2002-2006 Mini Cooper (R50)

Replaced Actuator, Same Problem

  #1  
Old 03-11-2016, 09:29 PM
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Location: Elgin, IL
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Default Replaced Actuator, Same Problem

Bought a beautiful 03 Mini manual shift 2 weeks ago with not quite 85K on the clock; just love it!



Last week I locked the doors and when I unlocked, the passenger door would not open either from the inside or the outside, even though I could hear all the mechanisms seeming like they worked. Checked the Forums and saw a suggestion about some lube and a few whacks with a rubber mallet; sure enough, that worked....at least until the next time I locked the car. Opening or closing the door had no effect, just when locking it is when it fails. Contacted ECS and bought a new replacement actuator that I just finished installing an hour ago. Same issues exactly with the new actuator that I had with the old one.....as long as I don't lock the doors, the passenger side door opens and closes just fine; once I lock the car, neither the inside nor the outside handles work. A few whacks with a rubber mallet reengages whatever fails and the door opens. It was a new actuator and I swapped the few bits over from the original actuator as needed. Any ideas??
 
  #2  
Old 03-15-2016, 12:25 PM
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Maybe a faulty replacement unit?... Did you check to make sure the bowden cable is not loose or stretched? There's an image here to reference what it looks like. Below, it's the one that connects to the door handle and moves across the top of the door into the hole.

 
  #3  
Old 03-15-2016, 01:05 PM
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Not sure how to tell if the Bowden cable is loose or stretched? Mine has that same amount of "sag" in it as in the picture. Just so I was clear with my description:


....When the door latch is functional, it works fine, both with the inside and outside handles.
....When the door actuator locks, either with a key or automatically upon reaching speed, after that, neither inside nor outside handles function to open the door
....At this point, locking and unlocking the door does no good, nor do repeated efforts using either or both of the handles
....There is little resistance on either the inside or outside handles at this point
....A few "taps" with a rubber mallet on the outer door handle somehow manages to "reset" the system and the door handles work again until the next time the door is locked.
....This is same with the new actuator as it was with the original actuator


How could the Bowden cable be at fault if that only operates the inner handle?
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-2016, 01:48 PM
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It will either detach or stretch from where it connects into the lock end, but most report not being able to open from the inside and it opens from the outside. I have seen where it cannot open from the inside or outside when the cable has become disconnected, but since you're able to open it after giving it a tap, it may not be your issue. Just an option to check. It could be a connection issue somewhere or maybe a faulty replacement unit. I'd just check all the components on this diagram HERE and make sure everything looks good inside the door. You could try and replicate it with the door card off and looking at all the components while having someone tap the outside. Maybe this will give you some sort of perspective on what may not be functioning properly. Good luck, hope you get this figured out.
 
  #5  
Old 03-15-2016, 01:56 PM
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Thank you. The Bowden cable looked good and fit right into place as per instructions from the Forum help videos. I was actually going to do just what you suggested, i.e. look inside while someone raps on the door handle. I left the panel off for just that reason. I'll post an update but I know it won't be before Saturday.
 
  #6  
Old 12-15-2016, 09:05 PM
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I also have a problem with opening driver door from inside, perhaps 1 / 20 times.
 
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