How to Fix a Car Door That Doesn’t Shut? (3+ Expert Solutions)

This article will address the “my car door won’t shut” issue. While explaining the problem, we will explain how a person can fix the faulty door.

The car door doesn’t lock when it is being handled carelessly by the driver and the passengers. If the door is being closed inappropriately, then the latch and striker mechanism might get damaged, due to which the door won’t close. However, this is one of the reasons behind the door not closing. There can be different reasons as well behind the door fault.

Reasons behind why my car door won’t shut.

  • Latch Jaw is stuck in one position.
  • The jaw doesn’t stay in the latched position.
  • Latch Jaw and striker misaligned.
  • The Jaw area is Corroded.

Latch Jaw is stuck in one position.

If the car door isn’t closing, then the first thing you must notice is the latch jaw. Once you have examined the latch jaw of the defective door, compare it with the door which has a proper latch jaw. If there is a fault in the latch jaw, you can follow the below-mentioned steps to fix the problem.

  • During observing the jaw, use one hand to pull the door handle just like you pull it when opening the door. This will release the jaw into a fully open position. Then release the door handle and check whether the jaw stays in an open position.
  • If the jaw doesn’t stay in an open position, then with the help of a screwdriver, attempt to push the jaw to the closed position. It will easily move into a closed position. Once it goes into close position, pull the door handle again. The jaw will come back in an open position.
  • Test the door for opening and closing. The problem is resolved if the door latch closes and opens three or four times.
  • If these steps fail to resolve the problem, then your car’s door latch is defective, and you may need to 

The jaw doesn’t stay in the latched position. 

Check the latch of the door, which is defective. There might be a latch issue if the jaw is in any position apart from being fully open. To fix this issue, you should follow these steps.

  • Arrange a screwdriver, with its help, and push the jaw to the fully open position. Then move the jaw back into a closed position. The jaw should place itself in a closed position. 
  • Observe the jaw pull the door handle. When you pull the handle, the jaw will be released, and you will open the vehicle’s door. However, if pulling the door handle doesn’t release the latch, then your door latch mechanism has failed. Moreover, there can be a scenario where the latch mechanism at the jaw is dry, and lubrication is required.
  • For lubricating the latch, you will need an assistant for holding the door opening lever out. With the help of penetrating oil, spray the lubricant on the pivot locations of the jaw. Once you have sprayed the lubricant, move the jaw back and forth a few times with the help of a screwdriver to evenly spread the oil on the jaw. 
  • After lubricating, the jaw will be in a closed position. In such a scenario, the person needs to pull the door handle, and the jaw will snap back into an open position. If the jaw doesn’t go back, the latch mechanism is damaged.

Latch Jaw and striker misaligned.

The striker is present on the vehicle frame. If the door is hit by a vehicle or an object, then a dent will happen on the door. Due to the bend in the door, the striker may get bent. In such a scenario, the door won’t close. Moreover, due to a dent in the door, hinges might get loosened, which will make the door go out of alignment. To fix this issue, you need to take the vehicle to a mechanic who will realign the car’s door. This is a difficult process for an amateur person.

The Jaw area is Corroded.

In older vehicles with older paints, the area around the striker gets corrupted due to constant exposure to water. Thus if the corrosion rises beyond a certain point, the door won’t close. To solve this problem, you need to follow the following procedure.

  • With the help of a screwdriver, bring the jaw of the latch into the open position. Then move the jaw into the closed position. While taking the jaw into a closed position, you will hear a click sound. Once it reaches the closed position, it will be firmly held.
  • Find someone to assist you and ask them to pull the door handle. With the help of penetrating oil WD40, spray the lubricant on the pivot points of the jaw. Work the jaw three to four times to evenly spread the lubricant. Now push the jaw back into a closed position and clean the excess lubricant.
  • With the jaw in a closed position, pull the door handle. If the lubricant has solved the problem, the jaw will roll back into an open position. However, if the jaw doesn’t roll back, the latch mechanism needs to be replaced.


In this article, we have explained the problem of “my car door won’t shut.” While explaining the problem, we have mentioned the different reasons for the car door not closing, and in addition, we have also explained the ways for fixing the problems. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): my car door won’t shut

What causes power locks to stop working?

A power door lock can become inoperative due to a bad switch, solenoid, wiring, and mechanical problems. Therefore, you should take the car to the mechanic to get it fixed in such scenarios.

Why is my car not locking?

The reasons behind the car won’t lock are:-

  • Bad programming in the fob
  • A blown fuse
  • A bad solenoid
  • A broken wire

Why do I need to slam my car doors?

To keep the water out, the doors have thick seals that need to be compressed when the door is closed. Therefore creating a continuous seal around the door requires greater force provided by slamming the door hard.

Do Power locks have a fuse?

There are three main components of the door lock system that might fail, which will result in the faulty door lock. One of them is the blown a fuse. A fuse is a low resistance resistor that creates overcurrent protection. If the system gets more than the required current, the fuse will break, and the circuit will break down.