Driver Side Door won't Unlock with KEY - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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#1 Old 05-21-2007, 10:33 PM
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Driver Side Door won't Unlock with KEY

Hey Guys, i bought a 94 altima, and i didn't think it would be a problem, but i'm getting sick of having to open the passenger side door then unlock the driver's side just to get into my car. Besides the pros (looking like a gentleman everytime i have a girl with me) it is getting really annoying!!

After taking off the door panel to change my speakers and check out the problem, i noticed the little metal rod that actually unlocks the door-lock, is not connected to the round 'nut' where the key goes in. Also, the nut doesn't even turn with the key. So the key just goes in, and doesn't turn at all.

If anyone has any suggestions, or troubleshooting ideas, please let me know.

Thanx in advance for your help!!
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#2 Old 05-22-2007, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_prez
Hey Guys, i bought a 94 altima, and i didn't think it would be a problem, but i'm getting sick of having to open the passenger side door then unlock the driver's side just to get into my car. Besides the pros (looking like a gentleman everytime i have a girl with me) it is getting really annoying!!

After taking off the door panel to change my speakers and check out the problem, i noticed the little metal rod that actually unlocks the door-lock, is not connected to the round 'nut' where the key goes in. Also, the nut doesn't even turn with the key. So the key just goes in, and doesn't turn at all.

If anyone has any suggestions, or troubleshooting ideas, please let me know.

Thanx in advance for your help!!
Take your key to the Nismo dealer and have them VIN cut you a new key. While there, buy a new clip for the lock rod. Install new clip, try new key, enjoy.

Tom

1997 Altima GXE, Auto trans - A work in progress
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#3 Old 05-22-2007, 01:45 AM
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tell me if that works i have the same problem with the 97 execpt it is the other way around.

I am the unnecessary part replacement guy
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#4 Old 05-22-2007, 03:27 AM
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Buy a keyless entry system and tap it into your power locks. I can't remember the last time I used my key to start my car, let alone my doors....lol. Remote start is great.

1995 Altima GXE (sold)
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#5 Old 05-22-2007, 03:28 AM
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thanx tlafrance,
i got an amateur question, the lock rod is dis-attached, yes
BUT, the 'nut' that should be turning doesn't TURN anything, so will getting a new key cut change that? or do i need to replace the whole nut?
Thanx
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#6 Old 05-22-2007, 03:30 AM
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thats a good idea bkal, but i'm REALLY broke right now, so i'm trying to find the cheapest way to deal with this, to buy a remote start and install will cost over 100$.
BUT, there already is a system installed (i see the antenna behind the rearview mirror) but when i bought the car, there was no remote...any troubleshooting ideas?
Thanx
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#7 Old 05-22-2007, 03:52 AM
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The metal rods you're talking about are called actuators. I believe actuators can cost $35-$50 a door. There's actually about 3 metal rods per actuator. I changed them on a Jeep before, which was experiencing the same problem as you stated. Look into that...
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#8 Old 05-22-2007, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_prez
thanx tlafrance,
i got an amateur question, the lock rod is dis-attached, yes
BUT, the 'nut' that should be turning doesn't TURN anything, so will getting a new key cut change that? or do i need to replace the whole nut?
Thanx
The lock cylinder is held in by a clip, not a nut. I think you mean the back of the lock cylinder is not moving, right? The tumblers inside the cylinders wear over time, as well as the key wears over time. Replacing the key with sharp defined lands and grooves will sometimes be enough to work with the worn tumblers. I had this same problem on my 97. Had to do the wiggle dance with ALL locks including ignition. New Nismo key and viola, no more problems. My ignition is still somewhat sticky, but it gets better with each use. Cheap, easy way to solve a problem. Next choice, remove cylinder from door and take it to a locksmith. The smith will usually charge between 25-40 bucks to disassemble the tumbler and repair it. Be sure to post how things turn out.

