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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, help, front doors won't open in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Unfortunately its a no go. Did all I could think of. Ended up taking the door panel off and lubed ...
  1. #16
    Greg00coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    Unfortunately its a no go. Did all I could think of. Ended up taking the door panel off and lubed every thing I could see. Did find out taking the door panel off is one of the easier ones I ever did. I will call a couple of dealers tomorrow to try to narrow down the problem. All the parts are readily replaceable by knowing what to buy w/o a hunt and peck approach could get expensive. I'll let you know what the problem is because I need to get it fixed eventually. You do the same if you run out of patience first!!!

  2. #17
    usalimey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    Greg00coupe,,,do you have like a step by step on door panel removal?,,, also once inside,, is there a separate lock and cable or linkage? does it go to the "module",,, or what goes to the module? just electrical connections,, on gm parts site said a lock,, any wires from module to lock? thanks for taking the "bull by the horns" keep me posted on results and cost ,, The unlock switch on door panel,, does it go to the module?,,, just thinking out loud......

  3. #18
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    As stated fairly well in post 11 the system is set up as follows.

    The "lock" is what most of you would think of as the door latch. The lock is all electronic and there is one manual connection to the inside door handle so it will always open the door. The driver's door has a mechanical lock cylinder, as stated it just allows for mechanical activation of the door latch from the outside, the assumption is that only a valid key will turn the lock.
    The electric portion of the outside door handle works this way, when you pull the handle a switch in the door handle sends a signal to a controller on the car, that controller sends out a command to the door module to open the door and the door lock is activated allowing the door to open. This happens if a door unlock request is processed from a push of the transmitter button. The passive entry works in a similar fashion but you have to remember that when the door handle is pulled the vehicle polls for the transmitter to find it's location. If it is in range of the door handle then the open request is processed the same as above, however if the antenna does not report the proximity of the handle the passive request for entry is ignored even though all the doors unlock. The rear doors will unlock because the transmitter is being picked up as in range by other antennas on the vehicle but it cannot pick up the transmitter in range of the door handle.
    These actually have antennas molded into the door handles, and they do have a high failure rate.

    The rule I use is that if the door can be opened via an unlock button request but not by passive entry (i.e. walking up with the transmitter and pulling the handle) then I replace the outside door handle on the affected side.
    It is a MAJOR pain in the rear to do the outside handles.
    This will set codes although I don't recall in which module, I think in the RCDLR (remote control door lock receiver) and an ohm check of the antennas in the handles will usually verify the condition.

    No amount of lubrication or manipulation will fix the passive entry problem.

  4. #19
    Midnight is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    Wow, thanks ewill3rd. I didn't know about the bad antenna still unlocking the other doors.

    One question:
    > if the door can be opened via an unlock button request
    ... and earlier...
    > a door unlock request is processed from a push of the transmitter button

    So if you push the unlock button on the fob, this should in theory unlatch the front door? Like, as a test, Bob stands outside the car with the fob, and Bill sits in the car and pushes against the door (without doing anything else)... when Bob hits unlock, the front door should pop open (and for comic relief, Bill falls out of the car and lands butt-first on a cactus)... or is there something else that would keep the door from flying open?

    I assume if the car detects the fob inside the car, unlock doesn't do this?

    My car is currently outside in the rain, or I'd try it

  5. #20
    Greg00coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    "The rule I use is that if the door can be opened via an unlock button request but not by passive entry (i.e. walking up with the transmitter and pulling the handle) then I replace the outside door handle on the affected side."

    Thanks Ewill..... I hear what you are saying but I know in my case and I think with the original poster here is what is happening:

    1. The FOB will not open the front drivers door either passively OR hitting the unlock button on the FOB. I must use the key. But using the door handle does open the other 3 doors.

    2. Going to the passenger side front door the passive system does not work at all. BUT you can open the 3 non drivers doors with the FOB using the unlock button.

    3. The trunk works as it should, either off the FOB or passively walking up.

    4. The red lights i.e. the lock lights work when as they always have when you pull up the door handle.

    5. My passenger side stopped working maybe 6 months ago. The drivers side worked sporatically up until a week ago.

    I'm thinking I need two new door handles and antenna. But it seems the system is picking up the FOB or why would it open the non driver doors?

    IF you need to paint these door handles when you install I'm seeing an aftermarket product opportunity here..... chrome covers or the like.

    Wonder if all GM cars with this system have these issues? A cadilliac dealer is not real close to me these days. Would Buick or Chevy have the same challenge?

  6. #21
    Greg00coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    USALIMEY... to answer your door panel question......... every panel I've ever removed, and for some odd reason that's been too many, have screws you must locate and remove as the primary challenge. On the STS there are 3 screws. Two right behind the door pull. If you picture closing your door where you knuckles are pointed there is a flap. Just put something flat under the leather flap and lift. It just comes right up no force needed as it is just a piece of leather flap. The two screws are directly in sight. The third screw is behind the door latch i.e. the latch you use to open the door. Pull the latch open use a small screwdriver to pop it from the left side i.e. the part next to the latch pivot. Reinstall just the opposite with the front going in first.

    Once the 3 screws are out all that is left are the plastic retaining anchors around the sides and bottom. Lay on you back under the door and use a putty knife to gently pop the bottom edge. Pop one and the rest pop right off. Lift the panel in and up and it is off.

    Once inside there is a cable from the inside door release to the door latch. There is a rod that runs from the key lock to the latch. And then there is a lot of electronic stuff running here and there.

