actual doorlocks.  Passenger side is the same - key won't move much beyond the 12 o'clock position.

I have access to the front and rear boots as fortunately they weren't shut.  Also the drivers door card has been removed (immediately prior to this I was having some trouble with the electric windows).  As she sits, the internal door lock buttons are in the locked position but both of the internal latch levers are extended, as it were.

Car is a 1993 S4 located in Oxfordshire.  This model has the CDL module in the front boot, I believe, so I should have access to it.  I have the service & parts manual.

What is bugging me is the inability to turn the key.  I've read some similar posts on here where there were similar symptoms where power has been lost to the CDL due to a flat battery - it seems restoring power solved those issues so I am hoping this is an electrical issue rather than a mechanical one (that removed door card has me worried).  I can hear a faint sound like a relay twitching when I turn the key clockwise in the lock.

I realise that there can be sensitivity over security information on the open web but hopefully someone can point me in the right direction or PM me.  My current thinking is to supply power direct to the CDL mechanism from the wiring serving the CDL module, there is a hint in the service notes but it's not absolutely clear...

Any help gratefully received.

Cheers.

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Has the car been stood a while? If so, maybe the battery needs charging.

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Try some graphite lock powder in the drivers door lock (it's not worth trying the passenger lock due to the deadlocking). Being unable to turn the key clockwise much beyond 12 o'clock could be a sign of the lock needing lubrication.

Edited by sailorbob

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I have had a flat battery to the point where the car would not turn over but doors would still unlock. I am with Derek though. Try some graphite powder on the key and then into the lock. The lock is just mechanical. It should turn. A little bit of WD40 will work as well.

When you say the 'latches are extended', do you mean the handle to actually open the door latch?

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2 hours ago, ramjet said:

When you say the 'latches are extended', do you mean the handle to actually open the door latch?

Yeah... the inner door handles are sticking out as they would be were you opening the door from the inside.  Not sure how this has happened and very odd as it's on both sides.  Perhaps it's a clue...

It feels from the action of the key that it's more than the lock barrel, but I will try the WD40 / graphite powder...

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That is weird. Even weirder as you say that it is on both sides. I am not sure if I have door diagrams in my manual. I will have a look. Don't try and turn the key just yet.

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If you try one of the exterior door handles as if you were going open the door, do they feel 'normal' or as if they aren't really doing anything?

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54 minutes ago, ramjet said:

If you try one of the exterior door handles as if you were going open the door, do they feel 'normal' or as if they aren't really doing anything?

It's funny but I can't really remember what "normal" feels like!  Nothing much happening though so I would say it feels as if they aren't doing anything.

As I say, the internal release handles are out but the lock buttons are in the locked position...

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I am sitting here looking at the manual and trying to work out how the handles could be in the open door position, but the lock buttons are in the locked position and at this point.........

Not a lot.

I can, maybe, come up with one door is like that, but not both. :dizzy:

 

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Ian, a thought.

Does your car have any sort of after market remote locking? My car only operates the locking by the key in the lock.

 

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I've got to pack it in. Got to get up at 4:30 in the morning and then a 1hr 20min drive to work. 9:30 now. I'll have another look at wiring diagrams tomorrow as well as the door explosion. May even see if I can get my door card off in mine so I can see it.

Tomorrow. :) 

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If the tailgate is open, I think you may be able to get a piece of thin plastic (like a trim tool) between the sunroof and the rubber, and open the latches for the sunroof maybe? You could then remove the sunroof and gain decent access to the door handle and lock mechanisms on the inside. You may have to do it gradually one side at a time to open the sunroof gradually, allowing more access where you can then get another tool in without damaging the roof or the seal.

Remember the sunroof will want to clash with the tailgate as it's opening, so be careful. You may have to get it half way then close the tailgate (onto some rags to stop it latching!)

Edited by Glyn Harper

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1 hour ago, ramjet said:

Ian, a thought.

Does your car have any sort of after market remote locking? My car only operates the locking by the key in the lock.

 

That's a good question Michael.  I had always assumed that the remote central locking was factory fitted but in hunting around here searching for a solution before posting this thread it became apparent that it is almost certainly an after market addition as I now understand that remote locking wasn't included until much later.

