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Old 10-15-2008, 01:41 AM
tyl604's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,927
Now the key will lock and unlock the door - 81 300SD

For about a year now my key would lock the doors but would not unlock the drivers side; I had to unlock the passenger side door and climb across the front seat to unlock the driver's door. Pretty embarassing.

Thought it was the tumblers in the door lock so I removed the lock this weekend. Took it to a locksmith; he turned the key back and forth in the lockset and said there was nothing wrong with the tumblers and that the lockset was working fine. Headed back home.

Finally saw that the unlocking mechanism is a plastic piece which goes through a hole in a metal flange; when you turn the key, the plastic pulls the flange and the door unlocks. Over the years the plastic had worn down some and it slipped out of the hole. I just bent the flange back a little and reinserted the plastic in the hole and it works again. Cost - zero.

Hope this helps someone out there who thinks he might need to buy a new lock to solve the problem.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:42 PM
thayer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mt. Airy, NC
Posts: 891
Talking Just bought a 83 300sd with same lock problem


As soon as I get it back from the import place I'm going to try that solution. could you send me a bit more detailed description of what you did?
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:54 PM
compu_85's Avatar
Waiting for his Model 3..
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Springfield VA
Posts: 5,174
When I got my SDL that white piece was broken, someone probably tried to lock the drivers door when it was open.

1991 350SDL. 230,000 miles (new motor @ 150,000).

2013 Fiat 500E. 20,000 miles, 80 miles at a time.
2012 Passat TDI. 95,000 miles. More space, power, and fuel economy than the Benz
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 150,000 miles. One of 450.
1999 Jetta TDI. 310,000 miles.
1992 Jetta ECOdiesel. 156,000 miles. 1 of 48. Sold.
1991 Jetta ECOdiesel. 430,000 miles. 1 of 700. Sold to VeeDubTDI, totaled in front of our house
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