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A question on door lock use


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I just became an owner of this Reatta. One of my good old friends handed it over to me. No remote and only two keys were given. I just do not understand how the door lock was supposed to work. Trying to lock it, I turn the door key counterclockwise and nothing happens. Turn it and hold for 2 seconds, I hear some kind of electric actuator, but still it does not lock. Turn it clockwise, nothing happens, and doors do not lock. I try the lock/unlock buttons (small ones on right) on the door panel, and it does not help. I force the bigger sliding switch (big one on left) to lock position all the way, then the door locks. Pretty much this was only way I could lock the doors.

I struggled some time doing all this, and the car alarm would go off, and I do not know exactly what of my action caused it. The bigger switch was kind of hard to push up and down, and I am afraid of breaking it from misuse.

I went over the owner's manual but it did not help much. So, can someone help me on this?

Thanks,

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Classic dried out grease and dust. You are going to have to pull off the interior door trim and get into the door latch with some spray lithium. While I greased all the moving parts from the interior release handle and interior manual lock, the real problem is over at the actual door latch mechanism. My '89 was doing exactly what you describe. When the grease dries out along with combined dirt, the latch mechanism becomes almost impossible to lock/unlock with the key, the manual lock or the power locks (switch or key fob). On my drivers door I went down the very difficult path of removing the entire mechanism so that I could clean it thoroughly and then grease it properly. WHAT A PITA!!! On the passenger side I decided to try lubing it in place. Have to say that I can really tell ANY difference so I would NOT recommend going down the path of removal.

Once you set the alarm you HAVE to disarm it with either a key or key fob. If you press the power lock switch to lock, that is setting the security system even if it is NOT sufficient to actually lock the door. Sounds like everything is working, you just to lube the lock mechanism. If you Reatta is an '88 there is NO keyless entry system, so NO key fob. If '89 or newer, keyless entry was standard. Replacment key fobs can be purchased. The original key fobs do come up on ebay from time to time. The functions were lock, unlock, trunk, interior lights. Cadillac key fobs from the era and for several years following the Reatta, had the exact same functionality and are readily plentiful at decent prices. There are new 3rd party fobs that will provide all the same functions, but the label on the fob that activates the interior lights will be the horn button on the key fob.

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Classic dried out grease and dust. You are going to have to pull off the interior door trim and get into the door latch with some spray lithium. While I greased all the moving parts from the interior release handle and interior manual lock, the real problem is over at the actual door latch mechanism. My '89 was doing exactly what you describe. When the grease dries out along with combined dirt, the latch mechanism becomes almost impossible to lock/unlock with the key, the manual lock or the power locks (switch or key fob). On my drivers door I went down the very difficult path of removing the entire mechanism so that I could clean it thoroughly and then grease it properly. WHAT A PITA!!! On the passenger side I decided to try lubing it in place. Have to say that I can really tell ANY difference so I would NOT recommend going down the path of removal.

Once you set the alarm you HAVE to disarm it with either a key or key fob. If you press the power lock switch to lock, that is setting the security system even if it is NOT sufficient to actually lock the door. Sounds like everything is working, you just to lube the lock mechanism. If you Reatta is an '88 there is NO keyless entry system, so NO key fob. If '89 or newer, keyless entry was standard. Replacment key fobs can be purchased. The original key fobs do come up on ebay from time to time. The functions were lock, unlock, trunk, interior lights. Cadillac key fobs from the era and for several years following the Reatta, had the exact same functionality and are readily plentiful at decent prices. There are new 3rd party fobs that will provide all the same functions, but the label on the fob that activates the interior lights will be the horn button on the key fob.

Thanks for the explanation. Now I understand better why my car acted such way. So, to lubricate the door mechanism without taking it apart, from which end should I try? Which parts are prune to the sticking issue? I saw the door lock actuator on parts store. Could it be the actuator? Or the latch?

Thanks bunch!

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Since you have issues manually locking/unlocking the doors from either the key or the interior slide lock, don't even think about messing with the actuator until you have the lock mechanism operating freely. When you hit the power door lock switch, if you can hear the actuator trying on each door, they are likely just fine. Both of mine were fine, but lacked the necessary power to either lock or unlock the doors until I got the latch mechanism greased, now both work perfectly. Once you get the interior panel off, and the underlying plastic film released (warm with heat gun or hair dryer), you can actually reach into the door with a can of spray lithium grease using the extension tube that comes with the grease. The locking part is at the top of the latch mechanism. Get a flashlight and mirror and investigate the area. There are two metal rods that go into the top of the latch mechanism and the locking part is near those rods. Spray down INTO the latch mechanism. You can also spray up into the latch from the exterior where the door post engages the door latch. There is no magic one spot. The entire mechanism will benefit from the grease. Just spray it good and work the manual latch lever up and down. I did also spray the actuator plunger while I was inside the door.

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Since you have issues manually locking/unlocking the doors from either the key or the interior slide lock, don't even think about messing with the actuator until you have the lock mechanism operating freely. When you hit the power door lock switch, if you can hear the actuator trying on each door, they are likely just fine. Both of mine were fine, but lacked the necessary power to either lock or unlock the doors until I got the latch mechanism greased, now both work perfectly. Once you get the interior panel off, and the underlying plastic film released (warm with heat gun or hair dryer), you can actually reach into the door with a can of spray lithium grease using the extension tube that comes with the grease. The locking part is at the top of the latch mechanism. Get a flashlight and mirror and investigate the area. There are two metal rods that go into the top of the latch mechanism and the locking part is near those rods. Spray down INTO the latch mechanism. You can also spray up into the latch from the exterior where the door post engages the door latch. There is no magic one spot. The entire mechanism will benefit from the grease. Just spray it good and work the manual latch lever up and down. I did also spray the actuator plunger while I was inside the door.

Sounds like a good plan. I am going to start with lubing the latch from outside. The actuator makes sound and tries to lock/unlock the door, so like you said it just needs to be lubricated.

Thanks for your advise..

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