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The idea behind having a sliding door on a vehicle was to make it easier to open and close. Sliding doors are super convenient to use, especially when you have children in the vehicle and with the automatic sliding doors that are available on all minivans now they are even easier to open! However, nothing is more frustrating when a sliding door gets stuck part way closed.
Now you can neither close it fully nor open it so what can you do to fix this issue?
If you own a Honda Odyssey and you are stuck in a situation like this, what are the possible things you could do to solve the issue?
Often this issue with your sliding door can be solved by fixing the latch, cleaning the connections, replacing the rubber gasket, or resting the battery on your minivan.
All of these are possible things that can fix your sliding door issue. I will cover each of them in more depth in the rest of this article so be sure and keep reading to learn more about it.
Let us first start with how to troubleshoot a sliding door that doesn’t close all the way. Then, we can explore other problems you may encounter with the sliding door and possible solutions to those issues as well.
The sliding door will not close completely
If you find yourself with the issue of the sliding door on your Odyssey not closing completely this is the first thing that you should try. Simply follow the steps below to perform a manual reset.
- Disconnect the battery from your minivan.
- Push the door until it closes completely. (If it doesn’t close with the battery disconnected then you have a latch or gasket issue).
- Now pull out the negative and positive battery terminals and attach them back to your minivan. You have reset the battery.
- Turn on the vehicle but ensure that the toggle switch for the door is still turned off.
- Switch on the toggle switch.
- Push the power buttons for the sliding door and keep the pressure until the doors close.
- If this still doesn’t work, then reset the switch and try again. This time, the doors should close all the way.
Sliding door troubleshooting tips based on your model
If your Honda Odyssey is manufactured in any year after 1999 and before 2011, read on to resolve the sliding door staying open issue. To know solutions for newer vehicles, skip to the next section.
- In vehicles from 1999-2011, you will find a handle near both the doors of the second-passenger seats. If you cannot find them, look near the seatbelts.
- Pull the handle. Sometimes, this pull may be enough to fix the door.
If it doesn’t work, try the below method.
- On the front section of the dashboard on the driver’s side, you will find the buttons to the sliding door. Press the button corresponding to the door that is stuck.
- This should allow you to close the door all the way.
If this one also fails, there is yet another thing you can try.
- Check the opening on the door’s top that is stuck. You will find a bumper made of rubber.
- With regular use of the door, it is common for the bumper to become brittle and fall off as it of rubber material. It is so small that you generally do not notice that it has fallen off until you encounter a problem with your door.
- But there is no reason to worry. You can easily fix this all by yourself. Simply order a new rubber bumper for your model and replace it.
- Use the button near the driver’s seat to open the door. Place the bumper such that its hook edge faces the rail.
- After fixing the bumper, the door should slide smoothly and open/close completely.
In newer vehicles, the steering has a switch in it. If you see that the toggle switch is in a pushed down position, that’s the reason the buttons to open the door aren’t working.
Push the switch so that it comes back up. If this works, hurray! You just saved a trip to the mechanic. If not, consider taking your minivan to your mechanic.
Other common sliding door problems
The sliding door is slightly ajar when you close it.
This is not as serious as a sliding door stuck halfway. Nevertheless, it deserves attention because the door is still open, and it may not be safe for you to drive.
Try the following steps to make sure you can close the door.
- Clean the door pillars.
- The rubber components in the door buttons may be misplaced or worn out. You can either try to put them back or replace them altogether.
- By pressing the closing switch present on dashboard, the door should remain closed.
How to lubricate a sliding door on a Honda Odyssey?
Rather than searching for solutions to the problems caused by sliding doors, it would be wiser to employ measures for preventive maintenance to keep the problems from ever happening.
Lubricating your sliding door will ensure that it lasts longer.
Things to avoid
Sliding doors tend to fail sooner when you do not operate them the right way.
- Do not pull the door when the motor is moving it in the opposite direction.
- Lubricate the bearings for smooth operation. If you do not take care of the bearings, they will get filled with dust and eventually fail (much before their expected lifespan)
You need only 2 items to lubricate the sliding doors of your minivan– a silicone spray lubricant and a rag.
- When you open the sliding door, you will see bearing at the bottom.
- First, clear the track from accumulated dust and debris using the rag.
- Now spray the bearings with the silicone spray.
- Wipe the excess spray from the bearings.
- You could place the rag underneath the bearing while you spray. This would catch the excess spray dipping out.
- Next, lubricate the top track.
- Once you are done, open and close the door a few times and your sliding door should now be well lubricated.
It is best to keep the bearings of the sliding door lubricated. Lubrication makes it more durable and lubrication is an easy process and takes just a few short minutes.
Despite taking preventive measures from your side, there is always a possibility that the sliding door may get stuck, remain ajar or cause other issues. The key is to not panic and close/open it in a rushed manner. It will do nothing to solve the issue.
Use the tips mentioned in the above sections and remember that the solution is usually a simple one. In case nothing works, you always have the option of taking it to your mechanic which if you are not technically inclined, is probably your best bet anyway.
These are a few of the common issues encountered in minivans with sliding doors so if you have these or other issues that you simply can’t figure out then a good mechanic can be invaluable to get your minivan back on the road quickly.