How To Fix A Car Door That Won’t Close Properly

Nowadays, car doors are an essential part of the automobile industry. In fact, many drivers expect to have their car doors shut perfectly when they get inside. And of course, they will be furious if the car doors refuse to shut in or pop back open again. It is the worst when you have to drive and check the doors all the time, and that’s actually quite common.  

For that reason, we need to know how to fix a car door that won’t close properly. In this article, our car experts will provide you with insights, from the reason to its solution. 

How Does the Car Door Work?

In order to solve this problem, car owners need to know how the car door works. Even though it has a simple look, car doors are actually more complicated than you may think. There are various mechanical parts combined in order to ensure car owners can open as well as close the door easily. However, all the standard car doors must include these car components below.

The Structure of Car Door

Door handles are, of course, the first car parts. They need to have two per door, one for exterior and one for interior. The next components are the small claws called door latches. Along with door hinges, these parts help the door to shut and open, as well as keeping it closed while the car is moving. A door lock is also essential in the car system. Along with that, we have an anchor. This anchor works together with the latches with the purpose of securing along with releasing the door. Last but not least, we need electrical or mechanical parts to connect with the circuitry of the car. This combination lets owners to use buttons to open and engage the door lock.   

car door
It is better to understand how car doors work (Photo source: Pexels)

The Benefits of Understanding Car Door Structure

In order to fix a thing, you need to know how it works. So car owners must familiarize themselves with these car parts before trying to repair them. This will help drivers to understand how to apply fixing methods to the best. 

Along with that, if you happen to have the owner’s manual, you can find every part inside and acknowledge the problem by yourself. Also, if there are any missing parts, you can spot it right away and even purchase them either online or from your local store. 

The Right Way to Fix a Car Door That Won’t Close Properly

We know how the car door works, it is time to understand the way to fix it. Fortunately, most of the factors behind stuck doors are very easy to fix. And we will take a look at some repair methods. These are all easy for car owners to fix a car door that won’t close properly on their own. 

How to Fix a Door Handle

The first and most common issue that car owners might have is the door handle. The bad news is that if the faulty door handle is the cause of the issue, you need a professional mechanic to fix this. When you pull on the door handle, this car part extends a metal rod or cable. These parts disengage the latch of the door from the anchor. So if you have an unworking door handle, the metal rod or cable might be the cause. And as a result, your door handle stuck in the opening position. Another factor is the loose components screws. These screws can also make your door handle stop working. However, you can take a screwdriver and tighten them to fix this. This action is to ensure the handle’s mechanics are working correctly.

How to Fix a Closed Latch

In various situations, car owners will have a closed latch when it must be opening. And this happens quite a lot. Usually, an electrical glitch is the one to blame. An issue made while fixing the car door might sometimes be the cause of this problem. And no matter what the factors are, we can fix this by trying to open the door and check the latch to see its orientation. After that, car owners should open a functional door to find the jaws. 

Normally, you can see the jaws opening from a latch. These jaws tell if your door is working or not. Not to mention, they also catch the door jamb anchor, as well as rotate into a closed orientation. So if these jaws are already closed, it is impossible to close the door properly. 

In order to fix a closed latch, all you need is a screwdriver. Car owners can hold the door handle in the open position. When you pull the handle, you can use the screwdriver to rotate the latch into the correct form. If it is hard to do it alone, it is better to ask family members or friends to help you hold the door open.

And once you finished the task, test the door handle a few times to make sure. If it works normally, the latch should open when you pull the door handle. 

How to Fix Hinges

Hinges are the next factors that could go wrong, along with the door alignment. So if there is nothing wrong, car owners must be able to align the door perfectly with the body of the vehicle. With a simple inspection, you can find the issue easily. To be more precise, you can see that the fender and door might be uneven with one another. And this is when you need to check the hinges of the door. 


The factors that cause this problem can be various. The hinges are worn down from corrosion damage, wear and tear, as well as warped or dented from impact. With the rusty hinges, it is the best to clean them off by cleaning supplies like WD-40. Also, you can use the screwdriver to tighten up the screws in the car door hinges. Little things like this can help your door align better.

How To Fix A Stuck Latch

The next issue we might have is a stuck latch. If you can open the door normally, yet unable to close it without getting jammed, the latch might be the one in trouble. 

There are various ways for the door latch to be stuck, from worn down latch parts, mechanical error to broken door handle cables. Multiple problems can happen and compromise door latches. However, car owners are capable of fixing this themselves without the help of the mechanics. We suggest using oil lubricant and spray or spread it into the latch mechanism of the open door. The WD-40 is the good type of lubricant for this situation. Drivers should let the oil soak in for a moment, then rub the oil into any visible components of the latch by using a microfiber cloth. You can even find rust on the latch system while doing the cleaning, so remember to scrape them away with a piece of steel wool. After the rust removal, car owners can be sure that the latch is working properly. Open the latch with the door handle to confirm this. 

How to Fix Car Door Electronics

Last but not least, we have electronic issues. And there are various ways. We will take a short-circuit as an example. In this situation, when car owners open the door, it could prevent your locks from disengaging. In other words, it causes the locks to remain engaged. The locks will then act as physical blocks for the door.

car door
There are many ways to fix car doors (Photo source: Pexels)

In order to fix this issue, you can check the fuses of your vehicle and check if there is a short-circuit in play. If it is actually the cause, car owners can fix this by replacing the wiring or fuses. After that, drivers can try to use the electronic locking control again.

In Conclusion

No matter what the cause and issues are, car owners must never drive your vehicle if the door does not close in the right way. Even though they might look fit normally, you still need the latches and anchor in order for the door to fully engage. They are needed for you to be safe inside. 

And if you cannot fix the car door issues by yourself, do not wait to contact the car mechanic or a professional. It is all for your safety.