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Door Ajar issue threatening my sanity


Windstartled
05-03-2011, 12:50 AM
Hi all,

For months now I have had the door ajar light on . Would it just be for the light I wouldn't bother but since van thinks door is not closed, van behaves accordingly. Interior lights stay on all the time unless I turn them off manually, delay gone, etc.

I have singled out the driver's door as the offender and took the following steps to troubleshoot the issue.

Fuse: did not look blown but replaced it just in case: still no go

Sensor: Pulled it out and plugged it in passenger door: works. Tried passenger sensor on driver door: does not work there.

Wiring: replaced the whole door harness with new one (pricey!): door ajar still on

Connectors: followed the wires from the sensor to the connector inside the door frame then checked pins. One looked tarnished so I cleaned it with mild abrasive and contact cleaner: friggin' door ajar still on!:mad:

Now I figured the next step is to pull out the whole fuse box and examine connections, but I dread doing doing this. Perhaps I'm missing something simple? Please if anyone has an alternative theory I would greatly appreciate reading about it :)

Thanks in advance

olopezm
05-03-2011, 06:53 PM
Which sensor are you talking about? What year is your windstar?

Newer models need the actual door latch to be cleaned (the door ajar switch is installed there) with WD40 and silicone spray to prevent dirt build up and lubricate the assembly.

Oscar.

Windstartled
05-05-2011, 12:10 AM
Which sensor are you talking about? What year is your windstar?

Newer models need the actual door latch to be cleaned (the door ajar switch is installed there) with WD40 and silicone spray to prevent dirt build up and lubricate the assembly.

Oscar.

I have a 2000, the sensor I'm referring to is the plunger switch attached to the bottom of the latch. I am aware that these switches sometimes get stuck, hence the WD40, but mine isn't stuck.

olopezm
05-05-2011, 08:42 PM
I'm not sure but I think the plunger controls only the dome lights on/off. If I had my other computer available (the HD crashed) I could check and provide wiring diagrams for it.

AFAIK the common problem is with the electrical contacts on the pillar and the retractable pins on the door.

Oscar.

tomj76
05-06-2011, 10:34 AM
The door condition is monitored by a module called the GEM. In my '96 it is on a bracket under the instrument dash, just to the right of the driver's knees.

I had strange behavior, such as ajar door warnings and windows that would operate sometimes, but not others. I traced it down to the GEM. In mine, I got it working just by trying to find the problem. I was able to disassemble the module enough to access the electronic printed circuit board in the package. I believe (but could not prove) that there was a bad solder connection on the circuit board.

However, before assuming that the problem is the module, you can check the switch and the wiring at the connector to the GEM, and if that checks out then it's probably the module.

If you need them, wiring diagrams are available at the Motorcraft website that allows you to "rent" access to the full Windstar manual set.

Windstartled
05-07-2011, 09:22 AM
I'm not sure but I think the plunger controls only the dome lights on/off. If I had my other computer available (the HD crashed) I could check and provide wiring diagrams for it.

AFAIK the common problem is with the electrical contacts on the pillar and the retractable pins on the door.

Thanks Oscar, I think I'm going to purchase a subscription to alldatadiy for the Winnie '00 since I have decided to check the whole electrical system of the van, and Haynes doesn't provide clear info on many circuits. The vehicle is in otherwise very good condition and worth the effort.

I know the driver door is the problem because it's the only door that won't chime when opened with power on. Contacts and pins are for the sliding doors only, currently these work fine :)

Windstartled
05-07-2011, 10:03 AM
The door condition is monitored by a module called the GEM. In my '96 it is on a bracket under the instrument dash, just to the right of the driver's knees.

I had strange behavior, such as ajar door warnings and windows that would operate sometimes, but not others. I traced it down to the GEM. In mine, I got it working just by trying to find the problem. I was able to disassemble the module enough to access the electronic printed circuit board in the package. I believe (but could not prove) that there was a bad solder connection on the circuit board.

However, before assuming that the problem is the module, you can check the switch and the wiring at the connector to the GEM, and if that checks out then it's probably the module.

If you need them, wiring diagrams are available at the Motorcraft website that allows you to "rent" access to the full Windstar manual set.

Thanks for the info, setting off for the junkyard now. They practically give away most electronic gizmos, I guess they know I use them for reference only. As such I find them invaluable, allows you to figure them out without risk of damaging your own in the process.

As a side note, one of the reasons I chose the Windstar aside from the fact that I need a van to carry my tools, is because junkyards are full of them :grinyes:

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