Interior door handle woes


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VCDS Map User
Apr 26, 2015
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Right folks, I've posted this over in the TT section ('cos that's what the car is), but I don't think this issue is platform specific and the 8L crowd are a more hopeful source of experience.

The drivers side interior door handle is not reliably releasing the door.
The problem has been intermittent since the car was picked up a week ago, but at best pulling the interior handle allows the door to be pushed open, at worst it remains solidly shut. Exterior handle works perfectly all the time.

I whipped the lining off expecting the bowden cable to be dodgy/broken, but it seems fine. I even swapped the n/s & o/s cables over and exactly the same thing. Passenger's door works fine, driver's is unchanged.
With the lining off, door open and latch in the 'closed' position, I tested the release and it WILL work, but only if I pull the cable a fair bit further and harder than the interior door handle does.
It's almost as though the cable has stretched, but swapping it over hasn't fixed the issue.

To my mind there are only 3 elements involved:
Interior handle itself. (Seems fine, not visibly worn or bent)
Bowden cable. (Seems fine, and swapping over for the one from the opposite door has no effect)
Latch mechanism. (Nothing seems to be missing/broken, and it WILL work but only if the cable is pulled a long way)

Sooooo.......has anyone experienced anything similar and if so, what did they do to resolve it?
Don't really want to recommend a new lock assembly if it's not at fault!
Thanks for any input anyone can offer.
Just a thought. Has the door dropped and the hinges have just worn out. Take a look at the catch in the pillar and see if it has signs of wear.
I suspect the door HAS dropped a bit which is exacerbating the problem. But the issue is the same if tested with the door open (using a screwdriver to flip the latch to the closed position), which should rule out a latch/catch alignment problem.
I'm loathe to just replace the locking mech until sure, because everything else on it is fine (microswitch etc), and for whatever reason used O/S ones seem very few and far between.....
I have almost exactly the same problem, only difference on mine is if I lock the car using the interior lock button I cant release the door as usual to get out. For the life of me I cant trace a fault to fix but in the end I used VAGCOM to change the auto locking to off and avoid using the interior locking button. Will watch with interest as it bugs the hell out of me.

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