Car Door Wont Shut – (4 Causes & Easy Fix To The Problem)

A car door won’t shut puts your safety at risk and gives easy gain to entry for thieves. Winter seasons commonly cause car doors to shut as cold freeze the door mechanism. Faulty door latch is another suspect of the improper close of the car door. This can be because of both mechanics and electronics. 

In this article, we will discuss all common causes of car door wont shut. Let’s look at the reason and what we can do to solve this problem.

Why Wouldn’t Car Door Shut? [Reasons]

If your car door won’t shut, it could be due to a variety of issues such as a damaged door latch, a misaligned door, or a problem with the hinges. It is recommended to have a mechanic diagnose and fix the issue to ensure that your car door functions properly.

Causes of Car Door Won’t Shut

car door wont shut

As we mentioned before, this is a common problem during the winter seasons. Because the extreme cold makes the door mechanism frozen. If your car is warmed but still the door won’t shut, don’t be surprised. Then you have to look into the latch of the car door. This is one of the most common causes but fixing it is very simple. There are additional causes that your door prevents from closing. Below we’ll discuss all of the reasons to inspect why your car door won’t close.

1. Faulty Latches

The latches are the most common the suspect of the car door won’t close. This part will not work when the latch clasp falls. It’s due to the striker that is supposed to be inside of the latch clasp. A striker exists on the opposite side of the latch in which the latch hangs to keep a specific item closed.

Hopefully, you can solve this problem with some tools within minutes. We’ll broadly discuss this in the solve section.

Solution: If you want to fix the door latch, you can take the help of a door flathead screwdriver. Using it, gently free the stuck latch. While doing this, you can also pull the door handle to get a better result.

When using this technique, you must avoid putting so much pressure.

2. Broken Lock Actuator

You may not even hear the name actuator in your life, but it’s an important part for controlling car doors. It’s an electric powered motor that sends signals to open and close your lock of the door. When your car door won’t shut electrically, your actuator wasn’t working due to an electrical block or broken wire.

Solution: There are many reasons why the door articulator is not working correctly. This problem occurs most of the time due to disruption in the wires. To fix this issue, disassemble the door lock assembly. Then clean and lubricate it properly. 

If there is a broken wire connection, you must take out the door panel and then look for the interrupted wire connection. Then depending on the seriousness of wire damage, it will either be repaired or replaced. 

Besides this, improper functioning of the switch can also lead to this issue. For instance, if only one out of two switches is working correctly, you can repair or replace the broken switch.

3. Loose Striker Plate

Door striker plate is a hardened metal mechanism that maintains the closed door in place. When it loses for any reason, you have to hardly do manual shutting of the door. Never drive before repairing the flying door and rapidly run to the garage for replacement.

Solution: You need to locate the door with a broken or damaged striker plate. Then park the vehicle on a hard surface to start the repair work. 

Begin with unbolting the door striker place using the number 3 cross-tip screwdriver. Then remove the door striker plate by sliding it off. In case the slider door is stuck, pry it off. But do it carefully as putting extra pressure can damage the area with the door striker plate. 

Moving further, clean the striker plate and install a new door striker plate. Once everything is done, you can check the strike plate. Make sure that the door shuts and seals properly. Then adjust the plate properly.

4. Lack of Lubrication

Your doors feel tight and not open or close properly when there is any lack of lubrication. Mostly, they just need a quick lubrication to get back to life. If you hear squeaking sounds with a jammed door while moving with its hinge, it’s a sign of some lubrication needed on the hinge. Some machine oil can do the job nicely.

You never want to cancel your driving due to the doors won’t shut. Always inspect your car door and get solutions when you face any problem. 

Solution: If the car door is not closing properly due to a lack of lubrication, you must adequately oil the car door parts.

Other Causes of Car Door Not Shutting Properly

The Door is Frozen Shut

People encounter this problem usually during the winter month. In this situation, the moisture from the snow comes into the door. It forms a temporary bond between the door sill. 

