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Problem with rear outside door handles

55Trucker

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Hi all. I bought my 2019 Ram 1500 Limited used last September, with 18K miles on it. We have pretty cold days up here in Maine, and pretty much from the time the daily temps went below freezing I have not been able to reliably open my rear doors from the outside. Basically, pull the outside door handle and it doesn't budge.

When this first started happening I tugged the left rear door handle a bit too hard, and apparently snapped a cable in the door. (I have been waiting since the end of November for the part, dealer says it's backordered and unavailable?).

When the right rear door handle didn't budge budge I was a bit gentler with it, and opened the door from the inside, only to find that when I shut the door it wouldn't latch. For grins I pushed in and pulled out the lock button manually on that door, and found that the door latched, but then found that the door could no longer be opened from the inside, either.

Great, now I have two rear doors that are unusable. I brought the truck back to the dealer last week for the right rear door issue. They told me that this that and the other thing were misaligned and that they fixed it and it works perfectly now. So I picked the truck up, and stopped at the grocery store on the way home. The right rear door in fact opened just fine, but when I shut it it wouldn't latch again. I immediately called the dealer, and of course he said, gee, we've never ever seen this kind of issue with these trucks. Note that I have never had an issue with the front door handles.

Again, these rear door issues seem to happen only when the temperature is below 30, suggesting that water is trapped somewhere in the handle/lock/latch mechanism and frozen. It's hard for me to believe that I am the only one encountering this, on both rear doors. Has anyone else had this issue?
 

Trippi

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I have this exact issue right now on my rear passenger door. First started up at Christmas, very inclement weather. Door would not latch closed. I took it to the dealer, they fixed it saying that there were some panel latches not working correctly (note the door panel was coming unlatched at the time so I figured that had something to do with it). Fast forward to 2 weeks ago...same door. Friend of mine went to open it, said hey unlock it. I said yeah it is unlocked...well it won't open. I go over there myself and the handle won't budge. just as you described. I tugged on it and it opened...I figured must have been slightly frozen. So it's open and NOPE, will NOT latch again! I slammed it a couple times and it finally latched. I called the dealer and have an appointment again this Thursday.

I agree, based on my 3 experiences I think it is a cold weather issue. How that is actually causing the issue I don't know. But I am not happy. Brand new truck not even 5K miles on it.

@RamCares any insights into what we are dealing with here?
 

55Trucker

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Today the right rear outside handle stopped working (moves freely without unlatching the door). I just left a flame for the FCA customer satisfaction survey I just took. I also opened a case with FCA, and am supposed to have a case manager assigned. We'll see.

I guess I'd feel better if a lot of others were experiencing this - I'm starting to feel like a) I have a one off problem that FCA won't be able to fix, and b) I'll be stuck with an issue that really affects the usefulness of this truck (no rear seat access).
 

Trippi

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Let us know how things go. I am dropping mine off Thursday morning. I am cautiously optimistic but unless the door still has the issue when they get it, I am not sure what they will diagnose. I have not tried to open it since I got it to stay closed almost 2 weeks ago now. I never considered opening a case with FCA.

I definitely won't let it go - I don't even have 5K on the truck yet.
 

RamCares

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Today the right rear outside handle stopped working (moves freely without unlatching the door). I just left a flame for the FCA customer satisfaction survey I just took. I also opened a case with FCA, and am supposed to have a case manager assigned. We'll see.

I guess I'd feel better if a lot of others were experiencing this - I'm starting to feel like a) I have a one off problem that FCA won't be able to fix, and b) I'll be stuck with an issue that really affects the usefulness of this truck (no rear seat access).

Let us know how things go. I am dropping mine off Thursday morning. I am cautiously optimistic but unless the door still has the issue when they get it, I am not sure what they will diagnose. I have not tried to open it since I got it to stay closed almost 2 weeks ago now. I never considered opening a case with FCA.

I definitely won't let it go - I don't even have 5K on the truck yet.

