A car’s doors have been evolving quite a lot. From the very first lame doors to cool falcon-wing doors to this day, car doors represent a valuable aesthetic of the car. It’s also rather important because, you know, it helps you get inside. Most doors, even some supercars, open the same way. Doors are not just mechanical these days, they have also been electrified along with everything else. Nowadays, doors can close with the just push of a button in luxurious cars. There is no need to slam it tight.
However, as with everything else in life, things can go wrong. Your door may refuse to shut properly, especially if you own a regular car. You might notice that the door might open back up, or it leaves gaps and does not close perfectly. That is a problem. And if all you know is about a car selling website like CarIndigo and Cargurus, then you wouldn’t find a fix for it online. That’s why we’re here to help. We will talk about some of the possible fixes that would help you close the door properly.
What are the various parts of your car door and how do they work?
Before learning to fix something, it is important to understand how it works. So, a car door consists of the following parts, working together to keep it functioning:
- Door handles
- Door hinges
- Door latches, which allow the door to open and shut. It also keeps the door closed while the car is running
- An anchor that works with the latches to release and secure the door
- Door locks
- Electrical or mechanical parts connected with the vehicle’s electronics to control the door and its buttons.
It is very important to understand these parts and what role each performs in the mechanism of the door. Get yourselves acquainted with the entire mechanism, as it would be necessary if you want to fix the door yourself. You can find multiple articles or videos online, explaining how it works. Also, be sure to know the location and the specific function that each of these perform.
How to fix a stuck latch
An issue with the latch can be quite common in the list of problems with car doors. If you can get to open the door fine, but if you encounter a problem while closing the door, then that might be a problem with the latch. The main issue might be the door not getting stuck when you try to close it. That is the issue with the latch.
The first step is to diagnose the problem. There can be a lot of causes for the door latch to fail. For example, it can be a mechanical error, the latch might be worn down or something might be broken.
If your latch is just stuck, then you are in luck. You can just fix it yourself by applying some lubricant and spray it on the latch of the door. Use something like WD-40. After a little while, use a microfiber cloth to rub off the excess oil. You can also check for rust, and if there is, try to scrape it off. Once all of it is done, confirm that the door is properly and you are good to go.
How to fix a closed latch
Sometimes, it may happen that the latch may be accidentally closed when it’s supposed to be open. Once again, try to find out the cause of this problem and once you do, you can try to open your door and find out the orientation of the latch. After that, check out how it actually should be, by looking at a proper latch orientation. Grab a screwdriver and all you need to do is, keep the door open and rotate the latch with the help of the screwdriver to ensure it is in the correct orientation. After that, check if the issue is resolved.
How to fix a door handle
A door may stop closing because of issues with the door handles. A door handle’s mechanism is simple. Whenever we pull the handle, a metal rod will disengage the latch from the anchor. Then, the door opens; or closes by doing the opposite. If that metal rod is broken, then the door handle might be stuck and you would definitely need to go to a mechanic. However, sometimes the issue can be simple, like a few loose screws. Fix with them a screwdriver and see if it worked.
How to fix door hinges
If you notice that the door isn’t closing because the door is not properly aligned with the body, that might be an issue with the hinges. Sometimes, when you open the door wide, you might also notice that the door may bow or stoop a little towards the ground. That is surely an issue with the hinges.
Often, the hinges might be loose. All you need to do is to tighten the screws with the help of a screwdriver. Also, sometimes the issue may be that the hinges are rusted and worn down over time. If they are dirty or clogged, you can clean them with WD-40. If, for some reason, the hinges are beyond repair and you want to get them changed, you need to visit a mechanic.
How to fix car door electronics
Modern cars all use electronics in the doors. Electronic door locks, electronic door release, and other parts are all related to your car’s electronics. If you are driving a very old car, this will not concern you, if you have changed your car in the last few years, this might cause a problem.
Sometimes, an electrical fault can cause your door locks to be engaged, even when the door is open. You won’t be able to shut the door in such a situation. In such a case, you need to check the car’s fuses and look for any short-circuit. Then, you would have to replace the fuse, the wiring, and other components, if necessary, to ensure that the electronics are working properly again. In the event of anything more serious, go to a mechanic.
Also, it might happen that the battery may die while you are inside the car and your electronic door release might cease to work. How would you get out of the car? Well, cars also have a mechanical door handle to release the door in such an emergency situation. Use that to get out. Always read the manual.