Tom

1997 Altima GXE, Auto trans - A work in progress
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#9 Old 05-22-2007, 07:18 AM
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I had the same problem with my 97. No one but Nissan sells the locks....atleast I couldnt find anyone....so I bought them from Nissan cost me about $90 but you get driver, passenger, trunk, ignition, and two keys with it....and its really easy to install the new locks. I saved my ignition just incase and I use two keys, one to open it and the original to start it.

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#10 Old 05-22-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_prez
thats a good idea bkal, but i'm REALLY broke right now, so i'm trying to find the cheapest way to deal with this, to buy a remote start and install will cost over 100$.
BUT, there already is a system installed (i see the antenna behind the rearview mirror) but when i bought the car, there was no remote...any troubleshooting ideas?
Thanx
Actually, my remote start only cost $70 (self-installed). They also make keyless entry only models.

If you already have the antennae, then you have some kind of aftermarket system. Follow the antennae wire and try to find the control box. Get a company name and model number, then you should be able to buy some replacement remotes. I think the replacements run about $25, but not sure, never had to buy a replacement....lol. Once you get the model name, you should be able to get a guide on it on how to teach the system the new remotes. Be prepared to take off some interior panels to find the box.

1995 Altima GXE (sold)
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Yamaha YZF600R


Last edited by bkal; 05-22-2007 at 03:06 PM.
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#11 Old 05-22-2007, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlafrance
The lock cylinder is held in by a clip, not a nut. I think you mean the back of the lock cylinder is not moving, right? The tumblers inside the cylinders wear over time, as well as the key wears over time. Replacing the key with sharp defined lands and grooves will sometimes be enough to work with the worn tumblers. I had this same problem on my 97. Had to do the wiggle dance with ALL locks including ignition. New Nismo key and viola, no more problems. My ignition is still somewhat sticky, but it gets better with each use. Cheap, easy way to solve a problem. Next choice, remove cylinder from door and take it to a locksmith. The smith will usually charge between 25-40 bucks to disassemble the tumbler and repair it. Be sure to post how things turn out.

Tom
That's interesting. My driver's side door lock won't open that well with my new key, it's seems kind of forced. My old key opens the door lock smoothly.

Sounds like the locksmith idea is the best bet though.

1995 Altima GXE (sold)
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Yamaha YZF600R

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#12 Old 05-22-2007, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkal
That's interesting. My driver's side door lock won't open that well with my new key, it's seems kind of forced. My old key opens the door lock smoothly.
Your key probably needs to be shaved/polished. When I had a few keys made for my car I had to wiggle them in the lock to open the doors. I went back to the place that made the keys and they used this type of rotating metal brush and ran it over the keys. I went back to the car and they worked perfectly.
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#13 Old 05-22-2007, 06:00 PM
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I had this problem when my key fob stopped working, My key was pretty worn but after a few jiggles it worked. I had a new key made and it worked great. the locksmith did the polishing thing as well.

I have a question about keys also, ever since I got a new key, it can be pulled out of the ignition while the car is running. I know this is not good but will it cause any serious problems in the future?

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#14 Old 05-23-2007, 02:28 AM
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i had the same exact problem. my key didnt work haha so i can imagine how p/o'd you were when you found that out. it also worked about half the time in the ignition and zero in trunk/passanger door.

dont bother getting a duplicate key made u gotta take it to the dealer
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#15 Old 05-23-2007, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-Ta
I had this problem when my key fob stopped working, My key was pretty worn but after a few jiggles it worked. I had a new key made and it worked great. the locksmith did the polishing thing as well.

I have a question about keys also, ever since I got a new key, it can be pulled out of the ignition while the car is running. I know this is not good but will it cause any serious problems in the future?
The only problem is that the lock for the key inside the cylinder is broken. My last car had that "feature" for years. Won't cause any problems. Integrity of the system is still maintained (as far as I know) because the key has to be fully inserted to move pass the LOCK position.

1995 Altima GXE (sold)
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
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