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DIY Fix & Repair For Car Doors That Will Not Close

You are out and about and your car door suddenly won’t close and stay shut. Or perhaps your car is just parked under your carport in your driveway and as you prepare to leave for a short trip. You open a back passenger car door to load in the kids. Surprise, your car door will not stay closed. What are you going to do?

You should find the following information on how to fix car doors helpful for the majority of cars, trucks and vehicles.

If your car door will not stay shut CALL the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) @ 1-888-327-4236 to file a complaint! OR
File A Complaint Online!

Repairing A Car Door That Will Not Latch Closed

Many older car models have what I would describe as less complicated strictly mechanical door latching mechanisms that are not so technically and electronically integrated into the car’s computer and other system features. Compared to most of the newer car models these older vehicles are much easier to fix and often the repair is very simple. Older cars are the holly grill for the do it yourself car door repair. Unfortunately these easy to fix vintage cars are disappearing from the road at an alarming rate.

If you own a newer make and model vehicle you are most likely out-of-luck when it comes to an easy do-it-yourself fix. Most newer cars have electronically activated door latching and locking mechanisms that are intricately integrated with the vehicle’s electrical system and computer. These include a host of convenient bells and whistles.

Electrically activated door locks, in-motion automatic door locking triggers, on dash door ajar warnings, overhead dome and dashboard lights are common accessories on most vehicles today. All are combined and/or dependent on your vehicles door latch working correctly. These convenient and safety accessories complicate the diagnosis and repair of vehicle doors that will not stay closed. Hardly a novice DIY job!

Options For Fixing Vehicle Doors That Will Not Latch Shut And Stay Closed

The repair options below will cover the majority of situations where vehicle door latches are not working.

    3 Kinds Of Car Door Latch Repairs

  • Option 1: Rotate The Door Latch Back Into Correct Position. This should be your first go to choice for repairing a car, truck or vehicle door latch of any kind, make or model. It is simple, straight forward, and also serves as a general diagnostic test. All you need is a small diameter stiff rod or bar of some kind to complete this repair or test the latch to determine if it is actually broken internally or just stuck in the incorrect rotational position. Almost any screwdriver works well for this type of fix but a stick, a pen, or similar object will often do it too.

    Swing the door open and take a very close look at the actual latch opening on the edge door itself, NOT the door jam. This is where the rotational portion of the hook-shaped latch is located on most doors. When the door is open the correct position for the hook is open so that it will accept the latch bar located on the door jam into the hook and then rotate closed when you close the door.

    If you find the latch in the closed position do the following. While lifting the door handle, as if you are opening the door, rotate the latch back to the open position. This will fix a car door latch that has rotationally malfunctioned. Note: This is the only simple and easy method to fix a car door that will not stay closed that I know of. If anyone knows of any other method(s) please comment on this post.

    The broken door latch test. Using your tool of choice and without lifting the door handle check to see if the hook-shaped latch will rotate freely to the open and closed positions. If it rotates freely then the latch is almost certainly broken internally and will require a fairly major repair effort to replace a broken car door latch. On most vehicles you will likely need to remove the door panel to even get to the latching mechanism. Warning: door panels can be very difficult to remove and put back on without doing visible damage.

  • Option 2: Temporary Car Door Fix
  • Obviously a car door that will not stay shut is dangerous and represents a liability as well as a safety concern. Until you can get your vehicle to the shop or while your are waiting til you can afford the repair your vehicle should not be driven around with a car door freely swinging open and closed. The temporary solution is to tie, strap or bungee the door closed. You must draw the door very tight replicating a normally closed door or your door ajar warning system, the dome and dash lights, and the annoying warning noise maker will remain on and active; potentially draining your car’s battery. I suggest using ratcheting tie down straps with hook ends to draw your door or doors closed. You can purchase them cheaply, around $11 for a set of 2, at most Walmart stores in the automotive department. I have seen them priced at around $20 for just a single strap in hardware and automotive stores. These will enable you to easily draw most doors tight enough to trick your car into thinking the door is closed properly.

