Ford ranger door latch problem

Ford ranger door latch problem DEFAULT
DefaultRear Door Latch, Door Ajar -- Solution

Like many others, I have had my share of grief from the "door ajar" light and problems closing the door properly (or opening). I've found several solutions and I will share them with you.

First off: if the problem is that your rear door latch is rusted out, you can try WD-40 or PB along with white lithium grease (or graphite based oil sprays) -- however, it is likely that you will need to replace the latch. Rather than order new, I went to my local JY. No four door Rangers, so I decided to pull the rear door latch off of a 2001 Ford F-150 and try to fab them. Turns out that the rear door latch from that model year Ford F-150 is IDENTICAL to the Ford Ranger, with one exception: there is no solenoid switch included with the F-150 version. Now, that makes sense to me. We already have a door ajar sensor for the front doors, who cares about the rear doors as long as they catch? Obviously Ford thinks the same way otherwise they would have put a sensor on the rear doors of the F-150, don't you think?

Which leads to the next solution: if your latches are working (catch on close and open properly), then you can easily bypass the door ajar solenoid on the rear doors. It's pretty simple. The solenoid is held in place by a small plastic tab (see the picture, I have put a red square where it is located on the latch assembly). Lift the plastic tab, turn the solenoid in the same direction as the location of the tab, and the solenoid comes out easily. You will notice that the solenoid trigger pin is "out" when the door is closed, and "in" when the door is open. Perfect!! With the solenoid taken out of the latch assembly, the pin is "out" indicating the door is closed. Leave the solenoid plugged into the wiring, and do not replace it in the latch assembly. Secure the wire by taping it to the latch cable and leave it dangling. This will have absolutely no effect on your dome light, and the door ajar will never fire because of an open rear door -- only open or ajar front door.


1999 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab Off-Road, 4.0l OHV, Auto, 372Km (now sold)
2003 Ford Ranger XLT FX4, 4.0l SOHC, Auto, 375Km original, 132Km on engine/transmission.


Door Latch Problems of Ford Ranger

1 Door Latch problem of the 2001 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 12/02/2011

The contact owns a 2001 Ford Ranger. While making a turn, the door ajar warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was approximately 110,000.

See all problems of the 2001 Ford Ranger 🔎.

2 Door Latch problem of the 2008 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 01/05/2008

The contact owns a 2008 Ford Ranger. The contact stated that if the side doors are damaged in the event of a crash, the occupants would not be able to exit the vehicle because the doors do not have an internal latch. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. There has been no failure to date. Updated 06/23/08 the consumer stated the vehicle can no seat 3 people in the front because the center seat's foot space is fiilled by a plastic try on the floor. The consumer also stated the rear half doors were desogned to not open from the inside.

See all problems of the 2008 Ford Ranger 🔎.

3 Door Latch problem of the 1998 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 11/04/2005

1998 Ford Ranger had the door ajar switch replaced 3 or 4 times in as many years. The door ajar is linked to the dome light. If the door ajar switches become corrupted or malfunction, the dome light goes on and stays on. The poses a safety hazard if it happens at night because there is no way to turn the dome light off while driving even though the doors are firmly closed and locked. The glare from the dome lights make driving nearly impossible, and could cause a serious accident if it occurs while driving at night with no repair facility close by.

See all problems of the 1998 Ford Ranger 🔎.

4 Door Latch problem of the 2002 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 03/01/2005

The passenger rear door (suicide door) latches at the top and bottom. The bottom latch will not latch. As a result, whenever you close the regular passenger door it does not allow for a secure latch. The inside light and the ip light (door ajar) remains on unless you go outside and push on the door. If you hit a bump in the road, the light condition will reappear. This door has probably not been used more than 25 times since I purchased the truck new. The vehicle is a 2002 Ford Ranger supercab.

See all problems of the 2002 Ford Ranger 🔎.

6 Door Latch problem of the 1998 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 02/19/2004

My door ajar light and dome light stay on after you get in and out of the passenger side door. From postings, this is a very common Ford problem that they ignore. Driving forward (reverse won't do it) will reset the light most of the time and make them go out. Sometimes you have to pull the fuse. Wd-40 seems to be a short term fix but the real problem is the door switch jams.