Hello!

Thanks for directly tagging our @RamCares team and bringing this to our attention! I'm sorry to hear about the inconveniences you've been experiencing but I'm glad you are both actively working with your Ram dealers to get this properly diagnosed and addressed. If either of you would like additional support while working alongside your Case Manager and/or Ram dealer, please do not hesitate to send us a private message. Until then, please keep us updated on the status of your vehicle! I hope you get everything resolved quickly.

Thanks,

Courtney
Ram Cares
 

Trippi

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Status update. Took the truck in on Thursday and they replaced the latch on the door. I opened and closed it no problem. Fast forward to today - Monday and I get a call from the dealer. They said you were in last week to get your door fixed...yes...well that won't fix the issue. LOL!

They went on to tell me that they recently received a TSB (?) on this. The issue is that the door cable is shrinking in COLD weather! Just like we all suspected...it had something to do with temps below 30 degrees. That would certainly line up with what I was experiencing.

So the service guy said he has a cable on order for me and will give me a call when it is in. I don't use the back door that often so that works for me. Props to the dealer for going through his paperwork and noticing I was in for an issue that was not fixed according to the latest TSB.
 

silver64

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In addition to your problem the seal around the door can freeze up and may simulate this problem so others shouldn't think you have a cable issue just because the door is frozen shut.
 

Trippi

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True - but when the handles don't budge and the door won't latch and there is word from up high, it's likely a cable. the doors are not frozen shut, they won't latch closed and handles won't work.
 

RamCares

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How do you contact Ram Care ? Please E-mail me and tell me how ..my e-mail = ( [email protected]) 2020 Laramie 4x4 1500 5.7
Hi @Florida Ranger - by visiting our profile you are able to select "Start Conversation," which sends us a direct message. Please feel free to contact us this way in order to further discuss the concerns you are experiencing with your truck, we are happy to help!

Kathryn
Ram Cares
 

55Trucker

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Last week the replacement cable for the left rear door finally came in. The dealer had also proactively ordered new door latches, since there was also a problem with the latches not latching intermittently. I picked the truck up on Tuesday. All was good for a couple of days. Then last night the temp dropped below freezing, and guess what? Neither rear door handle would budge. We have had no precipitation since I picked it up, so if there is water that froze in both doors since this latest repair, I have no idea where it came from.

So the truck goes back to the dealer Sunday night, so it will be nice and frozen for the tech Monday morning.

An earlier reply mentioned that the door seal might be frozen to the door frame. That's not the issue - the door opens when the inside handle is used.

While I am very unhappy that this problem persists for me, I have to say that the person I had assigned to this when I opened the case with Ram customer support has been phenomenal. She calls me frequently, gives me updates, communicates with the dealer, and even mentioned compensation for this issue (which I declined - I just want my doors to always work!).

I suggested to the dealer that they replace all of the latching/locking/handle mechanicals. (This assumes of course that the replacement parts won't have the same issue.) Then send my originals to FCA to put in a freezer, and determine what isn't moving when cold.
 

55Trucker

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Brought the truck to the dealer again and left it off last Sunday night. Both rear outer door handles frozen. Unfortunately, the temp in the morning was 34 degrees, and both handles worked. The dealer kept it another night, since Monday night was supposed to be very cold, around 14. When they got around to looking at it Tuesday, I suspect the passenger side warmed up a little in the sun. The dealer found the left rear door handle frozen, but the right rear working. They concluded that it needed a new left rear handle because "something was binding the handle up". I asked why they weren't replacing the right rear handle too, since they both freeze the same way. The service manager said "can't replace it because it was working today".

I drove it home at around noon today, temp 18 degrees, and parked it in front of my garage for about an hour, completely in the shade. Went out to put my dogs in the back seat, and both rear handles were frozen! I called the dealer, and the service manager said he would have to "look into getting the right rear handle". Huh?