  • Option 3: Replace or Repair The Door Latching Mechanism

    As mentioned previously, most door panels are difficult to remove without doing cosmetic damage to the panel, breaking panel door fasteners, and quite possibly damaging some inner door parts or electronics. With the cost of this repair (parts and labor) hovering around $300 and up it is understandable why you would want to consider it as a DIY car door repair job.

    Being formerly employed in a repair services industry I have encountered many DIY repairs where do-it-yourselfers were unable to complete the repair, did damage, and in some cases the damage they caused could not be repaired properly short of replacement.

    If your vehicle has any of the above mentioned car door accessories my sincere suggestion and best advice is that you take your car to an authorized service dealer that corresponds with your vehicle’s make and model where they have the correct parts, tools, expertise, and technical instruction manuals to correctly repair your broken car door.

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Ford Fiesta Defect: Whopper Knockers When Side Doors Open

NOTICE: Sudden Unexpected Failure Of Ford Fiesta 2012 Car Door Latching Mechanisms.

The following is intended for immediate release (07-07-2014) as a public service warning about a potential Ford Fiesta 2012 defect. Sudden and unexpected failures of Ford Fiesta car door latching mechanisms has been reported to Ford Motor Company. This author has personal knowledge that this failure has occurred in at least 1 known and verified Ford Fiesta vehicle so far. If your car door will not close or latch read this notice.

To date failures have occurred in both rear side passenger doors. Failure of these two latching mechanisms were nearly simultaneous and actually may have been. Vehicle owner believes the duplicate failures to be connected in some way. The failures were sudden and without warning. There were no pre-failure indications. No sticking, closing, shutting or latch rotation issues… just sudden latch failure for each door. Are these defective Ford Fiesta door latches a RECALL waiting to happen?

WARNING: Do NOT allow anyone to ride in your Ford Fiesta without fastening their seatbelt.

This potential highway traffic safety hazard should be taken very seriously even though further elaboration of this notice is heavy with humor.

Driving Miss Knockers

Normally we would ‘Not’ expect an otherwise smooth ultra sleek vehicle with undamaged body, that is about as streamlined as a polished and waxed bullet, to be lik’ened to sporting a pair of knockers. But in this case the bizarre fits. Those knockers really are whoppers and those whoppers really are knockers. My racy Fiesta now sports a pair of unharnessed latch-less Double D Rear Side Door Knockers due to defect. Not just one but both doors have malfunctioning door latches. Could this be a coincidence? I seriously doubt it.

When are Ford Fiesta doors NOT doors? When they are defective and remain ajar they become hit or “Miss Knockers”

Killer Whopper Knockers!

These naughty knockers can kill and make it look like an accident. What I’m really talking about here is unbridled doors engaging in free swinging backdoor action. My Ford Fiesta’s pair of flapping backside driver and passenger doors just won’t hook-up even though they swing freely. They do it without protection. They have no shame, no sense of decency, and absolutely no concern for the safety of others. This little gal is dangerous! I am very thankful that one of my grand kids was not resting against one of her trap-doors when a latch failed!

Doors On My Fiesta Refuse To Take A Siesta

Normally our experience with car doors leads us to believe they are failsafe! They shut and remain shut. They latch closed and remain closed. Undamaged car doors can be locked closed to siesta securely in place. But NOT the 2 rear side trap-doors on my Ford. Her doors are double D-fective and busted.

“Her knockers are steely hard swingers… able to whop, knock, and whack whomever and whatever is in their path”

Miss Knockers (my nick for my Ford Fiesta) is doors-out for attention. This street stalker knows how to trollop the streets. She is an exhibitionist with an uninhibited open backdoor policy. Flaunting her “Double Defective doors” she will flash and expose her rear seat to anyone and everyone while parading along the highway.


