How VW Door Latches Fail~ Video

Published on December 23, 2014 under Video

IMG_3518Today we look at how VW door latches fail.This is an issue not just with the Jetta as shown in the video. This is a part that I have replaced all across the brand. Every car in the VW line has had an issue with door latch failures. You may also hear them called “door lock modules”. That is because they are such an important part of the central locking system

Sponsor Of The Day
The sponsor of today’s show is Deutsche Auto Parts. They are the VW and Audi parts experts. I know them personally and they are great guys. You see how many sponsors I have. I have high standards for the people I recommend. Paul and the guys fit that bill. Plus they did a MK4 Jetta door latch DIY video. Check them out at

Today we look at:

  • How VW door latches work
  • How VW door latches fail
  • What are the symptoms of VW door latches failing.
  • Most common is “My Jetta door will not lock”.
  • Ways to diagnose VW door latch failures
  • Skill required to replace door latch
  • And more

You might have a failing door latch if:

  • Your VW door will not lock
  • Your VW door will not unlock
  • Your door shows open when it’s closed, or closed when open
  • Cluster doesn’t light up when door is opened. MK5 and up mostly
  • Doors will auto lock all the time
  • Windows do not drop when doors are unlocked (Beetle convertible, EOS, CC)
  • Alarm goes off by itself
  • And more


If you are having trouble viewing, check out “How VW Door Latches Fail~ Video” on YouTube.

As always your comments and questions are welcome. If you have a VW part you would like me to explain, use the contact me form, and let me know. Shout out to Deutsche Auto Parts for sponsoring today’s show.

Don’t forget to follow me at:

Tagged: ,


  1. Barry Sexton

    Hey Charles, great video as always.

    If VW has had failures of these latches on so many platforms and generations, why on earth have they not redesigned them to actually function for the life of the car? I don’t get it.

    Also, I have a B7 and have NOT had the frozen driver side latch issue, but I have a co-worker with a B7 that has had latch failure. I know you mentioned water getting into the latch, but is there a solution to prevent water from getting in? Has this latch been updated to prevent water intrusion?

  2. Pete

    So correct me if I’m wrong but your saying the fault is with the circuit board soldering not something breaking with the actual mechanism? One could possibly do a repair on it?Usually it’s the other way around, right Chevy owners? Damn Chinese plastic!

  3. Terrie

    I have a 2002 VW Jetta. I have to slam my driver side door really hard and several times before I can get the chime to stop and get the door to lock. WD40 helped for a little while. Any suggestions for someone who has reached her auto mobile knowledge limitations?

  4. Bryan

    Great video. Really appreciated the in depth look at what’s causing the failures. I have a 2008 Jetta that recently started having a door latch issue on the driver side. When I lock the car with the key fob, the horn beeps and the light indicating the car alarm is armed lights up but intermittently the driver side door won’t lock. Even more interesting, if I open the door the alarm doesn’t sound. My guess is that it’s one of the electrical issues you mentioned but the lack of the alarm going off seemed strange. Any thoughts?

  5. Samantha

    I have a 2014 Jetta TDI, last year my drive side door start to not want to open because it was cold outside. Then it start to work fine after that. Now my problem with my drive side is not wanting to close. It not want to latch. So my car is left open. Can this because it cold again or did something fail with.

  6. Old Trapper

    On 2006 Volkswagen Jetta indicator light says front doors are open when they are closed courtesy light in floor board stays on in the latch is hitting the striker Bolt it’s not closing all the way around the striker Bolt if I open the door and push the latch up by hand all the lights go off as if the door was properly closed but of course then you cant close the door can I wrap something around the striker Bolt that would make the latch work properly

  7. Ryan Castro

    I have a similar issue with my 2015 Jetta TSI door locks but wanted to run this by you. Purchased the car new and the issue started at around 42K miles. The issue is that I can not lock any car door. The fob does not lock the doors, the master door switch does not lock the doors and in addition, the trunk release does not operate. When the lock buttons are pressed on the master door panel and including the fob, a relay can be heard under the dash. This relay can also be heard when the car reaches 10-20 mph. When the doors are closed and the fob lock button is pressed, noticed that the red LED light on the drivers door indicates a lock system malfunction. VW has not released the fuse box diagram for this model and I have searched the internet and came across your site which is very helpful. Not sure if I need to purchase a version of VAG-COM or just rip my doors apart. Can you help me please?

    1. Winborn Gregory

      Ryan, I have not done a 2015 latch. What you describe is different, so maybe things have changed. Yes, get a Vag-Com, now called VCDS, for trademark reasons. Maybe you can find a local guru who will check it for you.

