I’ve had the false “DOOR AJAR” warning lamp on my instrument cluster for some time. This is on my 2002 XLT.
This problem is intermittent, but seems to be reoccurring more often now than before. Often enough that I've been leaving the courtesy dimmer switch in the off position for about a year.
From searching the prior posts, apparently it can be either a bad switch or a broken ground wire at the door. Since mine is intermittent, the switch is the likely problem.
If you think your switch is bad, wait until you have the warning lamp and then immediately do the following troubleshooting to isolate the specific door causing the warning, using the alarm and wireless remote entry to set the alarm:
A. With all the windows in the down position, activated the alarm and waited about 30 seconds. Then open one door only from the inside door handle. If the alarm goes off that means that door switch tests OK.
B. Reset the alarm again, trying this on each door. Unfortunately, you can’t do this test on the rear liftgate and rear glass. At least not on my truck.
C. If no doors sounded the alarm, you probably have a problem not related to the switches on the doors or door's ground wires.
On my car, the driver’s door switch tests to be the problem area.
If you think your problem is the ground, checked the wires in the rubber sleeve between the door frame pilar and the door. If any damage is found it should be repaired.
The door ajar switch is attached to the bottom of the latch mechanism. The latch assembly is held to the door by 3 screws and two rods. The screws you could access from the outside of the latch. The rods are hold in place by two yellow plastic clips.
This assembly has two electric plugs one for the lock actuator (the biggest of the two) and another for the ajar switch.
There are several post claiming spraying wd40 through the outside door handle fixes this problem. The switch appears to be sealed so not likely that the spray could get inside the switch. If the warning lamp is intermittent, the spray repair may just be coincidental and actually have no affect. So I suggest replacing the switch.
Here’s how I removed the door panel and the AJAR switch.
1. Remove the plastic cover around the door handle. There are two forward clips, so use a putty knife as shown to pry from the front and then pull out.
2. Lift up the door switch panel from the front and remove. Disconnect the electrical plugs.
3. Remove three screws holding the door panel in place. One screw at the top, two along the bottom.
4. Lift the panel enough to reach the electrical connector to the outside mirror switch. It helps to insert a small flat blade screwdriver between the switch and the plug so as to relieve the detent holding the plug locked in place.
5. Slowly pull back the window liner from the bottom corner enough to permit working inside the door as shown in the photo. Use one of the window wiring plugs to grip the corner to hold it back as shown.
6. Disconnect two latch rods (one vertical, one horizontal) by disconnecting the ‘yellow’ clips. Here's a photo showing the AJAR switch way in the back using an inspection mirror. Annotated is (1) AJAR switch, and (2) the AJAR wiring harness and connectors.
Here's the latch mechanism pulled out enough to allow removing the AJAR switch. I've annotated with the (1) marker pointing to the switch.
7. The AJAR switch can be removed by rotating it 90 degrees toward rear of the latch.
8. Reinstall in reverse order.
After removing the switch, I found I was sent the wrong part. The part they sent is very similar but has a rectangular electrical connector, while the one I need is square. So I have reassembled everything and will wait for the correct part.
Now that's a super "how-to" post! Those switches are a royal pain to do. Usually I end up with blood showing , lots of sharp edges in a door. Getting the wrong switch sounds just like my luck. At least you're "experienced" at it now!
'94 F150 4x4 4.9L/M5ODR2/3.55(H9) 160K miles
'02 Escape XLT 3.0L DOHC/auto 165K miles
'14 TRANSIT Connect 2.5L DOHC
drivers door is the most common point of failure since it is used 1-2-5 times as much as the other doors. if you have an intermittent switch problem, sometimes you can spray thru the latch area with WD40 and free things up. If it starts happening too often, you go the plan above.
2002 SuperCrew 4 x 4 5.4 XLT -135K miles -NEW
2010 EDGE FWD - V6 ----------50,000 miles
2002 Explorer 4 x 4 4.0 XLT --- 170,000 miles
2001 SuperCrew 4 x 4 5.4 XLT -235K miles -GONE
With the correct part from Ford I was able to complete the switch replacement.
On the 2002 XLT, the AJAR switches come in left or right doors, so order accordingly. I replaced the switch on my driver door (left):
You can see that the part removed looks basically the same as the new.
I think the switch has been redesigned, because I used a depth gage and measured both switches and the newer switch is slightly longer by 0.16mm. Also the new switch has less spring tension on the plunger.
I placed a liberal amount of white grease on the tip of the switch and dabbed some inside where it fits into the latch assembly before reassembly.
Also I forgot to mention that prior to removing the three screws holding the latch assembly to the door, I marked their position with masking tape for alignment reasons. So later, on reassembly, it was easy to tighten them in the same position as they came out.
Good write up. I'll be doing this to my 97 Explorer soon because my switch is also faulty and won't even register the light on the dash. I'll be curious to see how different it is from yours.
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The only thing I would add is to un-clip the wires for the mirror adjuster. I am so glad that I found this post, at the dealership all they said was to take out the two screws on the bottom of the panel and the three for the latch assembly, but obviously that wasn't going to do it. Thank you!
A high end scan tool can display which doors are showing open or closed. Typically though, as mentioned in post #3 above, the driver's door is the most prone to failure since it generally sees the most use as well.
You could also backprobe wires at the GEM module to see which one is not showing ground when it should be. That will require a wiring diagram, DVOM and GEM connector pinout.
Wow! Just removed my driver side door ajar switch. A little tight in there but finally removed. Picking up new switch in the morning. Would one bad switch make the whole system go bonkers?
Great post with picks. Could not have done it with out them. This thing is hidden very well.
Bumping this back up. I just replaced the door ajar switch with the help of this post! Part was $28 and took me about 1-1/2 hours. Ford wanted to charge me almost $200 to do it.
This site helps me again. Thanks to all who respond to these posts.
btw, my old switch was stuck pretty good but I got it to work pretty good with the help of WD40. I figure, if it's torn down, I may as well replace with new parts so I won't have to do it again for awhile.
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