Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Honda Odyssey side door won't close

Background
Our 2005 Honda Odyssey has been a faithful companion since we purchased it new nearly 10 years ago.  And apart from an elective upgrade to performance brake rotors, body repairs after falling victim to a library parking lot hit-and-run, and routine maintenance, we've had no problems that weren't covered under warranty.  But with 10 years and 90k miles under her belt, it's not surprising that some bits aren't functioning quite as crisply as they once did.

Case in point - the power sliding doors on either side of the vehicle.  While being one of the coolest and most functionally beneficial features ever offered on a family vehicle, they are packed with lots of mechanical bits and electronics under regular stresses as they lug a 100-lb door open and closed.  So, after about 20,000 open-close cycles it's little surprise that this is where something finally went wrong.

Under normal operation, the side doors can be opened or closed with a button on the dash, a button on the key fob, or a quick yank on the handle that actuates the power operation.  Presumably the power operation feature can be switched off, though it's not apparent that you are ever completely independent of some degree of power assist, since even when closing the doors manually there are some internal mechanics that kick in to complete the final "seal" (one sees this if they look alongside the side of the car as the door closes.  Once the door slots into place after completing it's back-to-front sliding motion, there is a final electronic whir as the entire door appears to get "sucked" into place.  I think of it like a Rubbermaid container lid - you can rest it on top of the container and it looks generally OK, but it needs that final action to complete the seal.

One day, something finally went wrong...
In the past few years, we've had occasional problems with the sliding doors - particularly in cold weather - where that final process of latching shut doesn't complete properly.  The power operation works fine to open the doors, and will also get them most of the way closed but it looks like it's just doesn't get them closed quite far enough to get the internal latches to complete that final seal.  In the past, we tried just opening and closing them again which seemed to get it to work the second (or third) try.  Then one day, that didn't work at all.  We were stuck limping home with a partially closed side door and the "door open" buzzer blaring at us the whole way.  No fun.

The solution - "Reboot" the Door:
Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this that is doable by anyone and costs absolutely nothing.  Put simply, this involves resetting the door so that it "forgets" that you already tried to close it.  This resets the mechanism that operates the latch so they operate correctly the next time you try to close it.

Here are the six easy steps :
1.  Turn off the power to the side doors.  There is a switch on the dash next to the interior buttons that operate the sliding doors.  Switch from "ON" to "OFF".  As I mentioned before this doesn't completely shut off power to the doors but it prevents the power mechanism from taking over when you pull the handle.
2.  Open the side door as much as it will easily go.  Pull the handle out and back and the door should follow, up to a point.  Do not force it past this point.  You will want to do this on level ground (or at least not with the nose of the vehicle pointing downhill) or the door will slide back closed.
3.  Pull the fuse for the power sliding door.  Open the fuse box (on 2005-2013 models this is near the floor to the left of where the pedals are, near the gas cap and hood release).
4.  Wait 30 seconds then re-insert fuse.  This time is sort of arbitrary, but it ensures that the power system for the door completely resets.
5.  Turn on power to side doors.  Flip the dash switch from step #1 back to the "ON" position.
6.  Use button to close the doors.  Using one of the buttons on the dash or key fob, press the "Close" button.  The door should slide closed and latched completely.

Sometimes the internet does not lie.  This worked for me as well as it apparently has for others, and I hope it works as well for you.  Let me know if it did and if you learned anything more about these doors in the process, since these are one of the more confusing pieces of automotive hardware I've ever taken the effort to troubleshoot.

38 comments :

  1. I had the same problem with my 2006 odyssey and was able to fix it using the steps you listed. Thank you so much.

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  2. Dude u da Man.. It worked and shut the door but did not fix the problem. Thanks at least I can drive it to get it looked at... Thank YOU

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  3. Same procedures worked on my 2004 Odyssey. Thank you!

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    1. What fuse on 2004 did you pull?

