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How do I fix my car door if it won't close?

I got out of my car and the door wouldn't latch when I closed it. It's a newer car, so it's definitely not just wear and tear—Is there any way to fix the door?

avatar
Sarah Gray · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Follow these steps to fix a car door that won’t latch:
  • Step 1: Open the car door and locate the latch.
  • Step 2: Hold the car door with one hand and use a flathead screwdriver to move the latch, pushing it toward the vehicle.
  • Step 3: Spray some WD-40 on the latch hinges 
  • Step 4: Work the latch back and forth.
Your
car door latch
could be malfunctioning for several reasons, including:
  • Latch accidentally closed while the door was open
  • Worn latch components
  • Rust on the latch mechanism
  • Damaged or bent latch components
  • Damaged anchor on the door jamb
  • Failed electronic components
What to do: An accidentally closed latch can be fixed with the relatively simple process outlined above. Any other issues will likely require professional help.
While you may be able to cover the repairs with
collision insurance
if your door latch issue is the result of an accident, you’ll have to pay a deductible that may cost more than the repair is worth.
Remember not to slam the door if the latch is stuck. Your
car insurance
definitely won’t cover any damages due to negligent treatment of your vehicle.
MORE: How to decide if you should take your car to a repair shop or mobile mechanic 
View full answer 
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