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Most vans these days have rear doors on either side that will slide open with just a click from your key fob or press of a button inside. An electric motor is attached to a chain that pulls the door open or closes it along a track. The sliding door motor receives power from the body control module when the input signal occurs and stays powered up until the door reaches its limit. If the sliding door motor assembly is used excessively, it can wear out.
As it is an electrical component, the door motor doesn’t require a set service schedule. It would be prudent to grease the chain and track during an oil change to extend its life. If the sliding door binds or will not open with the power sliding door feature, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose the sliding door motor assembly.
If passengers can’t get into the back of your van because the sliding door motor assembly isn’t working, it’s important that you get this fixed ASAP. However, how much losing a sliding door actually limits you is really dependent on your unique situation. Not having this point of access will never keep your car from working, but it will be inconvenient at times.