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Power Sliding Doors

by Will Carlson, Clemson Electrical Engineering Student

Basic Description

Power Sliding Doors are the doors on minivan type cars that open the rear passenger doors with the press of a switch in the vehicle or a button on the key fob. There can be multiple switches inside the car but there is generally one on each door and one for each door up near the driver's seat. In recent years car companies have gotten rid of buttons on the door and just use the door's handle as the activator of the door. The car sliding doors have a notched track that hooks to the frame of the vehicle. Inside the door there is an electric motor that spins a metal rod encased in a plastic casing, which then spins the gear. The wires that run to the door run along the bottom of the track and are able to move along with the door. The first instance of power sliding doors was in 2001 on the Chrysler Town and Country. There are obstacle detection systems so that the doors won't accidentally close on someone. If the system senses a sudden reduction in door speed it will stop closing the door and usually make a sound to alert the driver of the obstacle. This system protects the door from harm and prevents it from trapping any person between the door and the frame of the vehicle. These doors are designed to save time and effort. They also help families with elderly or disabled people to make the van more accessible.

Radio frequency receivers, proximity detectors
DC brushed motor for moving the door, speakers, door locks
Data Communications
Control Unit Communication: Typically Control Area Network (CAN) Bus System
Magna, Honda, Toyota
For More Information
[1] How Does a Sliding Car Door Work?,
[2] How do sliding doors on vans work?,
[3] Chrysler Minivan Firsts,
[4] Auto Open Door Problem Trouble Shooting for Chrysler Dodge Minivan, YouTube, Jan. 2013.
[4] Odessy Power Sliding Door System,