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Rear door won't open from inside

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).

Rear door won't open from inside

Postby crockerdt » 16 Oct 2009, 01:00

2005 XC90: Rear door on passenger's side just stopped opening from inside today. Cycled through lock/unlock sequence using key fob and driver's side panel. All other doors open from inside. Except for this one. It's as if the child safety lock is engaged. I can open it from the outside. And I can see the mechanism moving when I pull the inside lever. Anyone else have experience with this?
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Model and Year: 2005 XC90 V8

Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby 9394volvo850s » 16 Oct 2009, 23:36

yea one of my rear doors dosent open from the inside. never looked into it. not that often is some one in the back seat. i think ist the right rear door on the 83 850.
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby crockerdt » 17 Oct 2009, 01:34

Something else that is strange to me. I just bought car. The manual shows that there's a child safety lock control on the rear doorjambs and tailgate. I see it on the tailgate. But it doesn't exist on either rear door. How can this be? Could the car be grey market? I ran a Carfax on it before purchasing and it looked clean. Rest of the car is in great shape.

Has anyone seen an XC90 without this manual control for child safety locks on the rear doors?
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Model and Year: 2005 XC90 V8

Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby sabinaa » 22 Oct 2009, 21:39

It is the child safety setting. I actually turned mine on because my 3 year old grandson kept opening the door while driving. When you open the door, its on the inside of the door facing into the car. Its a tiny switch you can move.
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby agam3mnon » 02 Jul 2010, 07:19

Same issue with me.

One of the rear doors will not open from the inside.

I've checked both the child locks and they both look to be disengaged. Yet one door opens and the other not.

Very frustrating as my son keeps leaping out of the door he can open which is on the traffic side of the car...

Please help - any ideas?
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Model and Year: XC90, 2003

Re: Rear door won't open from inside-you can fix this

Postby nacho7 » 19 Mar 2011, 00:14

You can fix the non working rear inside door handle. It is broken,and not a child safety lock issue. 30 minutes, minimal tools needed

I have a 2006 XC90. Both rear doors would not open with the inside handle. Not a child safety lock issue as they were not engaged. Not a central locking issue either, I did not have the optional electronic activation for safety locks, The issue was cheap Volvo plastic parts. On both sides the black plastic clip that holds the cable into the door release handle had broken,leaving the cable flapping around inside the door doing nothing. To "repair", you have to pop off the silver plastic cover over the door closing handle--lift it up and then out, I used a putty knife to get it loose. Then take out the two TORX screws that hold the door panel to the door. Then use the putty knife to pop the upper portion of the door panel away from the base of the window about 5 inches, you don't have to release the lower portion of the panel or loosen the handle plastic covering or loosen the window switch.You can see when you look down into the door where the cable is loose and place it back into the notch in the door handle. Make sure it is in right by flipping the door latch with your finger and pulling the inside handle to see it release the latch. If you have it in correctly. take a hot glue gun and glue all the edges of the plastic end of the cable to the handle mechanism. I then put pieces of thin cardboard onto the glued areas with more hot glue to make sure it doesn't pop out again. Then pop the upper portion of the panel back on and replace the TORX screws in the panel to the door. Snap your silver door handle back on and you are fixed.
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby mnsherk » 26 Apr 2012, 07:10

Start with the pull handle and, using a putty knife gently pry under the leading edge to disengage the three plastic teeth shown on the right side of pic 6. Once these are free rotate the handle up and towards the door and remove it from the panel. Next, with a T25 remove the two screws securing the door panel to the door. For the front doors, gently pull the triangular piece of plastic up at the mirror, disconnect the electrical connector (if necessary), and remove the triangle. Next, use a rigid putty knife to go around the sides and bottom of the door panel and pop the panel off of the plastic clips. Amazingly, this is the first door panel I've removed where the clips didn't pull out of the panel or break! The should have used this type of plastic for the door handle assembly!! The electrical connectors from the harness to the door are male so push down or in (not out) on the tabs to unlock the connectors and pull them apart. Once you have the panel free, you'll see that the two small clips (yellow arrows in top two pics) which actually retain the handle end of the cable assembly are very soft JUNK plastic. I super-glued these cracked clips, but wasn't convinced of the remaining strength. In order to prevent the end of the cable assembly from continuing to pull out of the handle assembly I used plastic pipe strapping and secured it with the two screws (green arrows in first pic) which mount the handle assembly to the door panel. As an added measure, I drilled two holes in the black plastic bracket (orange arrows) and saddled a zip-tie over the other side of the end of the cable assembly. Works well!! I may just apply the strapping to the other 3 doors BEFORE they break. Oh, and by the way, you can't buy just the black piece that contains the two small clips from the dealer - you must buy the complete door handle assembly which runs $138 plus tax. This was a $5 fix. Hope this helps someone else...
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby CWhitlow » 17 Apr 2013, 16:55

