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Help! Power door locks will lock but won't unlock

mljones13

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Howell, MI
Corvette
1981 Red Coupe
Hello. I have a 1981 with a power lock issue. I have seen some info regarding this, but I need some expert assistance. I can lock the doors with the power lock button, but I cannot unlock them using the lock/unlock button. Do I need to replace the relay/relays? Where are they located? Can I do it myself? I have SOME mechanical ability, and some tools. I cannot crawl up under the dash or anything similar. (too fat and too old) Are these parts available and are they expensive? Thank you for your time.

Mike
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
1,765
Location
Frankfurt/Germany
Corvette
1982 Collector Edition
Hey Mike,

Usually what happens in mine is that the connections at the switch(es) either fall out (soldered before and now broke) or they arent connected properly anymore. Ie only one copper thin wire is hanging on a thread in the connector behind the door panel that connects to the switch in the door. Easiest actually: Take the door panels off and check your connections at the button in the door. If thats not it, it'll get a bit more complex but not impossible. :)

Let us know how it's going..

:w
-Stefan
 

mljones13

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Howell, MI
Corvette
1981 Red Coupe
Power door locks

Hey Mike,

Usually what happens in mine is that the connections at the switch(es) either fall out (soldered before and now broke) or they arent connected properly anymore. Ie only one copper thin wire is hanging on a thread in the connector behind the door panel that connects to the switch in the door. Easiest actually: Take the door panels off and check your connections at the button in the door. If thats not it, it'll get a bit more complex but not impossible. :)

Let us know how it's going..

:w
-Stefan

Thanks, I will try that and let you know how it goes.

MIke
 

berry1133@bellsouth.net

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
223
Location
GA
They probably need a good cleaning too. I used a wire brush to get all the oxidation of the connections. Some electrical contact cleaner would help as well. I'll bet it's a contact issue. Good luck.
 

mljones13

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Howell, MI
Corvette
1981 Red Coupe
Power door locks

They probably need a good cleaning too. I used a wire brush to get all the oxidation of the connections. Some electrical contact cleaner would help as well. I'll bet it's a contact issue. Good luck.


Thank you! I have a small wire brush and I bought some contact cleaner yesterday. Waiting for the weather to cool off before I pull the door panels.
 

hunt4cleanair

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
23
Location
Myrtle Beach SC
Corvette
1978 SA L48 & MIL Yel C5 Conv
Hello. I have a 1981 with a power lock issue. I have seen some info regarding this, but I need some expert assistance. I can lock the doors with the power lock button, but I cannot unlock them using the lock/unlock button. Do I need to replace the relay/relays? Where are they located? Can I do it myself? I have SOME mechanical ability, and some tools. I cannot crawl up under the dash or anything similar. (too fat and too old) Are these parts available and are they expensive? Thank you for your time.

Mike

this is not a bad task and can be completed by access to the door panels. I had a similar problem and when I pulled the door panel, as Ed notes, I found a wire hanging by a few single strands. Its good to go thru and check both switches and actuators while you've got the door panel off. I'm including a link to an article written that describes the process.

http://www.hunt4cleanair.net/Articles/doorlockrepair.pdf
 

mljones13

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Howell, MI
Corvette
1981 Red Coupe
Power door lock issue

Hello. I have a 1981 with a power lock issue. I have seen some info regarding this, but I need some expert assistance. I can lock the doors with the power lock button, but I cannot unlock them using the lock/unlock button. Do I need to replace the relay/relays? Where are they located? Can I do it myself? I have SOME mechanical ability, and some tools. I cannot crawl up under the dash or anything similar. (too fat and too old) Are these parts available and are they expensive? Thank you for your time.

Mike
I want to thank all of you that responded with suggestions that might get my locks working again. You were correct!! I took the connections apart, sprayed them with contact cleaned, wire brushed them and BOOM!! They work like new! Thanks again. This forum is priceless!!
 

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