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2000 dodge grand caravan se rampvan, driver side door stuck closed. How do I manually release the door latch?

I have a 2000 dodge grand caravan se (rampvan). My driver side sliding door (manual) will not open. I have removed the door panel and found the opening and locking mechanism looks to be in working order. when depressing the interior button on the handle to open the mechanism moves the bar that goes back to the latch. When pulling on the exterior handle the same bar moves. upon depressing or raising the lock the mechanism seems to work appropriately, by not allowing the levers for the opening bar to pull back fully. However the latch still does not disengage. I have tried everything I can think of the manually release the latch but to no avail. How can I manually release the door latch with the door stuck closed?

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I'd be surprised if there's a child lock on a Dodge van. Have you checked the track wheels are in good shape? Often due to usage they flaten and render the door closed. I'm guessing there's something allows functionality once the doors start moving. I had a green Goddess with a similar door sliding function. You can get to the wheels on the bottom of the door by lifting the door upwards a free mm then push the bottom of the door outward
The wheels will slide down/out of the bottom of the door with little effort. You can then hammer the metal wheel's back into shape. Replace by reversing the method of removal and fingers crossed (optional) your door is fixed. Also clean them with diesel and grease them up for good measure. Good luck.

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    tried this method of removing door. latch is stuck and wont allow door to come out far enough to get rollers off or to use a screwdriver on latch

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    thanx tho. will keep this in mind once I get latch open



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  • Dodge Master
  • 22,434 Answers

Is child lock engaged --and to pop the latch use a screw driver to push to release

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

  • 9 more comments 
  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 12, 2019

    child lock is not engaged. forgot to mention that. I located the black bar that controls the child safety lock and made sure it was in the up position. I cannot get a screw driver to the latch, due to the door being stuck closed. is there a way to do it from the inside of the door panel? Again, door is stuck closed. more info or description of the process would be helpful.

  • john h Jun 12, 2019

    you will be trying to pop the latch mechanism from inside door panel that goes around the pin that mechanism is what the linkages and handles hook up to if you can grab the linkage [from inside door handle to latch]with a pair of pliers and pull towards rear should pop latch or if can get a long screw driver and slide along linkage and try to pop that way

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    I pulled linkage (that leads from the interior locking and opening mechanism) to the latch with no effect. Upon inspection with a camera, I can see the linkage is still attached to the latching mechanism and it also has a spring effect to it, as if it is opening the latch, however it never releases. The linkage pulls toward the front of the van to open, so I'm a little confused about what you mean by pulling towards the rear? Also upon trying the screwdriver method, inside the door panel, there is no visible part of the latch, other than the linkage connection. Everything is enclosed in a part brass/part plastic casing, other than the linkage connection. Really nothing to slip with the screw driver. Keep in mind this is a sliding minivan door, not a typical car door. It latches in the rear of the door, not the bar between the driver door and sliding door.

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    added photo of latch mechanism inside door panel and video of the locking and opening mechanisms in action, as well as the linkage going to the latch. perhaps this will give a better idea of why im confused. Btw the photo is upside down, think about it rotated 180 degrees clockwise

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019


  • john h Jun 13, 2019

    watch this link it will explain better

  • john h Jun 13, 2019 and this is diagram of the door assembly

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    watched this video thinking that too, before I came to fixya lnfao. I see u didnt watch before sending it. it doesnt show anything other than them taking off the panel, unscrewing the roller then cuts to the door open. guy says he just kicked the door till it opened then ends video. not helpful at all

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    that dude totally sounds like hank hill tho lol

  • john h Jun 13, 2019

    did watch they remove lower roller moved handle and kicked front to pop out then kicked back and popped rear ===it shows you the FRONT latch that you need to pop first you kept showing rear one thats why i said use screw driver to move latch or pull rod towards rear of vehicle your door has 2 and the primary latch is the front and removing the roller lets you kick out the door front first back second releasing latch dont know what more they would show --the way they did it is the way if latches dont pop using screw driver