    I played around with it for manye 30 40 minutes. All the mechanical parts seem to be OK. So I'm back to the electronics which could be any where.

    I have access to GM parts at cost. I just need to figure out what part to start with.

  7. #22
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    It seems every one has a slight variation in this thread.
    The codes will tell the story but in the absence of a scan tool I usually find the following.

    If you pull the door handle and the other doors unlock but the door doesn't open the handle of the door you pulled is likely bad.
    If you pull the handle and nothing happens the computer may not be seeing the pull switch in which case the inner part of the handle assembly will need replaced.

    Greg it sounds like you have 2 different problems, I might be tempted to say your passenger door needs handle/antenna while the driver's side may need a switch.
    I think the handles come color matched, some have a chrome piece on them but you have to peel it off the old handle and reuse it on the new one on the ones that have it.
    They have changed part numbers recently so that may not apply anymore.

    If the system responds to the unlock request from the transmitter but the door will not open it could be the switch in the door handle base, usually if you pull the door and it doesn't open it is the internal part or the "base" of the handle. If it sees you pull the handle but just won't open passively it is usually the antenna or actual handle itself.
    Not sure if that clears anything up.

    My name is actually Bill but I haven't fallen on any cactus lately.

  8. #23
    Greg00coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    So I wonder off the GM Parrts direct website........

    Is this what I need.........

    Lock actuator, sts, sts-v, left

    Only $89 too......

    It's the only electronic part they show..........for the door system.

    And I did think I needed an antena for the right door and do think I have two seperate problems at each door........ thanks again!

  9. #24
    usalimey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    ewill3rd......greg00coupe and I have the same problem I believe,, everything works as it should EXCEPT front doors will NOT "open" from the outside using either the fob or door handle,, drivers will pop with key.

    "The rule I use is that if the door can be opened via an unlock button request but not by passive entry (i.e. walking up with the transmitter and pulling the handle) then I replace the outside door handle on the affected side".

    mine can't be opened via unlock button on remote like greg.

    I went to post 11 ,, I had gone to the link,, guy had same prob,, ends with dealer fixed it ,, didn't ask what it was,,,,,

    greg ,, at gmparts direct,, saw no actuator but a lock for about $90 then the modules for both sides

    below is part of your post ,, did you mean the other 2 doors (you wrote 3 got a lil confusing)

    1. The FOB will not open the front drivers door either passively OR hitting the unlock button on the FOB. I must use the key. But using the door handle does open the other 3 doors.

    2. Going to the passenger side front door the passive system does not work at all. BUT you can open the 3 non drivers doors with the FOB using the unlock button.

    your time frame on your doors sounds identical to mine

  10. #25
    usalimey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    just tried something,,

    walked up to locked car ,,,,grabbed drivers door handle red lite comes on rear doors unlock ,,drivers still doesn't open

    it did the same on the passenger side

    then I walked up to locked car USED unlock on fob grabbed drivers door handle red lite doesn't come on ,, interior and exterior lights come on rear doors unlock,, drivers still doesn't open

    does this help diagnose car?

  11. #26
    Greg00coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    No USA I meant 3 doors. When I am at the passenger side I hit the FOB unlock button and 3 doors (less the drivers door) unlock. So what I am saying is using the FOB manually I can unlock all the doors EXCEPT the drivers door. IF you could use the FOB manually to open all 4 doors like most cars I'd be done. I would not care for the remote deal.

    Talked to my dealer today......... he thinks it is the antenna in the right door and the relay in the left just as Bill/Ewil suggests. He offered to run a diagnostic on it for $100 and apply the $100 to any repair costs. I think that to be a fair deal. But it's hard with work and he being 25 miles away to get there.

    As I don't drive the STS much until the snow flies this in not a big deal to me but something I want to get behind me. Thus I doubt I'll be doing too much real soon.......... other then using the key when needed!!!

  12. #27
    usalimey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    greg,, so the only door that you can't open from the outside is the drivers door? both my front doors don't work,, first was the pass.. then the drivers

  13. #28
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    limey, I have only had to fight with a few.
    Going by what you are saying... let's see here... yeah I still think you have two bad antennas.

    The red light doesn't come on because you just unlocked it so it is not secure. The other doors are unlocking but it can't see the transmitter because you have 2 antennas that are dead.
    Honestly guys... I rarely see any other problems other than transmitter issues or dead batteries.
    If you press the buttons and stuff happens that pretty much rules that out.
    The only other thing is if you pull the handle and the car doesn't respond at all it is the internal switch and not the handle.

    Most of what I see on this topic looks like dead antennas.

  14. #29
    usalimey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    Bill,,, the red lite comes on when I walk up try and open both front doors,,,,but I hear the back 2 unlock

    when I walkup use unlock on fob ,, red lite doesn't come on interior lites come on and back doors unlock.

    you think thats the antennas in both front doors then ,,,

    thanks I appreciate your help,, judging by the amount of posts you've probably helped hundreds

  15. #30
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: help, front doors won't open

    I have been helping people fix cars online since about 1994 in one way or another. I come here several times a day and offer advice when I can. I didn't realize I was over 10k, but I don't worry about the numbers.

    The red light doesn't come on if you press unlock because you have disarmed the security system, at least I think so. I can check one in the shop and see but I don't have any that are messed up so I can only tell you what it should do.
    The fact that the other doors respond indicates to me that it sees you pulling the handle so the interior portion of the outside handle seems to be working. As many antennas (handles) as I have replaced I would suspect them first and it really sounds like you have a couple of bad ones.

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