How to Fix a Car Door That Won’t Close Properly – Causes & Solutions


Like other parts of a vehicle, doors are an essential safety system for keeping our thieves and protecting passengers. However, some car owners overlook these parts. Your car’s door should close and open properly to protect important cargo, you, your belongings, and passengers.

Besides, after shutting the door, you expect it to lock itself automatically on demand. On occasions where passengers don’t wear seat belts, a door with broken latches can eject him/her accidentally. This article should help you understand why your car doesn’t close correctly and fix the issues.

how to fix a car door that won’t close properly –Causes & Solutionshow to fix a car door that won't close properly

Hopefully, you understand it’s against the law to drive a car with a door(s) that doesn’t stay closed. Yes, it’s problematic and can cause accidents if not careful. Some common causes might result in a door that won’t close properly. You are also provided with measures to fix the issues.

Latch issues

A rusted, binding or stuck door latch can be the reason your car door is misbehaving. Sometimes, the door latch can also jam when you unintentionally close the door; it will hinder your car’s gate from closing.

If you see such red alarms, apply WSD-40 or oiling to the latch system. Give it enough time, and use a clean piece of cloth to remove any grime or grunge from the door latch.

While cleaning dirt, make sure you don’t close the latch. Adjust the handles of the door severally and inspect if the issue has been fixed. For an accidentally closed latch, try to compare door latches’ status and see if it’s similar to the stable door.

While inspecting, the latch must be in an open position (like letter C). Such function is essential in allowing it to slide over an anchor. If the latch is in a “no opening” position, use a screwdriver to firmly rotate or push up the latch while twisting the handle of your car’s door for releasing the latch.

In contrary opinion, if the latch is wholly damaged or worn out, repair remains the best-left act.

Door anchor

A door anchor that cannot be adjusted can be the reason your car door isn’t closing. Therefore, you need to carry out a thorough inspection to determine where the latch is colluding with the anchor.

Try to loosen the door anchor bolts while slightly moving it to 1/16-inch down/up and in/out. Retighten and see if the problem has been tackled. Remember, this adjustment can be trial and error.

Issues with door handles Issues with door handles

Your car door has door handles positioned on the outside and inside part.  By pulling or operating the door handle on the outside or inside operation, either extend the metal rod to disengage the latch from an anchor.

A jammed or binding door linkage or handle will leave your door in an open position. If you confirm these as the problems, seek professional help. Leave it for an expert. More so, broken handles will prevent your car door from shutting correctly.

Inspect if you can pull off the handle from the handle frame. If not, know the handle is broken and needs a replacement. Thus, closing and opening such doors will be problematic. Moreover, you need to confirm both the exterior and interior handle parts to determine their condition.

Tight door hinges

The door hinges can be another reason your car door is not responding to a close-up command. If you’ve tried the above solutions, but the issues are not sorted, try to inspect the door alignment.

For cases where the space between the fender and the door is uneven or a dripping door, know the hinges are worn. The worn hinges are usually caused by daily wear and tear. Winds sometimes open the door or hit in an accident, twisting the frame.

Since these doors are heavier than we think, hinge adjustment/placement is crucial. Where you bought the car should deal with this issue; for body repair. Remember, if the door system’s striker plate is loose, the car door will never shut.

A door with such a problem will force you to slam it severally and hardly for manual shutting; this is hectic. Remember to fix the flying door before driving to a nearby garage.

Cold weather


Parking your car in a cold environment can cause problems to the door(s). Low temperatures with drizzles can freeze a door lock, preventing it from closing or opening. Sometimes you can shut it, but it can’t be locked.

Someone may steal your care with an unlocked door. This happens; maybe you are in a hurry rushing to pick somebody or heading to your job place. If this is the exact problem, try to apply WD-40 or deicer to fix the issue.

On occasions where you don’t own these handy items, try to apply the hand sanitizer on the key. This sounds awkward, but the available alcohol percentage in sanitizer will try to melt the ice in the lock.

Slightly jiggle and insert the key slowly; if you are finding a hand to get it in. Please don’t rush to opening the door; instead, give it something like one minute for the alcohol to work on the ice—Jiggle the key to seeing if the door closes or opens.

Expert warning: Don’t use boiled or warm water; you can ultimately damage the latch, hinges, or anchor. Don’t you see you will be deepening the problem? If you’re not sure, leave the job for specialized mechanics.


A shorted power or malfunctioning door actuator or a shorted door lock-switch is stuck in an open position; the door is likely to stop from closing. Inspect the fuse status and smack the door using your hand near the latch and switch assembly. Doing so will free up the stuck door actuator (lock motor).

If the door frame has door locking electrical and mechanical devices, making door latch/lock repairs is always hectic. Try to have handy tools and a repair user manual before you start fixing any car door problems yourself.

Frequently asked questions: 

Do my door hinges require oiling?

Yes, but modern cars don’t need oiling. However, you can do this for a while for proper car maintenance. Doing so will also extend the lifespan of the vehicle and keeping it in good working condition.

Can I fix my unlocked car door?

It depends on how complicated the problem is. You can fix minor issues but leave complicated ones for mechanics.

What are some of the components that are found in the car door?

The latching mechanism is the central part that engages a striker or door anchor. Other components include; actuator latches, hinges, etc. these parts works together to ensure the car door operates smoothly.

Final words

Nowadays, modern cars don’t feature grease fittings, driving away from the need for lubing. However, hatchback hinges, hood, door, gas fill door, trunk, door anchors, and latches need a few drops of lithium grease, oil, or silicone (dry spray). These are fundamental ways in ensuring the car serves you for some years.

Use this article to diagnose problems that prevent the door of your car from closing. Fix them out with the provided solutions in each category.

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