How to Fix a Car Door Latch? A door latch allows you to open and close your car doors. It’s a minor yet critical feature. You wouldn’t be able to drive your car safely without it, and you wouldn’t be able to store anything inside owing to a lack of protection. In this post, we’ll look at how to repair a car door latch that won’t close or open properly.
How Does a Car Door Latch Mechanism Work?
A normal automobile door lock is made up of two parts: a female and a male. The female part is the latch mechanism, which is attached to the door. The male component consists of an anchor that is fastened to the vehicle’s body. Two jaws and a lever comprise the latch mechanism. The lever is linked to the door handle. When you pull on the door handle, the lever is pulled, causing the jaws to open and release from the anchor.
This enables the door to be opened. Other components of the door lock include door hinges that allow the door to move, electrical actuators that allow you to open and close the door with a remote, switches, linkages, and cables. If the car door latch assembly fails in any manner, you will either have a door that is stuck closed or a door that will not close at all.
How to Fix a Car Door Latch?
1. Screwdriver and Lubricant
Some modern vehicles feature plastic latch mechanisms that accidentally flip over when the door is slammed. This prevents the latch from closing. You’ll need a flathead screwdriver and WD-40 to fix it.
- Begin by unlocking the door.
- Pull and hold the external door handle as if you were opening the door.
- Insert a flathead screwdriver where the latch is located and push it forward (towards the vehicle).
- WD-40 should be sprayed inside. Don’t overdo it.
- Spread the lubrication by pushing the latch back and forth with your screwdriver.
- Test your automobile door while the latch is still open (pushed forward).
2. Door Realignment
After an accident, your automobile door may refuse to close. This is especially true if the door was damaged and had to be repaired. It can sag if it is misplaced or has weak hinges. As a result, the automobile door latch will not line up with the anchor.
The first step is to inspect the hinge fasteners. Tighten them if they are loose to return the door to its original position. A distorted door may be difficult to repair as a do-it-yourself project. In most circumstances, it is preferable to contact a professional and have them repair it using the proper tools.
3. Get Rid of Ice
A car door latch might freeze and refuse to close properly in temperatures below 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent the jaw from freely moving about. To begin, do not smash the door. Here are some alternatives.
- With the door open, repeatedly pull the external door handle. The latch’s back-and-forth movement will assist break the ice and remove the frozen latch.
- Turn on the air conditioner and set the setting to “High.” Close the door and leave the AC running for around 20 minutes. This will heat up the car’s interior and door assembly, causing the latch to loosen.
- Pour warm water on the outside of the door, near the latch. Do not use hot water. A fast temperature shift can cause plastic or glass materials to snap. The warm water will aid in melting the ice and releasing the lock.
4. Remove Corrosion to Fix a Car Door Latch
Corrosion can cause pieces of an automobile door latch assembly to become seized. This means that any moving pieces will remain in place. It’s a common problem in older vehicles that have been sitting in a humid environment for a long period. The best solution is to use a rust penetrant to wipe out the corrosion. Spray some WD-40 on the latch assembly and leave it for about 10 minutes. This will assist in releasing the latch. Check to see if your door closes properly.
5. Replace the Latch
If the latch mechanism is entirely broken and none of the preceding alternatives works, it’s time to replace it. A replacement latch assembly is available at your local auto parts store. But first, take off the door panel and examine the latch. Take note of any broken pieces.
The rods coming from the handle may have snapped at times. Purchase the necessary replacement parts at an auto parts store. If you aren’t confident enough to perform the repair yourself, contact a certified mechanic.
Why Won’t My Car Door Open From The Inside?
A damaged car door handle or lock assembly is the most typical cause of a car door that won’t open from the inside. If it’s a back door, make sure the child safety lock is turned on. The only method to completely diagnose this problem is to remove the door panel and detach the internal door handle.
You’ll be able to examine the lock assembly in greater detail this way. A damaged or frozen door lock, rusted or corroded parts, or filth and sludge accumulation could all be to blame. Take your vehicle to a skilled technician for a thorough diagnosis and repair.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car Door That Won’t Close?
The average cost of replacing a car door latch ranges between $50 and $200. Parts are priced differently depending on the brand, model, and year of your vehicle.
A replacement door actuator, for example, typically costs between $200 and $350. Labor costs are also determined by the broken part and its location. The mechanic may need to remove the door panel to check whether you have a faulty switch, burnt electrical components, or damaged and dangling connections.
Some auto repair businesses will charge you up to $300 if you own a fancy vehicle with unique parts and maintenance procedures. If you want to get an idea of how much it will cost, simply Google “auto door latch repair near me” and call a licenced mechanic.
As you may have discovered, determining how to repair a car door latch can be both simple and difficult. Many automobile door locks are intricately designed. As a result, it may take a long time for someone who lacks the experience to figure things out. I hope you found this post useful. Stay tuned for more auto guides.