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97 LSi 4 door Safety Locks - How to open the doors?


Diablue
02-10-2010, 10:48 PM
Just bought a 97 Geo Metro LSi Sedan. The right-rear passenger door is locked and won't open. I tried unlocking it and using the lever on the inside, then the outside but the door won't budge with either. I looked around on the left side door and found the Child Safety lock switch that's only accessible with the door OPEN. I engaged it and shut the door to see if it would be the same case as the right door and it is. So now both rear doors are locked, the outside door handle won't open either, nor will the inside levers. :runaround:
Is there a way to unlock these safety locks with the doors closed?

Any help is appreciated,
Richard

citydragon
02-12-2010, 10:27 PM
Just bought a 97 Geo Metro LSi Sedan. The right-rear passenger door is locked and won't open. I tried unlocking it and using the lever on the inside, then the outside but the door won't budge with either. I looked around on the left side door and found the Child Safety lock switch that's only accessible with the door OPEN. I engaged it and shut the door to see if it would be the same case as the right door and it is. So now both rear doors are locked, the outside door handle won't open either, nor will the inside levers. :runaround:
Is there a way to unlock these safety locks with the doors closed?

Any help is appreciated,
Richard

I remember with my 95 Sedan, I received a recall notice in 1996 from GM regarding a possible problem with the rear door child safety locks (parts were replaced under recall). Your symptoms seem to be similar. I don't know if it applies to the 1997 model year.
Perhaps a call to the dealer might turn up any recalls for your model year for this problem.

Diablue
02-15-2010, 01:19 PM
I remember with my 95 Sedan, I received a recall notice in 1996 from GM regarding a possible problem with the rear door child safety locks (parts were replaced under recall). Your symptoms seem to be similar. I don't know if it applies to the 1997 model year.
Perhaps a call to the dealer might turn up any recalls for your model year for this problem.


I bought it from a private owner so I dont know if I can get part replacement for recalls. I just wondered if anyone else knows how to unlatch the doors so I can deactivate the locks.

citydragon
02-15-2010, 05:22 PM
I bought it from a private owner so I dont know if I can get part replacement for recalls. I just wondered if anyone else knows how to unlatch the doors so I can deactivate the locks.

You can get a "slim jim" that slides down from the window slot and unlocks the latch. Here is a link to check one out.

http://www.trueswords.com/product_lite.php?products_id=2138

You can also call a locksmith and most likely will use a "slim jim". Do you have a AAA membership? I believe they offer free locksmith service as part of the membership.

As far as recalls go....I once had a used car and when it was 16 years old my neighborhood GM dealer called me to let me know that it was never repaired for a seat belt problem and to bring it in. They did the job no-charge. All they need is the VIN to find if it needs a recall.

brivers
02-15-2010, 05:40 PM
Hard to believe anyone would engineer a lock that could not be unlocked. Maybe look at the area just adjacent to that safety lock for a lever or button to push, like the other side of the door jam. Good luck.

Diablue
02-15-2010, 08:19 PM
Success!
I went ahead and looked at the door earlier to see if I could get into the door. I took two screws out, one from the door handle area which held in a little cover that was easily removed with the lock button and door lever pulled out. The second from the little handle/tray in the middle of the door.
Carefully pried off the small triangle panel by the rear of the window, then pulled the door panel out gently but firmly, then up and it came right off.
Once that was out of the way I could see inside the lever/lock area and the mechanism was cruddy with hard black dirt. There are two springs; one low, one high in the little hole. The higher one is connected to the lock and the crud was jamming up the action of the spring. Over time this dirt had built up so the lock button/switch would not free up the lock. I cleaned it off as best I could and lubed it with a few drops of oil. I did this with both springs as best I could without tearing down the entire door as I don't have the time to do right now. As for the other door, I just worked the action of the lock switch about three times and it came unlocked.

Doors are openable! :biggrin: The problem was all the dirt build up in the two springs witch is a minor design flaw.

I would have taken pictures but as I said, I was short on time...

Diablue
02-15-2010, 08:22 PM
Hard to believe anyone would engineer a lock that could not be unlocked. Maybe look at the area just adjacent to that safety lock for a lever or button to push, like the other side of the door jam. Good luck.

It is openable from the outside as most safety locks are but there was dirt build up in the mechanism that prevented the lock switch/lever from unlocking the door.

Woodie83
02-16-2010, 05:11 AM
Well done, my good man! And thanks for coming back and allowing us all to learn from your success. You'd be surprised how often that doesn't happen.

Diablue
02-22-2010, 10:47 PM
Well done, my good man! And thanks for coming back and allowing us all to learn from your success. You'd be surprised how often that doesn't happen.

The spring is still acting up in the right hand door lock. The left seems to be okay though. I'll have to pull it apart when I get time and the weather is agreeable and clean it more thoroughly.

Lowdownbluemeanie
03-03-2010, 01:55 AM
Thanks so much for the post, I have the same problem with the same car.

I got the panel off using your instructions, verified the child safety locks were off on both doors, lubed the entire assembly and worked it a lot - and neither of the rear doors will open. I used both handles and pressed the lever that both handles connect to.

There is nothing broken, and no dirt. The handles and mechanisms are all intact as far as I can see.

I sprayed lube down into the catch between the door and the frame too, but the catch is not releasing.

Any ideas?

Diablue
03-07-2010, 04:15 AM
Thanks so much for the post, I have the same problem with the same car.

I got the panel off using your instructions, verified the child safety locks were off on both doors, lubed the entire assembly and worked it a lot - and neither of the rear doors will open. I used both handles and pressed the lever that both handles connect to.

There is nothing broken, and no dirt. The handles and mechanisms are all intact as far as I can see.

I sprayed lube down into the catch between the door and the frame too, but the catch is not releasing.

Any ideas?


Did you work the small part that the locking lever/rod is attached to? In mine the lock mechanism isn't unlocking due to the upper spring. But I will pull it apart Monday and maybe get a picture of the faulty spring.

I did notice that working the little lock switch back and forth ALOT can sometimes get it to unlock. But it's very rare, I might rig up something other than a spring to see if that is indeed the problem.

idmetro
03-07-2010, 08:33 AM
Time for a trip to a U-Pull it wrecking yard. Find a car with operating child safety locks and take it apart, pay careful attention to how it works and what parts it has. It wouldn't be the first time that I have seen where there is some additional part the functional one has that yours does not (after all it isn't terribly likely that you were the first one to work on your car).

Snag yourself a spare assembly, go back home and compare it against wht you have in the your car. If it's cheap enough (or the non-functionality is pesky enough) get two spares. If you find yourself at the yard and learn that the functional assembly is just put together slightly differently than yours then you can simply leave the assembly in the car, go home and re-assemble yours correctly (you'd be surprised how creative folks can be when re-assembling things they aren't familiar with).

Please be considerate of the other patrons of the wrecking yard and don't tear up the donor car while you are learning.... After all I might be the guy behind you and be looking for a child lock setup. Finally let us know what you did to fix the issue, we're all here to learn too and you just might save us a great of trouble by sharing your experience.

Good Luck!

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