Originally Posted by B-Radley
My '97 does that sometimes on the passenger side.
On mine if I pull the inside handle all the way out and then let it snap back hard 3 or 4 times it will unlock. It only works from inside.
solved. Solved. SOLVED: thanks a lot to netlohcs and to B-Radley,
here is the synthesis of the whole thing: there is a very long V-shape link that goes from the outside door handle all the w-a-y down around the door glass mechanism and then back up to the latch.
With age this link tends to stick half-way i.e. in "half-pulled handle" position. Once so stuck, you will have that 'spring-back' effect on your door key (from outside) and on your inside lock button.
The first remedy seems to bang this link by pulling inside or outside handle all the way you can and letting it shoot back.*
Once you remove the door lining**:
1 - identify the V-link (it's the only one that goes all the way to the door bottom and the one that moves when you pull the outside handle.
netlohcs proposed to bend it, but it is really good as it is, just sticking.
Therefore instead of bending we gonna lube it thoroughly:
2 - note that the V-link has one guiding point at the very bottom of the door. Possibly that is the point where it actually sticks. Lube it there.
3 - lube pivots at either end i.e. at the outside door handle side and at the latch side. I simply used wd40.
4 - you will now feel the long-forgotten "brand-new" ease of operating the handle with a force of a baby's finger.
*if you could not get the door open in the first place, try a 'surgical operation' by making a small hole in the lining in the latch area, stick in your wd40 straw and spray spray spray rather than cutting any metal parts.
** Your glass driving handle is kept in place by a locking ring (aka 'Jesus ring'). Use some sort of a hook to pull it out, and your handle will be released. Other fixing points are screws on the perimeter and on the inside grab handle and on the inside lock unit, then clips, and then you force the lining up and back from the glass slot.