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Old 06-28-2010, 10:08 PM
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76'SuperCab 76'SuperCab is offline
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Power Door Lock Problems - Clicking VSM/GEM

I've been researching a problem with my power door locks [added on edit: on my 2002 F-250 Lariat Crew Cab PSD (not the 76' SuperCab)] since Saturday when they began demonstrating the following symptoms:
1) No response to key fob (either lock or unlock)
2) No response to door switches (initially responded to unlock command only)
3) Whenever the key fob or door switch is pushed, a clicking noise from behind the dash occurs for about 15-20 seconds
4) When the key is in the ignition, the clicking from behind the dash is constant
5) Intermitantly, the actuators attempt to lock the doors when I close the door
6) Intermitantly, the locks will respond to some comands
7) Auto down feature on the driver's door window stopped working.

I found the clicking was coming from a unit behind the radio and just above the transmission hump on the firewall.

There are several helpful threads on power door locks and I thought it might help others to have short summary and some links in one post as I just spent the last two days finding and reading these.

The most popular fix involves pulling the actuators apart to remove a thermistor from the motor that is prone to failure. This apparently rejuvinates the actuator motors and the directions for completing this are listed here Power Door Locks FIXED It's a long thread, but there are lots of step-by-step directions including pictures etc.

I tried this on mine, but it didn't work. The clicking from behind the dash is a different problem. At least when I get this fixed I'll have good actuator motors.

The next most popular fix simply involves spraying WD-40 into the door latches (not the hinges, but the latches). This seems to work for many people who have problems with the dome light staying on and other door switch related problems. Check out Door Open Light On Dash What Up? for more info on that.

I tried this too, but, unfortunately, the clicking is more than can be solved with a little WD-40. The Door Open Light On thread had some references to the Vehicle Security Module.

I found a number of threads on clicking from behind the dash and these threads all seem to point to a problem with the General Electrical Module (GEM) or the Vehicle Security Module (VSM). From what I could find, the VSM may have been a new part introduced in 2002 that replaced the GEM (but I'm not sure about this). Here are a couple of the more helpful threads I found:

VSM Theory

Dash Open Light On Dash What Up?

A Gem Of a Question

I need to order a new VSM or GEM. The threads I researched listed several different parts numbers and had prices around $150-$175 for VSMs, and between $300 and $400 for GEMs. Hopefully, all I need is the $150 part, but I'll update this post when I finally get it figured out. I also learned that that new VSM or GEM needs to be reprogramed with data from the original and that this generally needs to be done at the dealership. So, it looks like I'm in for a trip to the dealer no matter what.

Last edited by 76'SuperCab; 06-28-2010 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Add Details on Model of Truck
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:42 AM
WalkingTall WalkingTall is offline
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I'm curious to know if you were able to fix the problem. I have similar symptoms in my 2002 F350. One day when I pressed the key fob, the locks started going up and down and up and down. Once they stopped, I had no power locks at all either with the fob or with the door switches. I never had the clicking sound you mention though. The other symptoms are that the doors don't autolock when driving, the headlights won't come on in the auto mode only manually. When I shut the motor off, the radio stays on, the dome lights sporadically come on.

I tried the WD40 on the latches but this doesn't seem to help. I just discovered the actuator fix last night and haven't tried it, but since I have addional symptoms to just the door locks, I'm afraid it won't work either.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:17 AM
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I'm still working on mine. I just ordered the VSM module yesterday and hope to get it installed and re-programed by early next week. The symptoms you describe sound like what many people have described when the entire GEM module shorts out.

Problem is, I still have not figured out whether the VSM replaced the GEM on our 2002 models or whether they simply added a VSM in 2002 and the GEM still handles other functions.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:00 PM
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Update

Well, I was all set to take my truck to the dealer to have a new VSM programed today, but after disconnecting my batteries for about 45 minutes Saturday night to do some other work, my locks have been functioning fine and the VSM has not started clicking again. I'm pretty sure it will start acting up again soon, but I can't stomach taking the truck in when it's working fine. I'll wait until it starts clicking again.

I've got a new VSM ($110 from Parts Guy Ed) on hand just in case.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:33 PM
vandel4x vandel4x is offline
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OK, so I replaced and had the dealer program the vsm on my truck (2002 crew, lariat 7.3). It fixed the usual door lock and remote problems but the door ajar problem remained. I thought the wd40 trick would take care of the rest but NOT! Checked all the door switches and all are functioning, (pulled every door panel and manually tested, got ground on each of the switches after activation) still the door ajar light is on in the dash! Any Ideas?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:12 PM
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vandel4x, frankly, I'd tried more WD40. Other than that, it could be a bad instrument cluster or GEM. You might want to search some threads regarding the instrument cluster.

My locks stopped working again Tuesday night and the clicking returned, so I pulled the trigger on the replacement VSM yesterday. Locks seem fine now. Unfortunatley, I'm not suddenly getting 25 mpg or running 14 second quarter miles. Fixing door locks is really kinda boring. Time to close out this thread . . . hopefully.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:24 PM
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Did you figure out if the VSM replaced the GEM for '02? I have the exact symptoms WalkingTall is describing.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:19 PM
l_anthony l_anthony is offline
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The Ford dealer has my truck. They unlocked the door and the alarm went off and the key locks started to cycle continuously? They had to unhook the battery? They don't know? The guy I am actually buying it from from said this happened before, so he replaced the VSM. He said after that it happened one more time and it never happened again until now? He said he will order another one but does this hint of other electrical problems?

Thanks,

L_Anthony
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:49 PM
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I'm reaching WAY back here, but I had a similar issue with my 02 F-250. If you had asked me, I would have said CSM (central security module) but like I said, that was a long time ago. C and V sound a lot like. I had all the same symptoms with the exception of the clicking behind the dash. It was covered under warranty, but I think I remember seeing the bill would have been around $350 for parts and labor. The truck had less than 20K on it at the time. They didn't indicate that it was the result of other electrical problems, and I think that was my only warranty service while I owned the truck. If it was new for 02, then that would probably explain why it's cranky sometimes.

Hope that at least gives ya some confidence about knowing what's going on.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:26 PM
l_anthony l_anthony is offline
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Thanks, that helped a lot. If the doors locks were cycling and the horn was going off and no clicking behind the dash, It sounds identical to what you had. I have a 2002 F-350 Quad Dually Lariat 4x4.

L_Anthony
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:59 PM
WalkingTall WalkingTall is offline
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I had the VSM replaced on my truck and all of the symptoms I listed earlier have been fixed. The cost including labor was just under $300
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:53 AM
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I just bought an '02 lariat 7.3 crew and it has pretty much all of the symptoms... Locks don't work at all, not even a click. Door ajar light stays on, dome light does not come on or stay on when any door is open, nor is there a door ajar buzzer. Plus, and I don't know if this is related or not but, the automatic headlights don't work. I have to turn them on and off manually. Not really an issue for me since my previous f150 was manual, but if they're there, I'd like them to work... I've gone thru the fuses and the only thing blown is the trailer battery charge circuit... Totally unrelated I think... Thanks for all your suggestions...
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:52 PM
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Rich Overton
just a heads up
I found a video to show how to remove the actuator

How To Install A Door Lock Actuator On A 04-08 F150 - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:03 PM
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Rich Overton
here is the link to do the repair to the actuator

How To Fix Failing and Sluggish Power Door Locks - Ford Truck Technical Articles
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:23 PM
Neil perry Neil perry is offline
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I have a 2006 escape. I got a jump thee other day now my power locks are sluggish, do u have any suggestions?
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:23 PM
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