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Slightly different hatch unlatch (rather than unlock) issue - seized latch??
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Thread: Slightly different hatch unlatch (rather than unlock) issue - seized latch??

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    Slightly different hatch unlatch (rather than unlock) issue - seized latch??

    Curious if you guys have any other suggestions. 2014 Fiat 500 Pop, rear hatch won't open. Initially I could not tell if it wasn't unlocking or wasn't unlatching. It is not responsive to the key fob at all. Started with all the usual advice: disconnected battery and did a reset. Never noticed any fraying wires but who knows?

    So, I crawled back there to try to unlock and unlatch manually. I can unlock it manually (by sliding the little mechnanism on the white locking mechanism inside the hatch panel) but no matter what I do it will NOT unlatch.

    It is definitely unlocked. I can push it forward from the inside and it tries to open, but the latch mechanism is jammed. I have WD40'd the heck out of it, tried prying it, tried to figure out how to manipulate the latch... maybe it's seized? I'm sort of out of ideas now. I did try this: manually open a 2010-2017 fiat 500 trunk/hatchback - YouTubewww.youtube.com › watch but it will not release. In fact, there's not even a "space" to get leverage as the poster of that video claims. I don't know if that's a symptom of lock seizure or not.

    It happened quite suddenly, maybe coincidentally at the same time I was having other issues with the car. I can say that there was one time I managed to physically push and pull vigorously on the hatch door and get it to release, but only once. I thought at the time some glass may have fallen down in there (someone busted my rear window in August), but from what I can tell there is no glass jamming the latch mechanism. It's more like it's seized up.

    I *think* the electronics are still functioning. Any other ideas to get the hatch to release or is it just time to take it to someone who can dismantle it for me? Any ideas what this might cost me, assuming it's only the latch mechanism itself and not the electronics too?

    PS - Why I think the electronic lock at least is functioning: If I disconnect the pigtail from the lock mechanism, it stays unlocked. I can push on the door and it tries to open to the point that the latch catches on the loop. (Like, I can see daylight under the crack in the hatch door but it's definitely caught on the latch U-shaped loop). Plug the pigtail back in, push the latch closed from outside, and the hatch is locked again. So, maybe the latch release in the hatch door has failed, but I think the lock itself is still okay.

    PSS - anyone have a schematic of the latch mechanism? That would be helpful in trying to get this thing open. I mean, once I have it open... who knows what I'll do. Maybe try to replace the latch. Ha.
    Last edited by frootbat; 03-10-2020 at 03:50 PM.

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    Just a guess, but perhaps the latch only partially latched. What happens if you put your screwdriver on that part that moved (in the video) and give it a whack with a mallet (pop that moving section to the right)?

    Many years ago, I had a car that did that on the driver's door, partially latched and wouldn't release... a real pain to get unlatched again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by map View Post
    Just a guess, but perhaps the latch only partially latched. What happens if you put your screwdriver on that part that moved (in the video) and give it a whack with a mallet (pop that moving section to the right)?
    Yeah, I didn't try a mallet. I'll give it a go tomorrow. I can say that I gave it as much oomph as my girl arms could do, but it definitely wasn't the force of a mallet. I couldn't get ANY play in it at all with a screw driver, but the latch itself is sliding partially. Maybe you're on to something!

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    It's been a while, but this issue is still ongoing. I wanted to give folks an update to be helpful and if anyone has more advice... well, I'll take it.

    So, I have continued to source the issue. I'll try to explain what I think it's doing in case you have insights. It seems to be the exterior handle/latch release. I have taken the cover off, tried to clean it, but without any luck. I read about issues with the electronics getting pinched/damaged, but I see zero damage. So, it unlocks, but doesn't unlatch. It was worse when it was cold. I haven't ruled out salt damage somehow? I thought it was tied to moisture, but that seems to be wrong. It's just totally intermittent. It can be super dry, warm, won't unlatch. It can be cold and rainy and it will unlatch. But the release itself seems to fail. And it's failed to a point where, from the inside, nothing I do will actually "unstick" it -- which actually makes me think it's the latch itself ultimately, I have tried cleaning/debriding with a toothbrush and also lubricating with WD40. No luck.

    1. It unlocks, and I can unlock it manually. It never seems to be the actual locking mechanism.
    2. I can unlock it from the inside, push, but it's still latched. It will not unlatch. I can see about 1/4" of ground/sky when I push the door out, though. I cannot manually unlatch it from the inside no matter what I've tried.
    3. The "whir" of the unlatch mechanism (exterior on door) doesn't function at all when it fails to open.
    4. Once, I got it open, only for the exterior handle to fail. Because the door was up, this meant that now the door wouldn't actually latch and close. This is what told me it's definitely in the latch/handle/both.

    So... do I try replacing the latch first? Handle? I do know the handle fails on these cars, so I'm thinking that's the place to begin but I'm wondering if the latch itself has corroded. I'm just pretty lost. I would consider myself modestly handy, so I am not sure if I'm the best gal for the job or not.

    PS - I just drive around without any of this put back together yet. I'm waiting until I decide what to do next. I am having more pressing issues with the car, too, so while this is a big annoyance, it's not nearly as vital as not getting stranded somewhere.

    All thoughts welcome!

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    Try this video. It will require popping some of the plastic fasteners off to remove some of the molded carpet trim inside the hatch but it will work. I think I was able to get the other method you posted to work but it was very difficult. This should be easier.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p18ycflaEvo

    When you have the hatch open pull the rubber bellows grommet out where it goes into the car body and pull it back to inspect the wires. Have you done this already?

    My hatch handle switch needed some corrosion cleaned off its contacts because it was intermittent. Salt was the problem. 100k miles in Minneapolis and Madison. Unless you've already cleaned behind your refrigerator and washed all your windows during the coronavirus quarantine then you'll probably want to spend your time doing something else and buy a new one or a good used one. If you're up for it, I think I used some Lime Away - mild acid - to remove the corrosion off the contacts with a toothbrush.

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    I don't think that there is a difference between unlatching and unlocking. The latch is computer controlled. The button on the hatch door sends a signal to the computer to release the hatch. If the hatch is "locked", the computer simply wont fire the solenoid that controls the latch mechanism.

    Tedolph

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    map (05-13-2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedolph View Post
    I don't think that there is a difference between unlatching and unlocking. The latch is computer controlled. The button on the hatch door sends a signal to the computer to release the hatch. If the hatch is "locked", the computer simply wont fire the solenoid that controls the latch mechanism. Tedolph
    As I recall, if you are using the hatch unlock button, you have about 30-45 seconds to unlatch the door. Unlocking both front doors activates it for an unlimited time. You can disconnect and test the latch. If it's working, it should show a closed circuit when pressed, per Youtube.

    If the handle is working, I think that leaves 4 fault locations; the computer isn't sending voltage, a wire from the handle to the controller is corroded/broken, the solenoid isn't working, or the solenoid isn't strong enough to release the physical latch.

    I notice this latch mechanism is listed, fitting the same models; 68084367AD. Tasca says it will fit 2016 and later models. If it fits, it'd be nice to have an internal manual release.
    1.jpg
    Before replacing, I'd manually open the hatch and see if it operates with the door open (manually latch it and see if it pops open). In other cars, they sometimes need to be cleaned and lubed. On some cars w/ a broken wire in the harness, the wire will connect if you have the hatch positioned "just right".
    Last edited by map; 05-13-2020 at 08:42 PM.

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