7 Door Latch problem of the 1999 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 01/11/2003

Consumer stated that the " open door" light will come on and the door would be closed. Dealer notified. Ph.

See all problems of the 1999 Ford Ranger 🔎.

8 Door Latch problem of the 1998 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 01/01/2003

Door ajar light remains on and the vehicle thinks the door is open even though it is latched securely.

9 Door Latch problem of the 2001 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 03/18/2001

Door will close, but will not remain secure , it opens when consumer drives around a sharp turn. Please provide any additional information.

10 Door Latch problem of the 2000 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 07/07/2000

When closing the rear door using normal pressure it fails to close on the upper latch. This allows the main door to be held closed with only one-half of the latching assemblies. When driving in this condition the 'door ajar' indicator does not light. At these times I am unaware that the door is not fully secured.

See all problems of the 2000 Ford Ranger 🔎.

11 Door Latch problem of the 1997 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 06/01/2000

Consumer's 2-year old son is able to open passenger's door while vehicle is in motion. Vehicle was not made with the child proof lock. Consumer has no where else to place his child because extended cab is not fitted for child safety seats. Doors that can be opened with only a pull to the handle can cause serious injuries to passenger.

See all problems of the 1997 Ford Ranger 🔎.

12 Door Latch problem of the 2000 Ford Ranger

Failure Date: 04/08/2000

A day after purchasing vehicle consumer noticed that the passenger's door didn't latch properly. Dealer fixed door.

14 Door Latch problem of the 1999 Ford Ranger

Doors will unlock on their own when a passenger pulls on or opens door handles, possibly causing passengers to fall out the door.

15 Door Latch problem of the 1996 Ford Ranger

Driver or passenger side doors do not have child safety locks. While traveling approximately 20 mph child pulled on door handle, that was locked, and the door flung open.

16 Door Latch problem of the 1996 Ford Ranger

There are no child locks on the door, child can open door from the inside.

Other Common Latches/locks/linkage related problems of Ford Ranger

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Front door locks not working on 2019 Ranger

First Name
Nov 10, 2018
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2019 Ranger Lariat
Oilfield Service Company Area Supervisor
Vehicle Showcase
2019 Ranger Lariat 4x4 model. Having issues with the front door looks. They will not look using the fob or the panel on the inside or outside of the door. Wondering if there’s a setting I missed or if anyone else is havythe same issue. note - they can be looking with the key old school style
Yeah, check your settings, If I recall as I was scrolling through there are I think 3 different ones that can be selected in the menu on the screen.
11/05/18 Pre-Order 2019 Ford Ranger 4x4 Lariat SCrew Ingot Silver Medium Stone 501A Chrome Package Tow Package FX4 Package Splash Guards Floor Liner Chrome Running Boards Engine Block Heater (Spray-in Bedliner, 5' Soft Tonneau Cover to be installed locally) ORDER: 11/5/18 BUILD: 1/31/19 RCVD 3/11/19
Adjusting a door latch on a Ford Ranger - Little Green gets door care

Ford Door Latch Cable

Ford Door Latch and Cable

I stumbled onto the ford door latch cable problem when we went out to dinner in a friend’s 2004 F150 super cab. We entered from the passenger side door, but when we went to get out it wouldn't open. The driver came around and let us out. I asked him how long it's been like this and he said for more than a year.

I asked him to please let me fix it and eventually they agreed to let me look at it. However, by the time I got my hands on the 2004 F150 the door wouldn't open it all. More specifically, the passenger side rear door would no longer open from the inside or outside handle.

The question became how am I going to get the door open so I can remove the door panel to facilitate repairs? The answer is to remove the inside door release handle to gain access to the cable. At this point you'll see exactly what went wrong. The plastic cable end that holds the outer sheathing deteriorated and crumbled.

So now when you operate to handle, the whole cable moves and not just the inner core that releases the latch. To get the door open I fished out enough of the cable to get a pair of needle nose vice grips locked onto the metal portion of the cable.

Using a little leverage I was able to release the door and then remove the door panel. Here we'll talk about the most popular way to tackle this issue without replacing the door latch and cable assembly. Note that on the newer models you have to buy the release mechanism with both the upper and lower cables.