If this happens, you must not force open or close the door. If you close or open the door anyway, you could pull away from the surrounding of the door. It will further invite water leaks and wind noise. 

The best possible thing to do is put deicing spray between the door and car body followed by the door handle. Wait for some time and gently open the door. 

How to Fix a Broken Door Handle

When your car door doesn’t shut manually, your handle can’t be working correctly. Functioning handles are necessary for taking to open your doors. You have a problem on your handle once these are fragile or aren’t moving smoothly. Don’t ignore both interior and exterior parts as well.

Well, fixing the broken door handle depends on the type of vehicle. You can access the inner door mechanism under the door card. Now, most of the door cards can be removed with the help of a special trim remover. Remember that some door cards use screws to secure them, while others use clips into the place. 

If the door card of your vehicle uses plastic clips, you must slowly pry against the door card edge. Continue doing this till the panel starts to lift.

After the door card is removed, you can analyze each door handle to ensure it’s working correctly. Check if the level is properly attached to the door latch and handle. 

For reference, you can check the side of the door you are working on with the opposite side.

Car Door won’t Shut – How to Fix the Problem

Car Door won't Shut - How to Fix the Problem

A car door that doesn’t stay shut is highly risky and possibly open at high-speed driving. It’s suggested to avoid driving a car that has the door close not properly. Here’s some solutions to solve this problem when your car door isn’t closed.

The latches are one of the most common causes of car doors won’t closing. But, fixing the latches is very easy and rapid so that you can do it within some tools. The stuck and accidentally closed latch, these two are simply fixable.

How to Fix a Stuck Latch

For the stuck latch, spread some oil, silicone spray or WD-40 into the latch mechanism on the door. Let soak in, then rub it all over the visible parts with clean cloth. Once you notice any rust on the latch parts, use steel wool to remove the rust. Open the latch with the door handle and observe how it works now.

How to Fix a Closed Latch

Look at the improper working door and notice how it’s oriented for accidentally closed latch. Now look at the other door and observe how their latch is oriented. Get a screwdriver hold the door handle and use a screwdriver to rotate the latch on the open position. Get somebody to help you to hold the open handle when you move the latch. Now try to open and close the door multiple times. If it’s working properly, you can solve the problem.

Occasionally, the latch gets stuck due to the dirt or rust. You can use a low viscosity oil to lubricate the parts. This will help you to open the latch of doors. Hence it is still not open, you have to replace the assembly of the latch.

If these two steps don’t work, you have to work on the striker to solve the problem. Accordingly, loosen the striker simply with a wrench to move, not to detach it. Press the striker and move around it till the latch works properly when the door is closed. 

Did you follow all of these steps and still the same story? What well to do about it? Simple. The affected part simply needs some lubrication to get them back to life. In that case, properly giving them lubrication will solve the problem. You can rapidly notice the remedy once you take care of it. Hopefully, you can work out yourself most of the issues. Some mechanical problems may require the mechanic. 

How Does Car Door Latch Mechanism Work?

The door latch designs have been developed over the years. Modern cars’ designs have come with a mechanism, which keeps the door secure to the adjacent jamb. Also, the door should be opened during an accident when a collision occurs. 

This mechanism is accomplished by using a rotating tooth latch or jaw-type latch. What happens is that when the car door closes, one of these latch types strongly grips the u-shaped striker bar on the door jamb or headed striker pin. 

When a person tries to open the car door by pulling the handle or door lever, this latch mechanism releases the jaw. And thus, the door opens. After that, the latch mechanism kept the door in an unlatched position.

How to Fix Hinges 

If the car has a previous history of accidents, chances are its door may have deformed. If this happens, the door’s components would not fit appropriately while closing the door. 

You get a chance to make a bit of adjustment. You can loosen the door hinges using a tool for better results. Keep someone with you while doing this work because car doors are heavy. 