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    2. Fuse #11 (30A) for a 2004 (page 260 of the Owner's Manual - see http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/AH/AOD0404OM/enu/OD0404OM.pdf)

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    3. Thanks. Do you need to pull from both the primary and secondary fuse boxes? I see that there is #11 but with 20amps also

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    4. Well now, that's confusing isn't it? Looks like the diagram doesn't exactly make it clear. If I'm reading it right it looks like it's fuse #11 in the Primary under-hood box for non-EX or EX-L trims, but in the Secondary under-hood box for EX and EX-L trims. But then there are two INTERIOR fuse boxes, where on the passenger side Fuse 5 (20A) is listed as protecting the "Passenger's side Automatic Sliding door". Seems like they simplified things between the 2004 and 2005 model years so my suggestion would be to try one at a time, then combinations thereof until you find something that works. If none of these work we've exceeded the capabilites of my DIY-ness and it's time to do some more sleuthing. Sometimes if the fuse trick doesn't work it means the internal door hardware is worn and needs to be replaced (subject of future post). Good luck!

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  4. Replies
    1. Should be fuse #7 (7.5A) for a 2005 Ody.

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    2. I just now did the procedure you outlined on my 2008 Honda Odyssey and... it worked! Now the door shuts all the way and locks. Thanks!

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  5. I have a 2001 Odyssey and the driver side sliding door Wont open it makes a pop sound then beeps 3 times and the sliding door lights on the panel. It will not open or close from the panel, fob or manually. We tried the fuse thing, change the actuator and the rollers and nothing seems to work :(

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    1. First thing is that for the 2001 it would be fuse #13, so that might be something to try. Sounds like you've already gone to the next step of changing the actuator and rollers (if you did that yourself congratulations ... you are definitely HouseOfDIY guest blogger material). Also possible that there is something in the track causing an obstruction but you should have found that when you replaced the rollers. Beyond that I would only be guessing without having the car to fiddle around with. I've been known to bring things into the shop, get them to check it out (sometimes for a nominal fee) and then take it home to do the repair myself. Would love to hear how this works out for you - T

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  6. On my 2003 there are 2 fuses under the dash on the passenger side wall that I'd guess are for the doors: "Auto Closer DR" and "Auto Closer AS." I pulled them both and the passenger side door (which is OK) got deactivated but the driver's side door (where my problem is) still attempts to close! I wasn't sure what AS stood for, but I was pretty sure DR meant driver's side. Oh well. In any case I think my problem is not a failure to suck closed, or any confusion in the car's brain about door position, but rather a failure of a latch in the door itself to catch closed when it should be in the position to do so. I can see the door drawn in probably beyond its normal closed position, then relax. And then I can stick my fingers in the crack and pry it out and open. I suspect rust in the mechanism might be an issue.

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  8. Interestingly the "door open" indicator light on the dash is controlled by the physical position of the door as a whole and I can easily make it go out by simply pressing in on the door from the outside. Or by pushing in the switch plunger, which is pretty obvious mounted on the door frame of the van body. BUT the warning buzzer is not controlled by the same switch but instead apparently by some internal sensor that determines the position of the latch mechanism inside the door. But downright shocking to me is that the warning buzzer can be switched off by merely turning off the power door rocker switch on the dashboard.

    So I loaded my 92-year-old mom into the middle-row DS seat to bring her back to the nursing home... The rarely used DS door was not closing but I pushed it closed and the warning light went out... somewhere during the investigation/struggle my daughter who was helping me from inside the car switched off the power door mechanism, and the latch warning buzzer along with it... So, door appears closed, warning light out, warning buzzer not sounding. Well my mom got quite a thrill when my daughter who has a learning permit hit the gas hard while making a sharp RH turn and the door flies open! Honda ought to be sued for having the warning buzzer turn off with the power mechanism switch when turning off the power mechanism does nothing to secure the door closed.

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  9. Well I read elsewhere to try cleaning the mating clusters of electrical contacts at the front of the door and door frame using fine sandpaper, but that did not work for me. Further reinforcing my theory that it is basically a mechanical problem in my case rather than electrical.

    I turned my attention more seriously on the latch mechanism at the rear of the door. It has a "slotted rocker" type thing that engages a "rectangular loop" on the van body, similar to most ordinary car door and trunk latches. I was put off scent for a minute by the white plastic-like appearance of the rocker... if that was what holds the door shut, it would not be made of plastic... but I guess it is just a coating. I soaked it good with "Zep 45" which is like WD-40 on steroids and then worked it back and forth numerous times with a metal rod. Also there are 3 bolt heads visible in that area of the rear of the door; I tapped on the more accessible 2 of them with a light hammer to create some vibration/shock effect. Pretty soon the rocker started latching in the locked position, and the main challenge then was to get it unlatched again as it did not respond reliably to the door handle being pulled. Once I latched and unlatched it about 3 times and did lots more tapping I was able to get my door latched shut. I'll try not to open it again.

