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Chrysler Repair/'04 Caravan/Minivan sliding door won't open


QUESTION: The passenger sliding door on my 2004 Grand Caravan Anniversary Edition will not unlock (or open) either electronically or manually. I have been able to remove the door panel and check part of the wiring system but without success. For what I've read, the majority of the problems with the sliding door is with the wiring track system however to access it I need to open the door.  Any suggestions??  Thanks.

There are electronic controls involved with the door as you know. About the only simple reason I can see so far is that there is some sort of a 'defeat' selection in the overhead console that can prevent the action of the door electronics, but I am not sure if it would also prevent manual unlocking. But start at that console and look for some choice related to the sliding door system.
Also check fuses 14, 19. 20, 31, and 32.
Otherwise, the electronic system has the ability to self-diagnose its problems and give you a specific fault code name. The body control module manual has a complete list of the codes and what to do in response thereto. The codes are accessed via a diagnostic readout box that plugs into the port under the dash by the steering column. The Chrysler dealer would use what is called a DRB III to do the readout but it is likely that an independent shop with a similarly sophisticated reader might get you the titles of any fault codes. Once we have those I can copy the pages out of the manual and send them to use as an attachment to an email I would send to you directly, and of course we can dialog about the specific details involved once we know the code name.
I don't have any other approach to suggest at this point so check around and see who will readout the body control module for named codes (not code numbers in this case) and at what cost.
When you say it won't open manually do you have the sense that the latch mechanism is simply locked up mechanically, or that it seems to be an electronic interface that is preventing you from opening the door. Is there any history as to how this situation developed?
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: By stating overhead console, are you referring to a console mounted on the ceiling of the van? In my case, the main control to open all doors is with a switch located on both front doors. If you are talking about what looks like a console in the centre back portion of the sliding door, I have checked it and didn't notice anything abnormal.

I should point out that when I do press the key to unlock the doors, I can hear the mechanism work in every door except the "passenger sliding door"; there is absolutely no noise or clicking sound whatsoever. This appears to be an indication that it isn't a jammed part but rather a disconnect/break along the electronic circuit.

As for checking the fuse box, the fuses on my grand caravan are not numbered but rather have wordings.  I did check the one marked "power slide door" and it appeared OK (even inter-changed it with a similar one without any change).

If only you could tell me how to override the electronic system in order to open the passenger sliding door, I could have a look at the track system.

Thanks for your time.

Set aside the overhead console idea, it is probably not relevant.
Let me send you the drawing of the power module which shows the fuse locations by number. Tell me your email address but don't use the @ symbol, instead use 'at'. otherwise the address will be erased automatically from your follow-up question.
It appears that even the latch itself is electronic so it can't be overridden, at least as far as I can tell from a quick read. So let's check out the fuses.
If the fuses check out, then I can do a lot of page copying about how the system works and send that to you. Then you can decide whether to get the fault name readout that I described.
So tell me your email address.
PS Please consider doing a rating/nomination.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: As previously stated I did check the fuse that was in the space marked "power slide door" and interchanged it with another identical fuze to see if it would make a difference but no luck.  My email address is  

Hi Ray,
Your email address was erased, probably because you used the @ symbol instead of "at". However, while I am unclear as to whether you also have a left side sliding door, if you do and that door works then the fuses for the sliding doors are not the issue.

Did you check the 2 wires listed in the next paragraph? A problem with these would explain why the door is not responding at all.

As to the local wiring in the door, you could verify that you have 12v power supply on the white/red wire on pin 5 of the 8-pin plug at the control module inside the door. Then there is a violet/gray wire from pin 19 of the 20-pin plug at that same module which goes to the body control module under the dash on the far left end (pin 3 of the 34-pin black plug with white interior known as plug C3). That is called the 'wake-up signal' wire and it goes through several disconnects between the body computer and the door. The name implies that it might be involved with a 'sleeping' door that might describe your problem. Check that wire for continuity. There are many more wires at the door module involved but these two look like candidates for the situation. Let me know what you find or would like to check the other wires out.

The system is so complex that I believe that doing the search for specific fault names in the sliding door system using the diagnostic readout box is the best way to begin the repair process. Otherwise it will be hit or miss with the possibility of replacing the wrong part or doing damage while seeking the place to start. So if you get an analysis of exactly where the problem lies and would like to try to repair that yourself let me know. One 'wrinkle' is that if the latch is at fault and the only fix is to replace it then some how one has to get the door open far enough to remove the bolt that secures the latch to the door structure at the rear edge. But maybe there is a trick for that too.
I will await any progress along these lines.
Each of the fault names has a page with a set of subsequent actions to be taken using the DRB, so in addition to the simple readout of the fault name you would probably want to authorize the garage to check the subsequent tests that use the DRB in order to pinpoint where is the fault exactly.
I would really appreciate your giving me a rating and nomination for 'volunteer of the month'
for this answer and any of the earlier answers as well.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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