To summarize, I've had a problem with these handles since the weather turned cold last November. When it first happened I pulled too hard on the left rear door handle and broke a cable, which I had to wait until the end of February to get a replacement. (If it was simply the handles freezing, the cable would not have snapped, would it? Seems like it would be something downstream of that cable, but the service manager doesn't grock that.) The rear doors have been useless to me pretty much all winter, and I have little faith that this dealer can solve the issue before it goes away until next winter, when the truck will probably be out of warranty.

When I complained to the Ram customer service advocate this afternoon, I asked if there was a regional tech "expert" I could take the truck to. She said there wasn't. I asked if I should take it to another dealer, she said that was my choice. I asked if FCA believes that they own resolving my problem, and she said that they have to rely on their dealer network to resolve issues with their products.

I'm really beside myself tonight and don't know what to do.

I've attached the parts schematic for the rear doors. I don't really understand how the mechanicals work in this picture. Cable #7 is what I snapped last November when the handle didn't move the first time (the handle moved pretty freely when the cable . The dealer plans to replace to replace the handle, #1, on the left rear door. When I go to any of the Mopar parts websites, all of the parts in this picture can be selected but #17, for which there is no description of what it is. Does anyone have an idea of how the mechanicals work, and what #17 is?




2019 Ram 1500 Rear Door Schematic.png
 

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Amazing93

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Brought the truck to the dealer again and left it off last Sunday night. Both rear outer door handles frozen. Unfortunately, the temp in the morning was 34 degrees, and both handles worked. The dealer kept it another night, since Monday night was supposed to be very cold, around 14. When they got around to looking at it Tuesday, I suspect the passenger side warmed up a little in the sun. The dealer found the left rear door handle frozen, but the right rear working. They concluded that it needed a new left rear handle because "something was binding the handle up". I asked why they weren't replacing the right rear handle too, since they both freeze the same way. The service manager said "can't replace it because it was working today".

I drove it home at around noon today, temp 18 degrees, and parked it in front of my garage for about an hour, completely in the shade. Went out to put my dogs in the back seat, and both rear handles were frozen! I called the dealer, and the service manager said he would have to "look into getting the right rear handle". Huh?

To summarize, I've had a problem with these handles since the weather turned cold last November. When it first happened I pulled too hard on the left rear door handle and broke a cable, which I had to wait until the end of February to get a replacement. (If it was simply the handles freezing, the cable would not have snapped, would it? Seems like it would be something downstream of that cable, but the service manager doesn't grock that.) The rear doors have been useless to me pretty much all winter, and I have little faith that this dealer can solve the issue before it goes away until next winter, when the truck will probably be out of warranty.

When I complained to the Ram customer service advocate this afternoon, I asked if there was a regional tech "expert" I could take the truck to. She said there wasn't. I asked if I should take it to another dealer, she said that was my choice. I asked if FCA believes that they own resolving my problem, and she said that they have to rely on their dealer network to resolve issues with their products.

I'm really beside myself tonight and don't know what to do.

I've attached the parts schematic for the rear doors. I don't really understand how the mechanicals work in this picture. Cable #7 is what I snapped last November when the handle didn't move the first time (the handle moved pretty freely when the cable . The dealer plans to replace to replace the handle, #1, on the left rear door. When I go to any of the Mopar parts websites, all of the parts in this picture can be selected but #17, for which there is no description of what it is. Does anyone have an idea of how the mechanicals work, and what #17 is?




View attachment 84464
17 kinda looks like the inside door handle assembly to me
 

Trippi

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Brought the truck to the dealer again and left it off last Sunday night. Both rear outer door handles frozen. Unfortunately, the temp in the morning was 34 degrees, and both handles worked. The dealer kept it another night, since Monday night was supposed to be very cold, around 14. When they got around to looking at it Tuesday, I suspect the passenger side warmed up a little in the sun. The dealer found the left rear door handle frozen, but the right rear working. They concluded that it needed a new left rear handle because "something was binding the handle up". I asked why they weren't replacing the right rear handle too, since they both freeze the same way. The service manager said "can't replace it because it was working today".

