Camry power door lock (even after wires fixed)

I had the 'broken wire in the door hinge problem' with my 1989 Camry power door locks.
Years ago I had the Camry door lock recall performed on the car (This was
something to do with the power door lock relay being flaky).
Recently, the garage fixed the broken wires in the door - and the problem has improved quite a bit - but occasionally I hear some 'relay clicking' inside the car. Dunno where it comes from - but I kind of suspect it is related to the door lock problem as invariably after I hear that clicking - the door locks do not work.
When I then try to operate the door locks via the inside buttons or the remote - nothing happens - until I press the door lock/unlock switch a number of times (sometimes up to 20 times) .....or .... ***and this is what baffles me*** if I use the key on the outside lock on the driver's door - it immeditely fixes the problem (for a period of time).
My car had a remote car starter with door lock button - so I tried having it disconnected in case it was causing the problem. No change - the intermittent 'no operate' continued to occur.
I then had a new remote starter with door lock feature installed - and again - no change the problem still appears from time to time.
We tried switching out the power door lock / power window master switch assembly on the driver's door - no change.
What boggles my mind is that I can be outside the car - with the driver's door closed. I press my remote door lock button and nothing happens - I then use my key in the driver's door key lock & all doors open just like nothing had been wrong - and from that moment on the remote works and the inside button works - until the next time it decides to 'lock up'.
I was told the power door lock system has a relay assembly behind the glove box - we are planning to replace that assembly next.
Still - I can't figure out what using the key in the door lock does to 'fix' the problem as I would have thought that would merely tie into the master switch on the driver's door.
.... Any ideas?
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