Common Car Door Issues and How to Fix Them Before Going to the Shop

Car door

Breaking something as frequently used as a car door will displease any driver. Depending on the damage, it can range from frustrating to life-threatening, so you should never delay fixing a malfunctioning car door.

Given the work that car doors do, they can experience multiple problems. Here are some of the most common car door issues and their quick fixes.

It’s hanging from its hinges.

The hinges of car doors rely on compression springs to function correctly. In Michigan, there are plenty of shops selling such springs to help you if your car door is experiencing metal fatigue, which is drooping or hanging from its hinge or being misaligned from the car body.

Keep in mind that if the spring is still relatively new, then the bushings and pins might only need lubrication.

It won’t completely close.

If the car door won’t close all the way, it’s probably a stuck latch problem. To solve this, partially open the car door and look to see if the latch is open or closed. Stick a screwdriver into the latch clasp and then hold the door handle open while pulling the screwdriver outward. This should reopen the door latch, letting the door close completely.

The driver’s auto-lock fails.

A malfunctioning auto-lock might be as much a problem with your key as it is with the car door itself. Check with your car dealer to see if the battery of your car key is already dead or the key fob itself is defective.

If other doors are closing fine and one isn’t, then it’s either because of a blown fuse or a faulty door lock solenoid. It’s easy to replace a door lock relay, but fixing a defective solenoid or broken wire may require a trip to the shop.

The window isn’t working.

Cars today come with either manual or electric windows. Manual windows are more prone to defects, including grinding out of their track or not going all the way up.

A quick fix would be to sandwich the window with your palms and pulling it up while the switch is depressed. However, long-term window solutions will require professional repair.

The sensor isn’t accurate.


It can be frustrating when the “open door” safety light stays on even though you can’t close the door any harder. Most times, this is an issue involving a malfunctioning magnetic strip or the door switch located where the car door seals, in which case replacement should be easy. Other times, it’s an electrical short involving the dome light or your car’s anti-theft system. If it’s an electrical or ECU problem, then don’t delay professional help.

Lock or handle is broken.

Sometimes, due to frigid weather, the car door handle or manual door lock gets stuck due to debris or water. Luckily, replacing the locks and handles of a car door is inexpensive and relatively easy to do on your own. If you don’t have the tools to dismantle your door panel, you can ask a professional to do it for you.

The hinges always creak.

There’s no car door noise that timely lubrication can’t fix. Lubricate all the bushings and hinge pins and replace the rubber seal or the compression if necessary.

Car doors are getting more and more sophisticated as newer models roll in. Thus, at first signs of troubles, bring your car to the shop immediately to ensure your safety on and off the road.

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