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Hi my name is***** a car technician and I’ll help with your question.
Does the door unlock its self if you try to open it from the normal release handle on the inside?
No it doesnot - and if you try to hold it open (because the nipple does try to rise when you do that) it will just revert to the locked position
Ok, so its probably dead locked. This will be the door lock assembly in the door causing this. Its quite common but its a bit of a problem if the door doesn't open as it makes it a lot more difficult to get to it.
The same problem happens to many VW models too, The lock assembly jams up due to wear on the pins, it needs to be popped open forcefully using a lock releasing kit, it takes a bit of time and skill to do it as rods need to be slipped down to assist it unlocking. Once its unlocked the door card can be removed and the lock inspected. Often a good clean up and a bit of grease will cure it. Otherwise it may need a new part.
What would be a ballpark figure to get it repaired?
Depending on where you take it, most garages can do this in around an hour. Its probably best to source a second hand lock and ask the garage to clean it and grease it, and fit it. the locks cost between £5-15 depending on where you get it but they are readily available from breaker yards and online. so worst case based on £60 labor it shouldn't set you back more than £80.
If you choose to have a brand new lock assembly fitted they are considerably more (around £120) for the part alone from the main dealer
I hope i have been of help, If you need further assistance please feel free to ask, otherwise please remember to rate my answer, thanks, Ross.
Will do - do you know of any sites online where I could get the part?
carparts4less.co.uk will source the part from a breaker yard based on your details and send the part directly to you, its a little more expensive as they do the work for you but they guarantee its working and correct, otherwise sites such as ebay or make some phone calls to your local breaker yard who will often take the part off for you.
Thanks for your help