How do you fix a car door that won’t shut?


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

Share this post:

Latest news articles

Have you been faced with a stubborn car door that refuses to shut? Don't know what's wrong? This is the article you need to fix it quickly. Click here now.

Picture this: you are driving around a road and you took a sharp turn somewhere, only to see one of your car doors flies open. How embarrassing huh? And it even gets worse when you stop right in the middle of the road only to discover that the door refuses being shut no matter how hard you try.

Some people might argue that you could temporarily fix this by using child safety locks. Well, child safety locks only work for the car’s back doors, then what will you do if it’s a front door? realizes that this is an issue that should be addressed, and to save your face, we have brought this article to you. Read on.

A car door that won’t shut – How come?

First, we need to mention that this problem is common in cars during the winter seasons. Reason for this is the extreme cold that makes the door mechanism get frozen. If after the vehicle is thawed, this issue still persists, then you should look into the latch of the affected car door. Don’t be surprised that this is a common problem and the fix is an easy one and quick to do.


A faulty latch is usually the first suspect when a car door won’t shut

How to fix the latch in a car door?

When a car door is refusing to get shut, the latches mostly end up being the culprit behind this issue. They can really make you frustrated if you had no idea that fixing the latches is such a quick one that you can get done in just a few minutes using few tools. It isn’t rocket science as it might seem. And you do not need a degree in engineering to fix it. So, why not let’s jump right in. Shall we?

Follow these techniques below to fix the latches:

1. Look for prongs on the car door’s edge.

These prongs belong to the rotating latch and the rotation of the latch should not be upward rather downward. Lift the handle on the door and watch if the latch still remains in a closed position even as though the handle is lifted. If you do this and realized the situation is a match of our description, what you should do next is to find a helper that can help you hold the door handle in that position. Then use a screwdriver to force the latch rotation downward while the handle is still holding firm at the same position. That’s the first quick fix.

2. Check the door’s alignment

There is a probability that the alignment of the affected door to your car’s body has issues. You will need your assistant to hold the affected door closed while he/she sits inside the vehicle itself at that side. After the door has been held closed from the inside, you will now take some steps backward and away from the car to a place where you can examine the alignment from a distance.

If it appears to you that there is a misalignment of the affected door, you should find a small block of wood to place underneath the lower hinge of the affected door to make it level up and sort of align well. You can also push the affected door from the outside to bend the lower hinge. But remember to stop doing this when you notice that the alignment is kind of restored.


Looseness in the mounting base of the control rods in the latch could be the reason a car door won’t shut

3. Take notice of affected door frame's striker

Did you follow these first two steps and yet the same story? Well, the affected door frame’s striker might need some working on before you can solve this problem. What to do about it? Simple.

  • First, find a wrench to loosen it to an extent that it can be moved. Please do not completely loosen and detach it.
  • Next, move the striker around while you keep pressing it until you see the latch working properly especially when the affected door is well closed.
  • Do this repeatedly till you are satisfied with the door’s performance. Then fix the striker at this working position.
  • Fit back all the parts you have touched and make sure everything is now in place and shouldn’t fall off during the ride.

4. Watch out rust or dirt!

Rust or dirt sometimes can be the major cause of the door’s latch getting stuck. This wouldn’t be a surprise as continuous use of a car without proper cleaning can accumulate dust into many parts of the car.

What to do in this case? Nothing much.  

You just need to lubricate the parts of the latch by using a penetrating fluid or low-viscosity oil. This will make you able to open the latch. But, if after trying all this, the latch still won’t open, you will have to replace the entire latch assembly of that affected door.

How to Fix a Car Door that Won't Close with a Stuck Latch

Tried all our 4 quick fix and the car door still won’t shut?

If such is the case you are in, then you will have to remove the door panel and have a look at all the components inside the latch. Focus on some control rods that stretch to the latch assembly from the car door’s handle. Check for looseness in their mounting base. And if that’s the case, you just need to reinstall the control rods in order to stop this problem of a car door that won’t shut.

We hope that you read this few tips we have discussed above and follow it carefully to get the problem solved and get your door working again. But if after trying all our quick fix, the problem still persists with your car door, recommends that you seek help and advice of automotive experts as soon as possible. They will be able to guide you to a better or more advanced fix and advice you on the best option based on your car’s brand and model. Good luck with fixing your car door buddy. You can also share this post with a friend that you think might need it.

Oluwaseun Solomon
Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

Market news

Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

See more