I drove it home at around noon today, temp 18 degrees, and parked it in front of my garage for about an hour, completely in the shade. Went out to put my dogs in the back seat, and both rear handles were frozen! I called the dealer, and the service manager said he would have to "look into getting the right rear handle". Huh?

To summarize, I've had a problem with these handles since the weather turned cold last November. When it first happened I pulled too hard on the left rear door handle and broke a cable, which I had to wait until the end of February to get a replacement. (If it was simply the handles freezing, the cable would not have snapped, would it? Seems like it would be something downstream of that cable, but the service manager doesn't grock that.) The rear doors have been useless to me pretty much all winter, and I have little faith that this dealer can solve the issue before it goes away until next winter, when the truck will probably be out of warranty.

When I complained to the Ram customer service advocate this afternoon, I asked if there was a regional tech "expert" I could take the truck to. She said there wasn't. I asked if I should take it to another dealer, she said that was my choice. I asked if FCA believes that they own resolving my problem, and she said that they have to rely on their dealer network to resolve issues with their products.

I'm really beside myself tonight and don't know what to do.

I've attached the parts schematic for the rear doors. I don't really understand how the mechanicals work in this picture. Cable #7 is what I snapped last November when the handle didn't move the first time (the handle moved pretty freely when the cable . The dealer plans to replace to replace the handle, #1, on the left rear door. When I go to any of the Mopar parts websites, all of the parts in this picture can be selected but #17, for which there is no description of what it is. Does anyone have an idea of how the mechanicals work, and what #17 is?




View attachment 84464
Totally sucks it should not be this hard to get a door working! Can you take a video of you experiencing the issue and take it to your dealer? I am still waiting on my cable - should be in any day now. But of course the weather is warming up so who knows if it will be the final fix.
 

55Trucker

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Early last week the dealer replaced both rear door handles. They kept the truck overnight to make sure everything worked after a cold night. The dealer called me and said that both rear handles were frozen solid, despite having replaced a bunch of things during three service visits. So they called Chrysler support. They were told to take cable #7 from both doors (remember, the left one was replaced in February after it snapped and I waited 3 months for a replacement). They were directed to inject a specific grease into each cable.

They did this to the cables on Friday and gave me the truck back. This morning it's 6 degrees here, and guess what? Both door handles move easily, and there is no problem opening the doors! Chrysler told them that water can pool in the bottom of the "U" in the cable, freeze, and bind it up.
 

c3k

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Early last week the dealer replaced both rear door handles. They kept the truck overnight to make sure everything worked after a cold night. The dealer called me and said that both rear handles were frozen solid, despite having replaced a bunch of things during three service visits. So they called Chrysler support. They were told to take cable #7 from both doors (remember, the left one was replaced in February after it snapped and I waited 3 months for a replacement). They were directed to inject a specific grease into each cable.

They did this to the cables on Friday and gave me the truck back. This morning it's 6 degrees here, and guess what? Both door handles move easily, and there is no problem opening the doors! Chrysler told them that water can pool in the bottom of the "U" in the cable, freeze, and bind it up.
I'd almost be tempted to get my own cable #7s, cut a water drainage opening into the bottom of the "U", grease the snot out of cable (end to end), then re-install.
 

TimSIU20

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Add me to this group having the same issue... appointment set for next Monday, sending the service dept this thread. Thanks for sharing all, hopefully a 1 & done at the dealership!
 

DocV

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Thank you all for posting these comments, concerns, and solutions. I’ve dealt with this problem three times. I thought it was a one off, ice in mechanism, cold temperatures, etc. but for three days in a row it’s frozen in the morning and eating up an hour of my time trying to defrost it so the the door will shut properly.

Does this question anyone else’s faith in the door latch itself? If something as simple as ice in a cable can open your door? The reason I ask is I have my second child on the way and I am not super excited about putting a car seat next a door that won’t stay shut.
 

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