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Old 01-01-2018, 01:42 AM   #1
MobileSaturn
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1999 SL
Default Door sensor broke!

I think the bitter cold snap we just had where I live was the straw that broke the camel's back *namely the sensor for my driver's door on my '99 SL. The plastic tip snapped and the spring sprung out. I recovered both, but where it snapped, no glue is going to fix it. Needless to say I've since treated the other sensor plastics in hopes they won't become as brittle.

I did a search for "door sensor" figuring this has happened to plenty of others, there should be a write-up somewhere! ...Not a single result! A little terrifying!

Does anyone know how to replace the sensor? It looks to be the same design as used on all four doors, just that they're mounted in a different position between the front and rear sets.

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Old 01-01-2018, 02:26 AM   #2
billr
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Default Re: Door sensor broke!

It sounds like you are looking for a "door jam switch", they are available from RockAuto for... $43! I would be looking for one in a junk-yard.

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Old 01-01-2018, 03:29 PM   #3
MobileSaturn
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Default Re: Door sensor broke!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
It sounds like you are looking for a "door jam switch", they are available from RockAuto for... $43! I would be looking for one in a junk-yard.
Huh, never heard it called that before. Checking the photo on Rock Auto, that's definitely the right part, but we have plenty of Saturns at the local PullaPart, so that shouldn't be an issue. Still, I can't figure out how it comes out. The photo makes it look like it might just be two clips holding it flush to the body.

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Old 01-01-2018, 04:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Door sensor broke!

You have to pull the B-pillar trim off (including seat belt IIRC), then you can get something on the back side of the switch to squeeze the locking tabs to release it. Should have plenty of room with the seats installed, but if you have a warm place to work it wouldn't hurt to remove the seat on the side you wish to replace the switch on.

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Old 01-01-2018, 04:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Door sensor broke!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
You have to pull the B-pillar trim off (including seat belt IIRC), then you can get something on the back side of the switch to squeeze the locking tabs to release it. Should have plenty of room with the seats installed, but if you have a warm place to work it wouldn't hurt to remove the seat on the side you wish to replace the switch on.
Got it, thanks. I was planning to replace the serpentine belt and tranny fluid with Amsoil anyway, so this'll give me a good excuse to park it in a warm garage and knock it all out at once.

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Old 07-16-2018, 12:17 AM   #6
MobileSaturn
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Default Re: Door sensor broke!

Finally got around to replacing the switch, but found out something interesting. Just wanted to let second-gen owners know that the door jam switch is not accessible from the back side through the B-pillar. It's actually way easier to remove. I worked on a '97 and '99 in the Pull-a-Part, unsuccessfully attempting to remove a switch from either the driver or passenger side through the B-pillar region behind the seat-belt retractor. The switch itself is a long way away from the open regions around the seat-belt retractor and can't even be seen, let alone felt. But that's okay, and actually irrelevant.

To remove the switch, open the door, grab the frame around the button part of the switch that presses inward when the door is closed, put some pressure on the frame against the body of the car and shift it toward the front of the car. The side closest to the back of the car will loosen; pull it back gently, then shift it toward the back of the car, and it pops right out with no issues. The plug has a single retainer clip on the top.

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