Can't open drivers door - Kia Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
umpalumpa's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southern Californa
Posts: 6
Drives: '02 Spectra 295,000 miles, auto 1.8 - '04 Rio 133,000 miles, auto, 1.6
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thread Starter (Thread Starter)
Default Can't open drivers door

My '04 Rio's front door won't open. Both the inside and outside handles are inoperable.
I'm not sure if it's the lock not operating internally (although the lock on the top of the panel moves) or if the handle has disconnected.
I need to remove the interior panel to diagnosis the problem but if I cant open the door how is it possible to remove the panel without damaging it?
I thought of using a slim jim to open the door but I don't really know what to pry on or if that will even work.
umpalumpa is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CNY-USA
Posts: 1,016
Drives: 2004 Optima 2.4 EX, 2005 Yamaha R1 (street) 2001 GSXR 1000 (track)
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Not sure if the panel can be removed without the door open. Sounds like the latch assembly has seized up. When this situation happens I usually use the slim jim/lockout kit method. If you place a wedge between the outer door panel and the window you can follow the rods from the outer door handle to the latch assembly. You'll have to actuate the latch in the same direction as the rod does (easier said than done, but it usually works).

NEW MEMBERS- Please fill in your profile info in the "user CP" link (year, make, model, location, etc..), it makes it easier for us to help you.
Go to and register for free for service information.
mattybyzf is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Where ever I'm at in the U.S.A. N. Indiana
Posts: 1,373
Drives: Ford Escort '01, Kia RIO '03
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


More than likely you have a small spring broken, approx 1/4" x 3/4". It will need to be replaced. Yes it it possible to get the door open without destroying the inner door panel, not easy but it can be done. Panel needs to be pryed open and the lock mech, operated with a heavy wire to hold latch open. Once door is open then the panel can be removed.

Good Luck

BTW after helping a friend who owned a used car business with this I replaced all springs on all 4 of my doors.

NEW MEMBERS Please fill out your profile, it helps us help you better and quicker.
jcwit is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Edit: Oops just realized I responded to a very old thread...

When you pull on the door handle does it make a sound like attempts to unlock, like a pop?

If so, you might have the same problem I did, which is one of the screws that hold the latch assembly has come loose and jammed in the door when it was closed. You should remove all the trim around the door panel and remove the bolt that holds the seatbelt in place to remove the side trim. after that you should have just enough room to see where the latch latches in place on the car. use a flashlight to see if there are any bent screws there.

Last edited by pir8skin; 03-27-2013 at 03:34 AM.
pir8skin is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States Pine Grove, pa
Posts: 880
Drives: 2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)


Every little bit help's thank's for that info. Someone will do a search for the same issue and maybe your suggestion will help.

Last edited by ronjohn; 03-27-2013 at 05:10 PM.
ronjohn is offline  

  Kia Forum > KIA Models > Kia Rio Forum > 1G (2001-2005) Rio

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kia Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On