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Old 02-08-2010, 07:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 98 4 door Taurus sedan. The last few mornings it's been very cold. My driver and passenger doors don't seem to want to latch closed. I spray WD-40 into the the keyholes and work the key back and forth until it seems to free up and latch while using the door handle on the outside. But then I get in the car and use the inside handle to get out and the non latching problem reappears. Is there a difference between how the two handles work? I don't have this problem in warmer weather so I assume it's the cold causing it. What else can I do? Would something else work better than WD-40?
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Oiling won't help. I've had this problem the past few years on my car. The best bet is bring something along to tie unused doors shut. Seems the latches on these cars were horribly designed.

Most likely, the latch isn't frozen but gummed up from previous lubrication. What I have had okay success doing is putting a heat lamp on the latch (making sure to not burn the paint / melt anything) and let it sit until everything gets nice and toasty.

Then take the heatlamp off and spray carb cleaner or brake cleaner avoid breathing on the latch.

This usually gets me a week or so of functioning door then it stops working again.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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have you lubed the latching mechanism on the back end of the door? it sounds like that part is sticking.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This is too common a problem with these cars. A previous poster was right about the gummed-up lube; however, there is a better way than tieing the door.

I'm bald so I'll say it like this. Borrow your wife's blowdryer and blow hot air into the latch assembly to thaw the latch and soften the old lube. Use spray type brake cleaner with the little red extension tube to clean out the old lube and free-up the mechanism. saturate the latch assembly with a quality Lythium based or Moly Lube type spray lubricant. This type of lubricant is waterproof and doesn't thicken at low temperatures.

NOTE:A hot air gun works even better but you risk damaging your paint or upolstery.

Good luck, Popeye
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I used a lighter and some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. worked well too!
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