  8. Winborn Gregory

    Recently discovered the wealth of info that you have online. Mega kudos! I have an independent VW shop and probably see more of the older cars. 95% of what I see is due to failure of the little micro switch at the end of the red and blue wires. It rubs against a hard rubber cam. If the cam get rough, it breaks the plastic tit off the switch. The result is the car does not know if the door is open or not. Many have attempted to replace this switch, but I assure you, it is not worth the effort. Check out TDI club for a full thread on this topic. I too want to know why VW has not fixed this part. It seems to be the same part number for all models and years on all except convertibles. Must be a good money maker. My VW parts guy says, “VW must be proud of this part” whenever the price is outrageous. Have not found a reliable aftermarket source yet. There was one on eBay that looked heavier duty than the original, but it did not function correctly. WorldPac carried one for a while, but their warranty returns were high. I bite the bullet and buy this from the dealer.

  9. Bevin Shirley

    2006 VW Touran TDI .

    Hi from South Africa.
    I need the part code [and a mnfr/supplier name] for the lower microswitch of the drivers door lock unit [2 wires]. contact pin is badly worn.
    Local VW supplier only sells the complete lock unit at great cost!
    Can you or any other VW DIY fan help with info?
    Cheers all.

    1. Winborn Gregory

      You can go on TDIclub and find a source for the microswitch, but I assure you, it is an exercise in futility to try to replace it. There have been some other posts on the same site that describe a magnetic switch. I have not tried it, but there is no reason it would not work. That is the route I would take if I did not want to spend the money for a new latch assembly.

  10. John

    I have a 13CC that both windows on the passenger side don’t ‘drop’. They begun this behavior on the same day. And it happens only when opened from the outside latches. Is it possible that the front passenger window controls the rear? Is it possible to change just the micro switches? Great video, very instructive!

  11. Chris

    HI Charles. I have a 2009 Tiguan and recently the Drivers door will not open from the outside. It opens using the inside handle, and locks and unlocks with no problem. Is it possible that the preload spring that you mention in your video has come loose?

    I removed the inside door panel to have a look, but there is another metal skin inside. I saw some videos for other VW models where it mentioned closing the window and taping it to the top of the door frame to allow that panel to be removed without having the window fall. Can you comment?

    Is it possible to remove the outside skin on the Tiguan like you mentioned in another video about replacing a door latch? I have not been able to find any videos specific to the Tiguan.

    I appreciate your input.

    1. Tim

      Hey Chris, I’ve got the same year/model Tiguan and the same exact problem. Did you end up solving this on yours? You can’t get the outside of the door off like the model in this example. You’ve got to get at it from the inside and it’s a pain in the ass. Gotta take off the inner door panel, unscrew the latch from the side of the door, take out the outside handle and remove the screw behind that, unscrew and tape up the window and then unscrew and peel that metal door panel out with the window tracks, latch actuator and all attached to that metal panel(Happy to explain in more detail if anyone needs). Then once I finally got in there, the latch mechanism isn’t the same as this one. It’s all covered and no easy/obvious way to get to the spring to check the pre load. Now I’m at a crossroads. The part is either $30 from alibaba and takes a month to ship(almost certainly garbage), or $200 from a reputable dealer. But I’m nervous that even if I get the part the pre-load still needs to be set and I’m still not sure how to do it. Would be stoked to hear from anyone out there with some knowledge on this model actuator as I can’t find anything currently online. I’ve invested too much time to admit defeat and take this damn thing into the shop.

  12. Shane

    Hi I have two lock questions about my 2001 Jetta:
    1. The key will go in the driver door but will not turn is this an indication I need to work on the actual lock cylinder it’s self?
    2. The keyless entry sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t both for locking and unlocking. New key for batteries installed and still same issue. Does this indicate the door lock actuators you mention above may be bad for the drivers door – is that the ‘master’ for all the other doors.

    1. Winborn Gregory

      The answer to #1 is yes, you have a problem with the lock cylinder. Maybe it is keyed different. If you can get you remote working, no big deal.
      2. Sounds like you need a new latch mechanism. Yes, the driver’s side is like a “master”, but I’m not sure what it controls. I just know having a working latch will solve lots of problems.

      1. Shane

        Thanks. I’ll take a look at the lock cylinder after I get a repair parts kit for it. I’m going to order another driver side lock actuator also. Appreciate the help!

Leave a Reply to Winborn Gregory Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.