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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help Please - Door latch (Soft close AND Unlock) - Dealer wants to replace

Hello... I'm hoping someone out there can help me with the issue I am having, or provide some good advice.

I have a 2000 S430 and recently my driver's door ("soft" close) stopped working. The door still closes, but I have to close it a lot harder. Along with that, the door sometimes does not unlock. It always locks fine, and I can see the button/lever moving up and down, but sometimes the door remains locked.

I took the car into the dealer for a couple other things that are covered under my extended warranty, like my driver's window motor, but the door latch for some reason is not covered under my warranty. They looked at it and said that I need a whole new door latch and gave me a quote of ~$600 for the part and 3hours on the labor. They said since they already are going to have the panel off to replace the window motor, they could "cut me a deal" on the labor for the door latch install, from 3 hours, to 1.5hours. To me, this seems like a lot of $$$.

I have experience doing just about every mechanical thing on a car, as well as a lot of electrical stuff too. My question is this... To anyone that has any experience with the door latch mechanism, does it sound like I need to replace the whole door latch unit? If so, are there any DIY guides/instructions for doing this? Or is this something that I need to fork out the $$$ to the dealer to do? Is the part something I can get from a "Parts" place or off of Ebay (new/used)? Is it all one unit that controls the "soft close" and the "lock/unlock"?

The dealer is waiting to hear back from me regarding whether I want them to go ahead a replace, or if I want them to leave it and I'll attempt it myself. Any suggestions, recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Is the "auto/soft close" feature controlled by the same unit that locks and unlocks the door (actuator)? Or are they different?



Thanks...
 

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W220 2004 S500
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138 Posts
The door auto close is pnuematic. There is an air compressor in the trunk that generates the pressure/vacuum. This also controls the trunk latch pulldown, the door locks, the seat lumbar bladders and the rear head rest release. I would start there. Sounds like the line(s) to the door have leaks. I haven't been around that long, but I haven't heard of replacing a latch to fix that problem. Maybe you are just lucky like that. ;-)

You have to be very picky when buying extended warranties. These cars are loaded with tons of expensive and some of it isn't covered unless you buy the highest level policy.

Since they are saying it isn't covered by the warranty, nothing stops you from taking it to an Indy and getting a second opinion.
 

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2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
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443 Posts
I have the same problem on the front passenger door and I too have thought of replacing the closer myself, but then I found out that to change the closer you must disassemble the door INCLUDING removal of the glass. This is a repair for which experience and some really specialized knowledge would go a very long way and I am just not suited for this task.
 
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