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5 Automotive Door Issues You Might Encounter

What are the automotive door issues you might encounter?

  1. Malfunctioning door lock
  2. Faulty latch
  3. Rusting
  4. Dents
  5. Worn out hinges


When you talk about vehicle repairs and maintenance, the focus is often on the engine, air conditioning, and the like. The last thing on your mind would be the doors—unless the time comes when you can’t open or close them properly. To give you an idea, here are some of the common automotive door issues you might encounter. Read on.


Malfunctioning Door Lock

Instead of manually inserting the key into the car door, you might be used to pressing on the remote to lock and unlock it. In some cases, where the remote malfunctions, the interior buttons would still work. Check if it lights up as you press on it. If it doesn’t, you can replace the battery and try it again. If the door doesn’t unlock, the problem might lie in the key fob or the door lock actuator.

A door lock actuator is responsible for controlling the lock on your doors. It is the electric-powered motor that makes it possible to unlock your door when you press your keys or the buttons inside the car. If a wire is broken or there’s an electrical block, your locks might not work electronically.  You can have it inspected professionally by a technician.


Faulty Latch

Faulty Latch

If you notice that the car door opens properly but gets stuck when you’re closing it, there might be a problem with the latch. If it’s stuck, you might be able to fix it at home. You can spray an oil lubricant on the latch, let it soak for some time, and rub it off with a clean cloth.

Other than that, you might also notice that the latch accidentally closes by itself. Inspect the affected car door for the orientation of the latch and compared it with a functioning door. In most cases, the latch should have open jaws. If it’s closed, you can use a screwdriver to rotate the latch in the correct position. To know if the repair is successful, check if it opens when you pull the door handle.



Rusting occurs when iron-based metals undergo an electrochemical breakdown. This happens when the iron surface molecules react with oxygen, thereby producing iron oxide or rust.

Depending on the alloy components and the environment, the rate at which steel rusts will vary. Salts dissolved in water will also act as an electrolyte that can speed up rusting. In simpler words, this means that leaving your car exposed to saltwater for long periods can make it rust faster. Other than that, humidity also causes moisture in the air to mix with the metals, causing rust.

To prevent rusting, clean and dry your cars frequently to get rid of substances that can cause it. If your vehicle has door plugs that drain out the water, be sure to remove dirt and debris that can cause clogging. If water can’t get out, it will cause the vehicle doors to rust.




If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there might be a chance that the door suffered from damage, such as dents. From an aesthetic perspective, it’s not pleasing to look at. Fortunately, dents could be fixed in a variety of ways. You can use a sink plunger on small dents. Wet it first, place the plunger on the dent, and push and pull as you see fit.

For larger dents, you might need to take your car to a professional for repairs. The physical damage can affect the value if you plan to sell it in the future.

Other than that, dents produced in an accident might signify a deeper problem. For instance, if the automotive door is hit with a strong force, it might not just alter its shape but also strain the components. This can make it hard for you to open and close the door properly. In case of severe damage, a door replacement might be necessary.


Worn Out Hinges

When you’re having trouble opening and closing your car door, check its alignment. If it drops down when it’s open, there could be a problem with the hinges. This could happen due to regular wear and tear or an accident on the road.

When you encounter this problem, you can use a screwdriver to fasten the hinges. Another tip is to look for any signs of rusting or dirt. Use a cleaning product to get rid of surface contaminants. Other than that, you’ll also notice squeaking sounds when you’re moving the door. This might happen when the doors don’t close as smoothly as before. This is a sign that you need to lubricate the hinges.

If these tips still don’t work, you might need to have your car door inspected by a professional.


Key Takeaway

A car door is one of the neglected parts of a vehicle but they’re often exposed to force, environmental contaminants, and more. As one of the most-used components of your car, it’s important to have them inspected, cleaned, and maintained properly.

Keep these automotive door issues in mind, so the next time you encounter them, you’ll know if you need to repair or replace the car door.

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