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Discussion Starter #1
I searched the site and didn't find anything so here goes......

My rear passenger door lock seems to be lazy. It always unlocks when I use the switches on the door, but 10% of the time when I use the FOB it doesn't unlock JUST THIS DOOR! I wouldn't care but this is the side my baby's carseat fits on and its really f'ing annoying when I'm juggling baby and put away my keys to find the door locked. I would think its the actuator but its only with the FOB and only about 10% of the time.

Anyone else have this goblin in their door lock?
 

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2006 Xterra SE
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rear passenger that doesn't open sometimes, yes... I have that... not the unlocking part, but probably not too unrelated I'd think? probably need to take the panel off and see if the mechanism is loose or weak on the latch like for the door handle when it wont open.
 

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Professional Amateur Wanderer
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This is a fairly well known issue with the return springs. I hope this solves both of your problems. I had this happen on a few of my Pathfinders with the mechanical linkages, not cables, but same concept, weak return spring.

a somewhat known issue that affected 2nd and 3rd gen Pathfinder and 1st and 2nd gen Xterra.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the links! My issue is different than the one fixed in the videos but it does give a nice overview of the mechanism and the possible faults.
 

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Professional Amateur Wanderer
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No problem, I think that your description of a lazy door lock actuator is spot on. When you use the switch on the front door controls to unlock the back, I am guessing the signal lasts a little longer versus using the key FOB, those few extra milliseconds may kick the lazy actuator over the edge to actually unlock. I am guessing with the key FOB it is a prescribed short burst signal that may not keep the signal high long enough to kick the lock all the way open. I guess the simple test would be to double-double press the unlock button and see if the door unlocks 100% of the time. If it doesn, then you could make a pretty safe guess that it is signal duration related.

I would start by cleaning the actuator and cables as shown as it is a slow degradation in performance until one day, the door won't open from the inside or outside. Save yourself the headache I experienced on my Pathfinders, I had to try and carefully rip the door panels off with the door closed in order to fix the linkages. Everything is kind of tied together, if the return spring doesn't reset the cable just right, then the lock doesn't work, then eventually, the lock gets into a funky half open/half closed state that keeps you from being able to open the door at all. It's basically the return spring's fault 95% of the time. I ave successfully used PB Blaster on the metal parts on and around the springs to break up build up and corrosion, then once everything was sufficiently worked loose, used the WD-40 with PTFE (teflon). 1.5 years later, no more issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As an update, the lazy door lock got belligerent and I tore it apart to see what the deal was. Turns out the actuator was worn out and was not working each time, even disconnected from the mechanism. A replacement actuator fixed it up good and I administered lube while in there for good measure.
 
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