mnsherk the strap idea worked perfectly, thank you for the pictures. Instead of plastic pipe strapping I used an old plastic milk carton and cut out a strip to measure. Worked like a charm. Thank you again.
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Model and Year: 2005 XC90

Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby jetbalagtas » 23 Aug 2013, 17:42

@mnsherk, I followed your solution but I used rubber garage door weather stripping that I cut out to size for the strap. I also secured the cable further with a zip tie, like you recommended. Works great. I'll do the other doors too before they break. Thanks for the advice and the pictures. It helped a lot.
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Model and Year: XC90, 2005

Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby MagnusLPA » 31 Jan 2014, 16:53

mnsherk wrote:Start with the pull handle and, using a putty knife gently pry under the leading edge to disengage the three plastic teeth shown on the right side of pic 6. Once these are free rotate the handle up and towards the door and remove it from the panel. Next, with a T25 remove the two screws securing the door panel to the door. For the front doors, gently pull the triangular piece of plastic up at the mirror, disconnect the electrical connector (if necessary), and remove the triangle. Next, use a rigid putty knife to go around the sides and bottom of the door panel and pop the panel off of the plastic clips. Amazingly, this is the first door panel I've removed where the clips didn't pull out of the panel or break! The should have used this type of plastic for the door handle assembly!! The electrical connectors from the harness to the door are male so push down or in (not out) on the tabs to unlock the connectors and pull them apart. Once you have the panel free, you'll see that the two small clips (yellow arrows in top two pics) which actually retain the handle end of the cable assembly are very soft JUNK plastic. I super-glued these cracked clips, but wasn't convinced of the remaining strength. In order to prevent the end of the cable assembly from continuing to pull out of the handle assembly I used plastic pipe strapping and secured it with the two screws (green arrows in first pic) which mount the handle assembly to the door panel. As an added measure, I drilled two holes in the black plastic bracket (orange arrows) and saddled a zip-tie over the other side of the end of the cable assembly. Works well!! I may just apply the strapping to the other 3 doors BEFORE they break. Oh, and by the way, you can't buy just the black piece that contains the two small clips from the dealer - you must buy the complete door handle assembly which runs $138 plus tax. This was a $5 fix. Hope this helps someone else...


I know this is quite an old post, but I wish to thank you very VERY much for this trick. Really worked perfectly. The mechanism feels like new, now :)

Only trouble is that I busted the last 2 remaining clips for the window button! :D I have to fix that too, now.
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Model and Year: 2004 XC90

Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby klindsey1 » 03 May 2014, 19:35

*mnsherk - Thanks for the tip with the pics - I did the same thing today, and it works like a champ. Tips like this are what make this site such a great resource. Thanks So Much!
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby 717Volvo » 17 Jul 2014, 23:51

I want to add another thanks for the strap solution. My kids (and their friends) have been dealing with a rear door that wouldn't open for a year or more. They'll be thrilled to have this fixed. Please excuse me if I don't give any credit here and try to get some props from my kids for being a super Dad and figuring it all out by myself. :)
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby abscate » 21 Jul 2014, 17:45

Ive submitted this thread to Matt for inclusion in the Repair database since it sure looks popular for the XC90 crowd!
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Re: Rear door won't open from inside

Postby boksalg » 23 Jul 2014, 19:26

Superb tip mnsherk - got the same issue and you sorted it :)
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