A door in my Volvo XC90 won’t open from the inside, now what? The rear passenger-side door in my XC90 had been like this for a few months and it was frustrating the heck out of me. Every time my son wanted to get out, he had to wait for one of us to let him out or roll his window down and open his door from the outside. Sure he could have sat on the other side, but he’s 12…and apparently can’t break the habit of sitting in the rear passenger-side seat. If I had to guess, the cause of the door not opening from the inside is a combination of the door being opened and closed so many times, people letting the handle go from the open position and people slamming the door. Anyway, here’s the fix:
First of all, know a couple of things going into this:
- Your door not opening from the inside is pretty common
- It’s likely NOT the child safety locks that are causing this
- The fix takes about an hour (It took me that long and I’m not an expert)
List of tools you’ll need:
– Medium flathead screwdriver
– Rigid putty knife (not the flimsy kind)
– T25 torx driver
Step One: Remove the door handle bezel.
Using the small screwdriver, work your way from one end of the bezel to the other, prying the handle up slightly from the door panel. Once you get it disconnected all the way across (there are three clips holding it in-place), lift the raised end up and work the other end out of the panel. Now, remove the two T25 torx screws that are located behind the cover. (See photo)
Step Two: Remove the door panel.
The door panel is held on in just a handful of places that “pop” apart. Using your rigid putty knife, pry the door panel back just a bit until you see one so you know what you’re looking for. (See photo). Using swift force, pry each connection apart. The trick here is to make it fast and controlled – like ripping off a band-aid. You’ll get them all separate except the two that are along the top. Grab the door panel one both sides near the top and give a quick pull to release the final two clips – but don’t pull the cover completely away from the door just yet as the window control wire is likely still attached and it doesn’t have much slack. Remove the connector to the window switch. Inspect the door latch connection (see photo). There’s a good chance that the plastic tabs that hold the door handle wire in-place have wreaked or cracked. Even if they haven’t cracked and the connection has simply come loose, this repair will keep it from happening again. Remove the plastic connector (see photo). Lift the panel up so that the lock indicator slides through the hole in the door panel and doesn’t get bent.
Step Three: Repair the door handle mechanism.
You have some choices when it comes to the material you use to repair the door handle mechanism on your Volvo XC90 and this repair is good for every year, up to 2012 as far as I know. For my method, you need two things:
1. Some sort of strap that is roughly 6 inches in length that you can drill through
2. “Filler” material to keep pressure on the part that popped out
For my repair, I used two pieces of thick, ribbed shelf liner. One for the strap and one for the filler. For the filler piece, I cut a long strip and folded it over about four times.
I then poked holes in the other strap piece for the two torx screws (T25) to hold it, and the “filler” in-place, placing pressure on the door mechanism connection (see photo).
Once you’ve got it together, re-installing the panel is the reverse of removal. If you’re in a jam, there’s a video to help you get the panel off and on.