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If the car door won’t close, there might be an issue with the door fastener, handle, or another part. You can fix some of these issues yourself if you have the tools. You can hire a professional mechanic to resolve other complex problems, such as replacing the actuator motor.
This article lists all the reasons and solutions to help you fix a vehicle door that will not close.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- 1 Why Is the Door of the Car Not Closing? (9 Reasons)
- 1.1 Issues in the Car Latch
- 1.2 Faulty Car Latch Jaw
- 1.3 Broken or Damaged Car Handle
- 1.4 The Door Not Shutting Due to Moisture
- 1.5 Blockage in the Latch Due to Debris
- 1.6 Issues in the Car Door Due to an Accident
- 1.7 Misalignment in the Suicide Doors
- 1.8 Issues in the Car Door Hinges
- 1.9 Issues in the Car Door Actuator
- 2 How Do You Fix a Vehicle’s Door That Does Not Close Easily?
Why Is the Door of the Car Not Closing? (9 Reasons)
The door of the car is not closing because of issues with the door fastener and the door handle. Also, moisture and debris accumulation in the handles and latches can cause this issue. Moreover, faults in the car hinges and the door actuators can also cause this issue.
Issues in the Car Latch
A latch is a hook or claw-like component present on the interior door side. When the door shuts, it engages with the striker plate on the door frame, and a connection is made. This secures the door when it is in the closed position.
If your vehicle’s door has a stuck or rusted latch, it cannot close. It will keep on bouncing open every time you attempt to close it. Other issues in the car door latch mechanism, like a broken car door latch, can also cause this issue.
You may also identify the problem as a car door latch loose. You can compare the malfunctioning latch with a standard latch of another door of your car. In this way, you can confirm if the latch is the culprit.
Faulty Car Latch Jaw
A jaw is a component of the latch mechanism that engages the striker. It can corrode by prolonged exposure to moisture or salt. As a result, the door will not close suitably.
Broken or Damaged Car Handle
The interior and exterior handles of the car are connected to the door fastener with a lever. The car handle can become damaged or worn out like any other car component. The handle may not return back entirely to its resting position after use, and the door won’t shut properly in this condition.
The Door Not Shutting Due to Moisture
Low temperature and moisture during cold weather are potential causes of the door not closing correctly. This is because moisture can enter the door and cause various issues like ice formation. Although not common, it can also cause the door handle to freeze and prevent you from opening or closing it.
Blockage in the Latch Due to Debris
Accumulation of dirt or debris on the latches or strikers can occur over time. This will not let the mechanism operate properly, and the door won’t shut.
Issues in the Car Door Due to an Accident
If your car has undergone a collision, there is a chance that the doors or panels have been bent or deformed. The doors can become misaligned from the door frame.
As a result, the latching system won’t work, and you won’t be able to close the door. These are the most common reasons for a car door latch stuck in open position.
Misalignment in the Suicide Doors
In some vehicles, the front doors open forward typically, but the rear ones open rearwards. In such vehicles, you must close the rear car doors before closing the front ones. If one of these doors is misaligned, you can have issues closing the other.
Issues in the Car Door Hinges
The hinges on the car can become damaged due to age or other factors. Such hinges will cause the door to sag, and it will then sit at the wrong angle. This will result in difficulty in closing the car doors.
Issues in the Car Door Actuator
This mechanism is primarily present in modern or luxury cars in which a small electric motor helps lock and unlock the door with the push of a button. Issues in it can lead to a malfunctioning locking system, which will not allow the doors to close correctly.
How Do You Fix a Vehicle’s Door That Does Not Close Easily?
To fix a vehicle’s door that does not close easily, you can fix the faulty latch and handle on the door. Fixing the car hinges and the door actuator faults can also solve this issue. In case of inexperience or intensive damage, you can hire a mechanic.
Fixing a Damaged or Stuck Latch
If you have a car or truck door latch stuck in locked position, you can use a flathead screwdriver to fix it. Make sure that you are gentle to avoid further damage.
