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89 Camry Driver Door Won't Unlock/open


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OK, so I'm a brand spankin' new member here. Hi everyone! :D

Now, to the matter at hand: :help:

My '89 Camry 4-door has had odd, intermittent problems with the door locks ever since I've had it, where sometimes the lock/unlock button wouldn't work. Always after a few minutes of playing with it, I could get the doors locked or unlocked, as the case may have been.

Now, however, I'm having a slightly different, but similar and quite possibly related problem: The driver door will not unlock, even though all the other doors will. It doesn't matter whether I use the lock/unlock button on the inside of the door(s) (either front door), or turning the key in the outside lock (my Camry has automatic lock/unlock with the turn of the key in the door locks).

The oddest part is that I can use the key in the driver's door (remember, the door that won't unlock), and all the other doors will unlock, but the driver's door will not unlock.

Needless to say, since the door won't unlock, the door won't open, so I have to crawl in through the passenger door, navigating my way through the automatic seat belts and over the manual gear shift and parking brake.

As I'm sure you've all surmised by now, the first problem facing me is that it's going to be rather difficult to dig around inside the door's cavity to try to fix this problem if I can't get the door open to begin with.

Does ANYONE have any idea how I might be able to fix this problem? Any assistance will be most appreciated.

Glad to be here, and thank you all in advance.


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I had a very similar problem with my old '90 Camry. One of the wires going from the "control panel" in the door itself to the security module (which also ran the power locks) broke inside the rubber boot going from the door to the car. Years of flexing I guess.

I can't tell you how time-consuming it was to determine the problem, and then fish a replacement wire through. :censor:

You might want to try pulling out the control panel in the door (that's the one with all the door lock buttons). If memory serves, it lifts up from the front if you're persuasive. Then unplug it, and see if that releases the electric relays that hold it locked. If so, you'll be able to pull up the lock button (what people pre-electronic locks did to unlock doors) and get it open.

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