  • Dustin Cabrera
    Dustin Cabrera Jun 13, 2019

    idk what video you watched lol. first of all they never removed the door handle or "moved" it at all. it's not even on the main door panel, it's a vertical handle adjacent and parallel to the window, right next to the driver seatbelt. Secondly there is no front latch lol. yes it has two latches, the gas filler latch, immediately below the U-bar for the main latch. the main latch is in the rear of the door and the gas filler latch is in the rear quarter panel. However neither of them are in the front of the door or anywhere near the front of the vehicle. so it's easy to see why I'm getting confused. again, there are no latches in the front of the door or toward the front of the vehicle, I have confirmed this by prying the front of the door away from the car and simply looking at it. there are a few sensors and the child safety switch, but no latches. I think you are thinking of a different model or year or something because what you are describing is not the reality of this vehicle. My vehicle is a 2000 dodge grand caravan se, the rampvan model. this one has a handicapped accessible ramp mounted in the rear passenger side and no middle seats. it's clearly different from his in the video, but the latches are the same, as I can confirm their locations, but cannot get a screwdriver in at the correct angle to pop them. Am I supposed to just kick the (you know what) out of the door till it breaks through the latches lol? potentially damaging other parts in the process? Sorry but that doesnt sound like "master" advice



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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


mark mayes

  • 786 Answers

SOURCE: unlatch a manual sliding door 01 grand caravan

These can be a job releasing... I worked on one about a month ago with the same problem. could not get it to release so i spray it good with WD40 and let it set awhile and still had to get my hand in there to release it......Might try this and hope this helps....when you do get it opened be sure to clean on oil it good for this is the most common cvause of it sticking....good luck and please rate this post.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012



  • 408 Answers

SOURCE: 2000 mitsubishi galant 4 cyl, 4 door. Rear right

pull the door panel off and inspect the door latch. Sounds like you jammed or bent part of it out of place. If the handles are very loose, check and see it the door latch arm popped out of place

Posted on Nov 10, 2013


Bill George

  • 2517 Answers

SOURCE: 05 dodge grand caravan sliding driver side door will not open manually

The rod or cable inside the door is not hooked up.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013


Pete MacSparran

  • 721 Answers

SOURCE: 1992 dodge Gr. caravan side door won't open

Probably needs a handle or latch,both have cheap plastic retainers & the latches are a common issue.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009


  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Volvo v70 1999 tailgate won't open

I had the same problem on my '98 V70 - my rear liftgate would not open. The "rear lift door open light" was on. I guess it was some kind of electronic problem in the locking mechanism. But it could have been something else like the metal bar that extends from the outside handle down to the mechanism had slipped off (unusual design seems like it should be connected instead of just sitting on a plastic latch handle) or maybe it was bent because this car had been hit in the rear as I found out looking around in there. Anyway, I took off the interior panel and inside handle. There was a large torx bolt that had to be removed if I was going to replace the mechanism. I later found out that there were two more once I got the gate open. I took a photo of the way everything was connected so I would have a record just in case I needed it. I bought a new lock mechanism. There is a thin piece of plastic down near the bottom on the mechanism that somewhat blocks a screwdriver or other tool from reaching in and opening the door that way. So I had to start removing things. I disconnected the power first. I removed the two screws I could reach which let the part that was connected to the connector be removed out of the way. I removed the metal bars that went from the outside door handle and the lock down to the mechanism. I still couldn't reach where I needed to. So since I had the part I began to slowly break away pieces from the mechanism. They are plastic so they broke off without much trouble but it did take a little work. Finally I reached down to the thin plastic part I referred to earlier that covers the part that unlocks your liftgate and pulled it enough off of it to get access to the release. One last try with a screwdriver let me push the actual release and the door opened! There was much rejoicing. Then I removed the old and replaced with the new. Reconnected everything checked and rechecked. It's working so far. That's how I did it.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

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