    Well one good thing about this is I found and pulled the power lock fuse. I never use the power lock switch intentionally, but every time I bump it by mistake I have to crawl back into the rear seat to manually unlock the rear hatch. Another sticky mechanism there, I guess.

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    Replies
    1. It's certainly possible that the physical mechanism in the door is failing. Those parts don't last forever.

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  10. Worked on 2013 Odyssey... thank you!

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  11. Which fuse would it be on a 2015? Thank you!

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  12. Help!
    I tried this on a 2007 Odyssey, and now the driver's side sliding door won't open or close automatically at all. I can open and close the door manually, but it won't work with the rocker switch or the fob. I can close the passenger's side door with the fob and the rocker, but not the driver's side door. What have I done wrong?

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    Replies
    1. Hi i have the same problem, did yiu get it fixed? Please help
      Thanks

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    2. Any progress on this? Do we repeat the procedure?

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  13. I have an '04 Odyssey and the drivers side slider will close momentarily but then open right back up again. When I does get in the closed position I have to turn off the on/off switch to keep it closed. However, it's not closed all the way and does randomly openot while driving down the highway. Really not cool. I tried the reboot but had no luck. Anyone else with this problem? Solution ideas?

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    1. I tried everything. Same ('04) problem as you. The passenger side SEEMED to be closed...then I hear this "click" and it pops open just a tiny bit...and I know it is going to open all the way if I ignore it long enough.

      So, taking the BRUTISH approach, I put my little butt against the furthest back part of the door, where it normally latches actually, pulling the door tightly closed. With my butt pushing I pulled open the handle, it started to open up, my back and butt wouldn't allow it and forced it back in place. Again and again I did it. Four times I think. Then, I gave up and stopped. But, when I looked it had stayed completely closed on my last try. Or, maybe my first one. I didn't stop to check. But, it is completely closed.

      This was an hour ago. My wife is driving the car home tonight. I'll be sorry, but I know that I'm going to have to try it again to see if I am actually on to something or it is just a lucky one time thing that will never work again and I'll have to spend big bucks getting the no nothings at the Dealer to fix everything in the car until they accidentally happen across the real problem, $Hundreds or $Thousands of dollars later.

      I think I may buy American next time...first time in, ah, let me think...yes, 51 years!!!

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  14. I have a used 2009 and it had had about 73000 miles. It was fine when we got it but recently the drivers side sliding door has been iffy. If we use our key clicker or even the handle to open it will A- makes a pop noise then a turning sound but not open then we here the error sound (3beeps) Or B- open just fine till we go to close it and it stops and reopens. And sometimes C- works just fine. Should I try ur method to reset?

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  15. It can't hurt to try, though it sounds like your problem might be mechanical - the rollers in the sliding mechanisms don't last forever and when they start to go they will manifest in the symptoms you describe. Good luck - T

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  16. I have the same problem on my 2014 van driver sliding door. It started when the weather got colder in winter 2017, Should the engine be running or turned off when I try the steps listed to fix it? Fuse 9 is my power sliding door closer and fuse 33 is my power sliding door motor. Which fuse should I pull?

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    1. WD40 or grease on the back rocker latch will fix this every time. Open the door all the way and spray the back rocker latch on the door itself and wiggle it a few times

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  17. I have a 2006 ex-l. I tried the #7 fuse on drivers side several times,even left it out for 10 min. Same thing. I push the putting on dash to open doors,I hear a pop,then the beeps. The door bearly pops out and nothing. And if I open it manually and push button,nothing,not even sound. This is the same on both sides. Any clue what next?

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    Replies
    1. WD40 or grease on the back rocker latch will fix this every time. Open the door all the way and spray the back rocker latch on the door itself and wiggle it a few times

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  18. Those who have Honda, should keep car repair manuals. By that anyone can repair their car's problem by following steps. Anyone can get car repair manuals from online. Find automotive repair manuals Honda

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