Opening Up About Door Problems

By: Auto Guy Email
By: Auto Guy Email

A problem with your vehicle door can be dangerous, especially if it won’t close because the latch is stuck shut.

A stuck latch is the sort of problem that we see all of the time, but it’s usually an easy fix. All you have to do to get the latch to release is to put some pressure on the latch mechanism with a screwdriver as you pull on the door handle. Doing those two things together will usually get the latch to release and the door should work properly once again.

If you are getting a wind noise by your door, your rubber weather-strips might be causing the problem. Check to see if they are torn, which can definitely cause wind noise. If they look good, make sure that the door is closing tightly against the body of the vehicle.

To check that out, take a dollar bill and shut the door with the bill between the weather-strip and the body. The bill should be hard to pull out. If it pulls out without any resistance, the door needs to be adjusted in tighter to get rid of that annoying wind noise.

When the door needs to come in just a little bit to get it to seal better, you can sometimes adjust what’s called the striker. The striker is what the latch hooks on to when you shut the door. Loosen the bolts that hold the striker to the pillar on the vehicle and move the striker in just a bit. Tighten the bolts back up and try the door again. Hopefully the door is now nice and tight and the wind noise is gone for good.

Sometimes a door is sagging and that causes it to stick when you try to open it. That sort of problem is usually caused by bad hinges. To check the hinges on the door, grab the rear of the door and try to wiggle the door up and down. If there is any movement at all, the hinges are probably shot and some parts are going to need to be replaced.

If the hinges aren’t too bad, sometimes a shop can adjust a sagging door without replacing the hinges at all. There is a tool that they can use that fits in between the latch and the striker and it is then used to pull up on the rear part of the door to get it back in line again. Once that adjustment is done, the door usually shuts like new again.

If you need help getting your doors fixed up, your mechanic might be able to help. But many times you will need to go to a body shop for door problems because they have the tools and experience that is necessary for these types of repairs.


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