Hi My back hatch door will not open. when i pull on the latch that would normally open the door it lifts but feel like it it not attached to anything. using a key does not help. I assume someone will need to get behind the plastic panel on the inside of the door. it is not totally obvious to me how to remove that panel. i don't want to damage it. any advice ?
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2004 Honda Element Question: back hatch door will not open
Answer #1patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, November 08, 2009, 09:13Master
Your right about being cautious about removing the inner door panel clips to avoid damaging the trim. I just looked in the shop manual which is not too explicit in the removal procedures. Its instinctive for fellows working on theses cars to look for and remove any clips that are obvious. The plastic retaining clips either have a philips screw that screws out and once the screw is removed the rest of the retaining clip is pulled out to remove, the clip may have a pin that is pushed inward to release the retaining clip, Honda/Acure use a lot of clips that are removed using a tool that pulls outward the larger button area of the retaining clip but generally these fasteners can be removed by using two small screw drivers and prying the center of the clip outward. Many panels use clips that have barbs like a Christmas tree shape or fishing hook as they are pushed inward they bite. These clips are detached by prying at the exterior edge of the panel using a spacuhula ,prying outward gently disengages the barb fitting.
Once you remove the panel you will most likely find a small plastic clip retaining the linkage to the lock has broken the clips are inexpensive.
Replyninagrenfell, November 08, 2009, 13:45Rookie
thank you, I got the panel off and found that the inner latch was not being pulled all the way over by the cable. once i pushed it over manually the door opened and the cable was able to do its job. don't know why it got stuck but is working great now.