SLK32 issue with driver door actuator - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 01-06-2014
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SLK32 issue with driver door actuator

I have a 2002 SLK32 with approximately 100k miles on it. I am facing a fairly unique issue due to human failure.

I've been having some issues with the driver door lock actuator for a while. It will open (when pressing the remote), but not lock (unless it's 95+ degrees or more for some reason). I decided to get it fixed and was advised to buy a door lock actuator. The PSE unit doesn't seem to be the problem. All the electrical works fine.

With the new actuator in hand, I took it to a local mechanic (not the dealer) to get it worked on. To make a long story short, the mechanic somehow loosened the 4mm screw by the door lock actuator, put everything back together, and now the door won't open at all. It's not catching the latch anymore (not sure if I am explaining this right). In other words, the door is unlocked, but it won't open neither from the inside nor the outside. Currently, I have to enter from the passenger side. The door handle from the outside can't be taken off. I tried already. AAA stopped by to try a slim jim, but with no success either. They told me it was some electrical malfunction, which it is not.
I can't remove the inner door panel as the seat is in the way. If I take the seat out (with roof open), I am wondering if it can somehow be opened again. What are my options? I know I am screwed, I just don't know how screwed I am.
Thanks for any input. This was supposed to be a simple fix that has turned into a major headache now and possibly a trip to the next dealership...
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#2 Old 01-07-2014
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I can understand you not willing to bring it back to the mechanic that screwed it up but he should take care of the problem he caused. Maybe he can do the grunt work of taking out the seat and possibly taking the door interior panel off. Then you can bring it to a dealer to have the job done right at his expense. Seems to me to be the fair thing for him to do. Unless there's something I missed here.
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#3 Old 01-07-2014
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#4 Old 01-07-2014
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#5 Old 01-07-2014
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I looked for this particular problem in the forums and google, and it is a stumper. Here are just a few possibilities.

Possible PSE check
http://www.justanswer.com/mercedes/7...oblemwhen.html

You could ask the Pelican forum guys
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...oor_Panels.htm


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#6 Old 01-07-2014
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Thanks for all the responses. The Pelican forum seems like a good lead. I will look into it. I updated my profile.
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#7 Old 01-07-2014
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#8 Old 01-13-2014
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Thanks! I just submitted a data card request.

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#9 Old 01-13-2014
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I am still not able to open my driver's door (neither from inside nor outside). In order to get into my car, I have to "climb" through the passenger door. Very annoying. There's not much room in the R170s.
I ordered a set of different slim jims online to see if I'll be able to open the door that way somehow. It looks looks slim jims are no longer available for sale at auto part stores for obvious reasons.
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#10 Old 01-13-2014
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Doubtfull the slimjim will work. The door latch is covered with a plastic shroud to prevent just this sort of attack.

Removing the seat wont help. Without the door open I doubt you will get the liner off the door.

The inner door handle trips the door catch via a cable pull. Sometimes the cable outer slips from its retaining clip and prevents opening. ( Or it isn't clipped in place when the door panel is replaced )

You could try to get to the cable through the door handle recess opening but that may be difficult.

Best approach may be to dissasemble the passenger inside panel and measure where things are to get a reference to get into the driver door.

I suspect you may end up purchasing a new door liner for the drivers side!

The outer door handles on the car are fiddly to dissasemble and it involves getting to an allen cap screw behind the rubber seals, lining the door handle to an 'assembly' position and a bit of skilled 'manoeuvering'. If the allen cap screw is not tightened up before closing then the handle stops working!

Another way in may be to get a stiff wire coathanger, bend a 5mm right angle into a piece of it and work it in to the hole behind the outer handle. Use the bent end ( facing downwards ) to feel and trip the catch mechanism.

Good luck.
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#11 Old 01-14-2014
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Thanks nimbusgb. Some very useful information. I will try my luck with stiff wire coathanger tomorrow. When I pulled the handle this evening, I saw the little hole. I assume that's the one you're talking about. I've never done this before nor do I know where exactly that catch mechanism is, but I'll give it a try with your instructions below (with a 5mm right angle facing downwards).

Better than having to buy a new inner door panel!

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Originally Posted by nimbusgb View Post
Doubtfull the slimjim will work. The door latch is covered with a plastic shroud to prevent just this sort of attack.

Removing the seat wont help. Without the door open I doubt you will get the liner off the door.

The inner door handle trips the door catch via a cable pull. Sometimes the cable outer slips from its retaining clip and prevents opening. ( Or it isn't clipped in place when the door panel is replaced )

You could try to get to the cable through the door handle recess opening but that may be difficult.

Best approach may be to dissasemble the passenger inside panel and measure where things are to get a reference to get into the driver door.

I suspect you may end up purchasing a new door liner for the drivers side!

The outer door handles on the car are fiddly to dissasemble and it involves getting to an allen cap screw behind the rubber seals, lining the door handle to an 'assembly' position and a bit of skilled 'manoeuvering'. If the allen cap screw is not tightened up before closing then the handle stops working!

Another way in may be to get a stiff wire coathanger, bend a 5mm right angle into a piece of it and work it in to the hole behind the outer handle. Use the bent end ( facing downwards ) to feel and trip the catch mechanism.

Good luck.
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#12 Old 01-16-2014
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Any luck with your door yet?
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#13 Old 01-17-2014
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Unfortunately not yet. I had a hard time finding a wire coat hanger that I was able to bend without bruising up my fingers. I finally found one today that seemed to work. I was able to stick it through that little hole by the door handle with the bent end facing downwards. It went right in, but didn't catch anything (yet). I tried for about 10 minutes. I'll go "fishing" again tomorrow. It's certainly not easy to trip that catch mechanism! I have a good feeling that it'll work tomorrow. Thanks again for this great advice!

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Any luck with your door yet?
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#14 Old 01-17-2014
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One more question...do you think it would matter if the door knobs are locked or unlocked? I can use the key to move the door lock knob up and down. Not sure if that would matter. I tried both ways (mostly with the door unlocked/knob up).
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#15 Old 01-18-2014
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Must be unlocked! ( up )
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#16 Old 04-14-2014
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I finally got my door fixed a few weeks ago. I took it to a buddy that works on European cars. There's a plastic piece on the top of the actuator. He broke through it with a slim metal object. As soon as he did so, he was able to trip the door opening mechanism. I knew I had to replace the actuator anyway. It wasn't that bad after all. I didn't have to replace any other parts.
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