You can also use a small amount of lubricating oil to free a stuck or rusted latch. Wait for some time after its application, and then clean the latch with a rag to remove any grime.
Use a screwdriver to “close” the latch. Pull the door opening lever once you have removed the oil, and the jaw should snap to the open position.
If you feel like you won’t be able to fix the faulty latch, just search for “car door latch repair near me” and then visit that location to get it fixed.
Fixing the Door Latch Striker
Inspect the striker on the car frame for any damage or misalignment. You should clean it if it is dirty or rusty with appropriate materials like a silicon-based lubricant. In case of misalignment, you can loosen the screws holding the striker and replace it slightly.
Fixing the Broken Handle of the Door
If a faulty or broken door handle prevents the door from closing, you must remove the inner door panel. Only then you’ll be able to access the door handle mechanism. Use a flathead screwdriver or trim remover tools to remove all the trim pieces or screws holding the panel in place.
After removing them, pry the panel away from the door frame gently. Once you have located the handle mechanism of the door, you can fix its various issues:
- If the handle is stiff or sticky, apply some lubricant to the moving parts and then work the handle to spread that lubricant.
- If the handle feels loose, check for any loose screws or fasteners on the handle or the door panel. Tighten any loose parts with screwdrivers or pliers.
- Once you are done, carefully reassemble the door panel.
- If the handle is beyond repair or broken, replacing it with a mechanic is best. If you replace it yourself, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check if the door closes after you have made the repairs.
Fixing a Frozen Door Lock
The simple solution to this problem is to use a deicer to remove the ice from the handle. There is also an alternative if you don’t have such a device.
Take a key and cover it in hand sanitizer. Slowly insert this key or slightly jiggle it if it’s not going in quickly. The alcohol in the sanitizer will melt the ice in the lock.
Leave the key like that for about half an hour, which should melt the ice. Remove moisture with a cloth or tissue when the ice has melted, and check if the door closes.
Ensure a Clean Jaw Area
You can clean the corroded jaw area with the help of a lubricant or use car interior cleaning products like a cleaning solution. Use a soft brush to clean the area entirely. Once you are done, rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly.
Replacing the Faulty Car Hinges
If the hinges are causing misalignment, you should fix or replace them. Here are the steps to do so:
- You can optionally use jack and jack stands to support the weight of your car.
- You will need to remove the bolts connecting the hinges to the door and frame to remove the hinges. Use a screwdriver and a wrench for this.
- If the hinges can be repaired, you can clean them and remove the rust from their surfaces. Apply some lubricant to reduce friction.
- Now check if the car door works fine or not.
If the damage is intensive and replacing them is the only option, install new hinges and follow the manufacturer’s manual while doing this.
Fixing the Door After an Accident
If your car has been in an accident, you must never try to close the door forcefully. This will result in further damage, so avoid doing this unless it’s an emergency. You can use a frame puller to realign an automobile door if it has been damaged in an accident.
It has hydraulic mechanisms that apply controlled force on the damaged areas. This will push or pull the damaged areas back into their original position. However, make sure that you let a technician do this or perform this yourself in the presence of one.
Fixing the Car Door Actuator
This is a built-in mechanism in the vehicle, comprising mechanical and electrical components. If you are inexperienced in fixing it, it is better to consult a professional mechanic.
It involves removing the screws and bolts to access the motor. You can replace or lubricate the engine and then reassemble the door panel. However, do not forget to disconnect the battery.
It is also important to lubricate the motor with a light lubricant that does not harm the plastic parts. Also, be careful not to damage the actuator motor when removing it.
Now you know how to fix a car door lock mechanism. But if you have doubts about whether you can do it yourself or if the damage to the door mechanism is intensive, it’s best to seek professional consultation to avoid further damaging the car.
Once the door has been fixed, you should know how to close a car door without slamming it. Apply an even, gentle pressure towards the car body. Always push the door slowly; once the door has been closed properly, you will hear a soft click.
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