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Old 07-12-2016, 10:18 PM   #1
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Quirky Issue with Power Door Locks

Ran into an interesting problem with my SMB over the last few days. Any advice appreciated; hopefully I can figure this out and post a solution.

Last week I had a Ravelco installed in the Chicago area by Michael. I watched the install which took a couple hours and his work was very clean.

About 4 days later, I notice that my doors don't unlock when I use my key fob. This is an aftermarket product (Avital 4103LX) installed by the previous owner. I manually unlock the passenger door, and find that the power door lock isn't working to unlock the doors. Same goes for the driver side. However, all the doors still lock using both the power door locks as well as the fob. This annoys me but I lock the SMB and go about my day.

However, when I return to the SMB that afternoon, I see that all the doors had unlocked at some point while I was gone!! So I checked the fuses and switches on the driver's side door, and everything is in order. And I check all the wiring in the door to the switches and around the Ravelco to see if anything looks strange. It all looks clean to me, and again having literally watched the Ravelco installation I'm pretty confident that nothing was knocked loose.

Here's where it gets weird. I disconnect the negative connector on the van battery terminal. When I reconnect, all the doors unlock. I lock the doors and do this a few more times to test it, and sure enough the doors unlock again each time I tap the connector to the battery. Then, as I'm reattaching the negative connector, the remote start function activates and the van starts up!!

So at this point I'm totally confused, and decide to figure it out the next day. I head out for a drive in the SMB and after 5 minutes in I accidentally hit the power door lock and to my surprise, all the doors unlocked. That was a few hours ago, and since then the power door locks and fob seem to be working properly.

So at this point I've ruled out any switch or actuator issues. I'm thinking that it's just a coincidence that this started happening a few days after the Ravelco install. I'm guessing that this is an issue with the remote start system and will go about disabling or removing it over the next few days. But it's pretty weird. Any ideas?
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:37 PM   #2
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It sounds like one of two things. First, just a good old ground problem somewhere which can drive you crazy with weird symptoms like this in any vehicle.
Second, and more likely IMO, it's your aftermarket keyless entry going haywire. I've never had an aftermarket keyless entry, remote start or alarm that always worked properly like a factory system, without occasional glitches.
You say you are removing the remote start, is it separate from the keyless or the same unit?
I would take the fuse out of the keyless entry system and see if things return to normal. If the keyless entry and remote start are the same that's a lot of wires and work, you might just disable it or both and leave them there. It's probably not hurting anything if disabled.


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Old 07-12-2016, 11:19 PM   #3
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Yes, the remote start and keyless entry are the same. Good point on just leaving it there and removing the fuse, as that would save me a considerable amount of time. I'll give it a shot.

As for a ground problem, I checked the Ravelco ground and a few others and actually removed one, scraped the paint, restripped the wire, and scraped off some paint. So you're correct in that it was driving me crazy!
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:26 AM   #4
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I'll go with 86Scotty's ideas here especially considering there is an aftermarket device installed. Ordinarily I'd suspect the factory RKE system for symptoms like described, doesn't sound like your van has that?

Frankly I've seen or read very few instances where aftermarket remote start systems are not problematic at some point. Call me old fashioned but first start every day I want to be present just in case something needs attention. For that reason alone I've never had the urge to install one of any variation.

I've been using the CrimeGuard brand of alarms which includes a door lock/unlock feature. In over 9 years they've been pretty much flawless, very simple to install without a ton of bells and whistles we rarely use anyway.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:08 PM   #5
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So I disabled the remote start/keyless entry device and the problem persisted. Then while working on an unrelated project I slammed the rear door and heard all the doors unlock. After some trial and error I realized that if I tug on the rubber loom on the rear door, all the doors unlock. I'm guessing a faulty wire - I'll be digging in there starting this afternoon . . .
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:13 PM   #6
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Man that's what I call luck! Occasional problems like that can take years to find sometime. If you found it then I think you got pretty lucky.

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Old 07-15-2016, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks Scotty. So I removed the panels from the rear door and was surprised to find the power lock switch dangling inside. It looks like it wasn't taped or secured at all during the conversion.

At some point last week the switch must haven been jostled and it stuck in the unlock position. As a result the driver and passenger PDLs wouldn't unlock. Also explains why the locks unlocked when I tapped the battery.

Thankfully it was an easy fix.

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Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Man that's what I call luck! Occasional problems like that can take years to find sometime. If you found it then I think you got pretty lucky.

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Old 07-15-2016, 08:45 PM   #8
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I can't believe they didn't make that accessible for you. It's a handy switch when you open the rear door. Unfortunately not very many vans I've seen have that but it is a factory option.


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Old 07-16-2016, 02:16 PM   #9
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My 98 SMB from Indiana was the same way. Switch hidden in the door. So stupid!
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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I have heard many time that SMB leaves that switch hanging in the door, stupid.
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