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This is my 17 year old daughter's 2004 Optima - out of warranty. A few days ago, the passenger door opened and would not close. The plastic latch in the door would rotate, but not stick in the closed position, so the door would just open. I ended up taking the latch/lock mechanism out of the door and playing with it for awhile. Eventually, a small rubber piece fell out (smaller than a pencil eraser). Suddenly, the latch seemed to work again. I reassembled the door and closed it - it stayed closed.
However, now I am afraid to let her open the door. If she is not at home and the door sticks open again and she's at work, she won't be able to drive/fix it.
First, any ideas what happened? What is the little rubber piece? Does anyone know if it is safe to use or should I just replace the latch anyway.
Second, anyone know where I can order the part? Closest dealer is 30 minutes away. I would rather order online and for less $. All the online parts places don't list the latch.
Thanks in advance.
Yes, took off the door trim and removed the latch mechanism with the locking mechanism attached. The locking mechanism (connected to the latch by one mechanical wire) seemed to be working fine. The latch was having the problem and this is where the rubber piece fell out of.
No picture as it is reinstalled in the car. Key, fob, locking cylinder, and internal door lock all work fine. Just the latch that holds the door closed won't stay in the closed position. Passenger front door.
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