Cadillac Repair/85 Eldorado


Hello Mr. Painter, I have an 85 Eldorado and the drivers side outside door button is no longer opening the door. Can you give me some advice on how to correct this and if this is even a repair that I should try myself? I've replaced the power window switches without difficulty and some other minor repairs, but I don't even know where to start with the door button and I haven't been able to find much info on the web. Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated. thanks for your time, Chelsea


Well, without seeing the vehicle it is hard to diagnose however I can tell you that you will find this a challenging project due to access.
There is a return spring on the button that could have broken requiring a new handle. The retainer for the rod going to the latch could have broken inside the door or the latch is defective for that portion of opening the door.
It has been at least 10years since I have changed one of these handles or serviced them, but I remember the set up pretty well.
Door panel has to be removed and for the hidden attaching screws I would recommend searching on the web.
The handle is held on by two bolts inside the door, but I seem to remember that big glass does not go up far enough to get to the bolts and you might have to take on another project of removing the glass to gain access to the handle bolts.

The good--all you need to do is remove the door trim panel to see what parts you need by looking inside the door to see what is wrong with the mechanism. This way the vehicle is not disabled while getting parts.

If the latch is bad, there are three bolts that attach it to the door and disconnect linkage, remove the latch from the inner door a reinstall the new one. If this is the problem, access to the door handle bolts wont be required.

If you remove the trim panel and can't figure out the problem, you can make me a short video of the inner door handle area and try pressing the button and I can tell you what you need.

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Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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