It also comes with the upper and lower door frame latches. This large parts assembly is expensive when purchased at the dealership. Thankfully, ingenious people came up with an inexpensive solution. With that said, the first time you do one you'll experience a learning curve.

Here we'll try to reduce some of the pain and suffering of installing the repair kit. The super cool part about this repair is the longevity of it. The billet aluminum piece that replaces the deteriorated plastic piece will probably last longer than the vehicle. So let me provide a few tips for its successful completion.

The Door Latch Cable Problem

The way that you deal with the ford door latch cable problem differs between years and model trucks. On the older vehicles, including the Ford Ranger from 1990 through 1997 you can just buy a new cable. This part runs in the neighborhood of about $12.

This saves you the wrestling and struggling to get the aluminum replacement over the plastic outer cable sheathing. The downside to taking the easy way out with purchasing a new cable includes another plastic retainer. This will likely fail over time just like the original part.

However, if your original one lasted 20 years getting another 20 years out of just replacing the cable is probably good enough for your purposes. The nice thing about the repair kit offered above, is it fixes the issue on most years makes and models.

Specific models include the Ford E-Series cargo vans, F-series, Expedition, Ranger, Ford Excursion, Lincoln Navigator and all the Mazda B Series small trucks.

The Ford door cable repair kit repairs 2 doors. If you want to fix 4 doors you'll need a quantity of two.  Ford continued to manufacture the cable ends from plastic or nylon for decades.

This repair kit simply replaces these with an aluminum component. Nevertheless, for some reason the repair kit isn’t always a slam dunk as far as easy installation goes. In the next section I'll talk about the troubles that I had installing the parts.

Replacing the Ford Door Latch Cable Ends

Ford Door Latch Cable ProblemFord Door Latch Cable Problem

They make a bunch of good videos up on YouTube that covers the replacement of the cable ends. But before you run off and watch these videos let me cover a few things I worked out that I don’t see in these videos. The first step is to open the doors as described in the opening section.

Then you need to remove the door latch that's bolted into the door frame. On the F150 super cab I worked on, it used three Torx 27 sized retaining bolts. I mention this, because not everybody has a Torx set of bits. However, with the popularity of Torx screws and fasteners on the increase it seems time to get yourself a set.

When I went to install the replacement aluminum cable ends on my friends 2004 F150 crew cab the hole was the wrong size. More specifically, the metal cable wouldn't slide into position because the hole was too small. This meant that I had to chuck the aluminum cable end into a vice and enlarged the whole using a drill bit.

This added a layer of difficulty that some do-it-yourself auto mechanics might struggle with. First of all you need to wear safety glasses, because the aluminum starts flying all over the place. Another thing to mention, people probably didn't count on any drilling required to install the part. I know I was surprised.

The other difficulty becomes sliding the aluminum replacement piece onto the old plastic sheathing. The outer plastic sheathing has notches in it where they crimped on the original plastic cable end. This stops you from sliding it into place. Let me make an important point here.

The cable end needs to fit very snugly over the outer sheathing of the Ford door latch cable. It needs to hold this in place while the inside of the cable moves freely up and back. That’s how a release cable works. However, you can lightly sand the high spots off of the outer sheathing to facilitate the sliding of the new component into place.

In addition, you can lubricate the sheathing with Vaseline or motor oil to make things slide easier. Sidebar: I have a good exploded view picture of the door latch cable below so you can see what the finished product looks like. After you get the cable end in place, it's time to install it into the door latch.

For some reason it looks like Ford mangled this a little bit during the assembly procedure to hold it in place. It needs to fit snugly in this area as well, so just tap it into place. After installing the latch it's time to put the door panel back on.

At this point you may notice that that many of the door panel retainers are broken. If you leave open spaces you can get some nasty door panel rattles over bumps. A box of 60 brand new door panel clips is in the $7 range and could save the drivers sanity.

Door Latch Cable Exploded ViewRepaired Ford Door Latch Cable

We filed this article under the miscellaneous automotive problems category. However we have a another article that might interest you about common Ford truck problems. Maybe you should replace the Ford power window switch while you have the door panel off.


Problem door latch ford ranger

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Ford ranger door ajar fix

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