If the problem is still not fixed, get expert help. They have the required equipment that can be used for pulling the door frame correctly. 

How to Fix Car Door Electronics 

A faulty car central locking system is likely to occur due to electrical writing issues. You can fix it by changing the car’s battery. You can also check the wiring of the door that is not working properly. In case you notice a broken wire, get it fixed professionally. 

Signs of Failing Door Latch

Three major signs can help you understand that the door latch of your vehicle is failing. 

Door Does Not Stay Closed 

One of the major signs of a failing door latch is when the car door does not stay closed. When the vehicle door closes, the anchor and latch interlock to close the door. 

However, if the latch mechanism fails, it will not secure the anchor. Meaning the door will not stay closed for a long time. If this happens, you must fix the problem yourself or get professional help because driving such a car is not safe. 

Door Needs to Slammed Hard to Close 

Do you have to slam the door too hard to close it? If so, the door of your car has got a problem. If the door is in good condition, it will close gently to moderate force. 

Instead of slamming the car door too hard, you should take the vehicle to professionals. Excessive slamming will eventually damage the car door. 

Door Does not Open

A stuck door is another sign of a failing door latch. If the car door gets stuck closed and does not open quickly, you must take your vehicle to professionals. 

How to Open Car Door Safely 

If you do not want your car door to give up soon, you must close it properly. Here’s how you can do it:

Take a Look

Taking a look at the surroundings to open the door safely is the first rule of driving. Not just through the car door mirror, but you must also analyze the surroundings directly through your eyes. Check the blind spot. 

Open the Door

Opening the car door is so simple that even a child could do it. But correctly opening the car door is an overlooked technique. Whether you are in a hurry or not, always grab the handle with your left hand and pull the trigger with your right hand. 

Keep Reliability 

Many car drivers cannot react to a sudden or quick door opening. If you do this, you could damage the door of your car and another person’s car as well. Thus, you must not rush. 

Firstly, you must open the door a small distance. And if the road is clear, open wider. 

Adjust the Distance 

If you are parking in a narrow slot and expecting the car door to open properly, you are making a mistake. You must adjust the distance before parking so that you can get out of the car without any hassle. 

Besides this, you should also regularly take your car for maintenance. This way, you can know about possible door issues that could occur. And even better, you could fix them before they occur. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What would cause a car door not to shut?

A car door may not shut due to a misaligned latch, damaged or bent door hinges, a faulty door lock actuator, or an obstruction in the door’s path. Inspect these components and repair or replace them as needed.

Can you drive a car with the door open?

If your car door is not closing correctly, you must get it fixed. If you don’t fix the issue quickly, it could result in costly repairs. Also, driving a car with the door open is not open. Doing so can lead to serious injuries. 
Similarly, if the car door is missing, it’s advised to take the vehicle to the mechanic. Driving a car with a missing door or improper door closing can also cause structural damage to the vehicle.

What to do when the car door doesn’t shut?

One of the easiest ways to make the car door shut properly is by lubricating the door. When the door components soak a little in oil, they function better. Use a cloth to rub the visual parts to remove any dirt. Certain times, dirt and dust also stop the door from closing properly. 

What happens if you open the car while driving? 

One of the easiest ways to make the car door shut properly is by lubricating the door. When the door components soak a little in oil, they function better. Use a cloth to rub the visual parts to remove any dirt. Certain times, dirt and dust also stop the door from closing properly. 

How much does it cost to repair a car door?

The repair cost of damaged car doors depends on multiple factors. But if the damage is serious, you would have to pay from $200 to $1500.


Car door wont shut put yourself in danger while driving at high speed. Winter seasons, faulty door latch,  lack of lubrication, broken actuators these all are the most common causes. These can be reasons for both mechanics and electronics. Wish fully, you can fix most of the problems yourself. Some mechanical issues may need the mechanic.

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