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sliding door won't spring open

02-04-2005, 08:46 AM
The passenger side sliding door on my 2004 Sienna CE won't spring open without a lot of force.

Normally, when one pulls the handle, I think 2 things happen:
1. The door unlocks/unlatches
2. Some sort of spring pushes the door slightly open and you glide it the rest of the way

On the passenger side, #1 happens but not #2. As a result I have to yank the handle really really hard to pull the door open. I am afraid of breaking the handle soon. As it is my parents can't open the door.

The driver side sliding door works fine, I can open it with my pinkie.

Anyone have ideas on fixing this? The van is no longer under warranty due to the miles I've put on it.

Thanks in advance


02-14-2005, 10:05 AM
Btw, I did try the lithium greese on the sliding door. Doesn't seem to have worked in this case.

02-18-2005, 12:26 PM

I just took a look at my door. I'm afraid it might be different because mine are powered but in the hopes that there might be similarities:

I was able to find a little black knobby thing towards the back of the van where the door contacts the van when it is closed. It is on the van itself, (as opposed to being on the door,) forward of the rear u-shaped "latch" (for lack of a better word, it is chrome colored and clearly visible if you have the door opened. It is apparent that the door latches onto this in the closed position so as not to open.) This black knobby device seems to have a spring mechanism in it and if you push it in with your finger it actually deactivates the interior lighting. Compare with the other door and see if it is working the same. If not then it may just be the culprit! Seems like you can just unscrew it and replace it with another one if you can get a screw driver to fit there. If both sides work the same then you'd have to look for some other functional difference between the two. Best of luck!

Don Thompson
02-27-2005, 08:35 PM
I had similar problems with my 2001, I put armoral on the rubber seal and what a difference it made, I guess the seal was sticking and at times I thought I would pull the handle off getting the sliding doors to open.

03-11-2005, 07:36 PM
My driver's side sliding door has been sticking for a few months. After forcing it open, it would reopen easily several times but it would stick again after sitting for a while. I felt like the door handle would eventually break off if I didn't fix this problem soon. After greasing all the guides and latches several times with no results, I broke down and took it to the dealer.
I walked passed the service writer and went directly to the shop forman. I wanted to make sure I could show him the door was sticking before I left them the van. He immediatly showed me what this "common" problem was and saved me the $80.00 check out fee. The door cup holder had allowed spills to run down the door and weather stripping and would act like glue. Over time the syrup from sodas and juices accumilated causing my problem.(especially in the area under the cup holder). I went home and scrubbed the weatherstripping and door jam where the weatherstripping seals when the door is closed. I can now open the door with very little effort just like when it was new. I now try to limit the cup holder to bottled water.

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