all doors, except the drives door, locked and cannot be unlocked

Asked by bdbmmb Jun 02, 2020 at 06:12 PM about the 1996 GMC Suburban K1500 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

96 gmc suburban with no way to unlock any of the doors except the drivers door.  no fob, no key, not manually!  drivers door can be locked manually or with the key but you only hear a click under the dash if using the lock btn from either the drivers or pass door lock button.  makes no difference how the lock/normal button is set.  The actuators appear to be locked since i cannot manually or key unlock(pass/barn door).  i disconnected the battery to no avail! not sure how to test anything on any of the doors as they are shut and locked!  fyi, pwr windows work fine.  any clue on how to get inside the doors would be a big help!  This happened on a long trip and my daughter did hit the lock button on the pass side at some point.  i'm wondering if she could have held the lock btn down and shorted something.  not sure but i'll guess all the other doors are in series electrically and come after the pass door.  I've seen lots of talk about the actuators but a year or two ago i replaced them all and the lock relay.  I just don't get how they can't be unlocked manually or with the key unless the actuator is somehow locked as if it's in some child lock mode but as i previous mentioned, the "lock" is not on on the drivers door.

1 Answer

as i suspected, it appears that my daughter's foot or books or something sat on the lock switch for who knows how long and all the actuators fried with all but the drivers door unit locked up so that you couldn't even manually unlock the doors. The drivers door unit moved really hard but was also totally fried. It would have been much easier of a job if they were fried in the unlock position! To get access to the locked doors i inserted a long screwdriver down along the open window and broke off the actuator arm that connects to the lock/unlock assembly. The barn door was actually very easy as all i had to do was remove the carpeted door panel which is held via the std trim clips. I'm still waiting on replacement units but in the meantime i put two of the original units in the two front doors and everything is working just fine. I have no idea if this would have happened with the original units but i do know that the originals are about 3x the weight of the replacement units i had installed. Either way, this is real design flaw that i hope they fixed with newer vehicles. Seems like they should have some guard or the buttons recessed to avoid this or change the elec design to prevent it. My old units are working fine on the front two doors for now. I saved the originals as i was fairly sure my original problem back then was actually the door lock relay under the dash but i changed the actuators as well due to it being an older suburban. That said, i love this vehicle and only 250K miles on it! Even better since i swapped the front seats for ones in a wrecked Denali.

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