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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Winter Door Frustration

I have a 97 Rav 4 and have had problems with the front driver and passenger doors during the winter.
I park outside and if there is a particularly frosty night, I often have trouble unlocking the two front doors.

The more frustrating part is, if I get the doors to unlock and open, they won't latch closed. I have had to bungee them shut before to drive to work. Last winter, I didn't have this problem, because it was a mild winter, but my doors have started acting up again. The switch for the power locks will move on the door, but the door itself will not latch closed.

I have taken it to the dealer and they could find nothing wrong with the mechanisms.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:25 PM
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Hey I share your pain. Heres a few tips for the meantime. I have found that using the seatbelt is better than bungee. Extend the seatbelt as much as possible, wrap around the door handle and click into place. Also if you can fit thru one of the back doors they dont seem to ice up as much. It helps to have a hair dryer and extension cord with you at all times to thaw out the visible lock mechanism. Thru trial and error I have found that the seals along the window let most of the water or moisture into the mechanisms. I took apart the door and dried every nook and crany I could, then greased with lithum white. So far so good. It also helps if you keep the windows a free of snow as possible.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 03:44 AM
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I live in Iowa. I have had my doors freeze shut until I started spraying the rubber seals around the door with silicone spray. Silicone will not cause the rubber seals to deterate like oil would. It can be bought at most auto part stores. Then generously spray the lock/latch mechanism with WD-40. I have not had any doors freeze shut since I started doing this. You may have to spray with WD-40 couple times to get all of the moisture out of the latch/lock.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:40 PM
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pour hot water on the latch itself and the door will stay shut. then when you get a chance load up the latches with WD40 .
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