Allegedly the car was the 10th off of the production line (can't now recall why I believe that to be the case) but it was owned by a Benetton F1 race engineer who presumably had the remote CDL added...

Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions so far!

1 hour ago, Glyn Harper said:

If the tailgate is open, I think you may be able to get a piece of thin plastic (like a trim tool) between the sunroof and the rubber, and open the latches for the sunroof maybe? You could then remove the sunroof and gain decent access to the door handle and lock mechanisms on the inside. You may have to do it gradually one side at a time to open the sunroof gradually, allowing more access where you can then get another tool in without damaging the roof or the seal.

Remember the sunroof will want to clash with the tailgate as it's opening, so be careful. You may have to get it half way then close the tailgate (onto some rags to stop it latching!)

Ah yes I think I see what you mean... that hadn't occurred to me.  Might be worth a shout, thanks!

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I fitted keyless entry to my 94 a long time ago and I recall that the way the factory electrics work on the door was kinda strange. Anyway, prob not much help but it is possible the aftermarket system became "unprogrammed". Maybe a case of the doors locking while open that cause this strangeness? FYI, when I installed my keyless system I put the brain the front boot under the cover that goes over the ABS computer (not the master cylinder side). I think I did that because it was easy to locate the correct wires near there? If you don't have any luck getting it open, maybe it would be easier to find a way to operate one of the windows switches to get the window down so you can attack it from the inside? Have you tried disconnecting the battery for awhile to see if it resets? Or try the key with the battery disconnected? I guess it is possible the aftermarket system is keeping the "locked" command energized.

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Don't use WD40 to lubricate the locks, whilst it may help initially as it dries it attracts crap that makes for a grinding paste in the mechanism.

Having the internal door release levers in the 'open' position when the doors are shut sounds like there's some kind of seizing/binding going on in the latch mechanism which is odd. As suggested above, try disconnecting the battery.

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Thanks for the advice re: WD40... I'll source some graphite powder instead.  Have disconnected and reconnected the battery with the deadlocking engaged and then again disengaged but no joy...

I still have an avenue to try before attempting to get the sunroof off!

If that fails there is always the AA or a hammer!

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8 hours ago, x6gas said:

Thanks for the advice re: WD40... I'll source some graphite powder instead.  Have disconnected and reconnected the battery with the deadlocking engaged and then again disengaged but no joy...

I still have an avenue to try before attempting to get the sunroof off!

If that fails there is always the AA or a hammer!

Don’t even think of breaking the sunroof.......

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12 hours ago, sailorbob said:

Don't use WD40 to lubricate the locks, whilst it may help initially as it dries it attracts crap that makes for a grinding paste in the mechanism.

Having the internal door release levers in the 'open' position when the doors are shut sounds like there's some kind of seizing/binding going on in the latch mechanism which is odd. As suggested above, try disconnecting the battery.

True Derek. I have only used WD40 on my work ute canopy, not the Esprit. It always gets graphite powder.

I was just wondering Ian, (just got home from work) have you had the passenger door card off as well by any chance? I am wondering if you have somehow swapped the two rods that come from the locking mechanism up to the interiior door handle by any chance when you have put things back together?

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Locked out of my Merc once, local locksmith,used sucker tool , then airbag to lower glass cost £25

 

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Thanks again for all the replies thus far.

My big idea was to put 12v across the "open locks" wire leading from the CDL module so I tried that last night but to no avail.  I will do some more checking of the wiring around the module with a multimeter to ensure that everything is as it should be, but it is looking like it's a mechanical rather than electrical issue.

Tried graphite powder on the keys / locks but also to no avail.

I'll continue to explore the electrics while I wait for some trim levers to arrive at which point I will try the sunroof option mentioned by Glyn and if that fails I'll be calling in the pros!

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I will be able to get my door card off on Saturday. Haven't got a hope during the week by the time I get home. I'll see if I can recreate what you have to see whether I can help. I'm a bit stumped though as to why the passenger door is the same?

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If you’re struggling to access the back of the sunroof where the catches are, you can pop the gas struts off the tailgate and it’ll lift up a lot higher then. Make sure you have someone helping you though and a suitable piece of wood or something to keep it propped up higher. It’s amazing how heavy the tailgate suddenly gets with no struts attached.

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And in a stiff wind, it's a sail that will pivot both ways. Secure it carefully.

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