Not wanting to be taken for a ride and wanting to avoid further risk, I must look into my auto insurance policy. I need to determine whether my backdoor swingers are covered or if I need a rider to hold harmlessly against my sweetheart’s promiscuous backdoor behavior.

Bound To Achieve Temporary Fix

With behavior like this she was asking for it. So, I decided to give it to her. To let her know who’s boss I changed into my ‘mechanics uniform’ which just happens to be confidently embroidered with the name “Master“. I won’t go into details here but suffice it to say, I tied her doors closed and said goodbye to those whopper ass-kicking killer door knockers.

Warranty Repair Request

With only 35,772 miles on Miss Knockers when the door latches failed this matter is still currently (07-07-2014) in the hands of Ford Motor Company warranty request case #CAS-4651084-H7G4M8 and my closest Authorized Ford Dealer, Colorado River Ford in Kingman Arizona. A complaint was also filed with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Office of Defects Investigation, confirmation number (ODI Number) is: 10607751

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Ford Defect Warning: The Mysterious Ford Fiesta Double D’s

Despite her sexy aerodynamic styling and high mpg rating, all the while delivering very feisty performance, my Ford Fiesta has serious backdoor problems. I call them the “Double D’s”. She may be easy, light on the gas, and spew little form her tailpipe, but she cannot holster her dancing rear side doors.

“These big free swinging flappers just bounce right back in your face!”

As if it’s not rude enough for her backdoor to remain wide open seat exposed, she cannot holster either of her backside passenger wing-like doors. The snatch of the latch does not catch. *See photo at end of article. Neither of my Ford Fiesta’s rear passenger doors will latch closed. Both door latches are fully “busted” and those broken car doors won’t stay shut. Short of bondage, her racy flip-flop flappers just won’t stop swaying in the breeze no matter what I try. They just won’t stay harnessed.

The Mysterious Double D-fects

My racy Ford has quite the pair of Double D’s! Double defects that is. My babe is dangerous! Her swinging “double d” troubles have the potential to kill.

You wouldn’t want to get whacked by one of her firm flappers while her 4 rough riding tread hugging rubbers stalk the road. Although she has only been riding for 35,772 miles, her endurance a virtue, my feisty Fiesta is a hazard to herself as well as others.

Here comes the mystifying part. She is such a newish 2012 Model Ford Fiesta with no accidents, a young shapely undamaged body, and no evidence of assaults, bruising, or as much as a dented gash in her vibrant blue hued skin. How did this otherwise voluptuous appearing vehicle acquire 2 malfunctioning door latch mechanisms within 12 hours of each other? Especially when you take into account that 1 backdoor saw little ingress egress activity? I can testify to the fact that fares seldom danced in and out of THAT rear door.

It seems like there is some sort of interdependent failure involved? Should I worry that if she suffers a blowout on her front left tire that to complete the job she might feel compelled to blow one of the others? If her front windshield gets smashed will her back window shatter out of sympathy?

Just imagine this bad-girl bouncing, bucking, riding the road with her flailing wings spread wide, seats exposed, knocking-up and whacking anyone in her path. Her racy wing-like doors unable to come to a close as she beckons in breezy gestures to be cuffed and bound before she injures herself and others.

Wings Bound With Straps On For Safety

With 2 rear doors unable to come to a close this feisty Fiesta was not ride worthy. My quick solution was to whip out a pair of soft braided ratchet tie-down straps with S-Hook ends and then strap-em-on my honey’s wavering wings. With the straps on her cinched-up snug her rear doors were closed to access, the dome lights turned off, and the LED in-dash door ajar warning with moaning complement disappeared.

After traveling 300 miles for a family birthday celebration on the very same morning the car doors malfunctioned (06-26-2014) my car had exactly 36,072 miles on it when I stopped in the Ford dealer service isle. That’s 72 miles out of warranty according to the out of town Authorized Ford Dealer I visited. They indicated Ford may not cover the door repairs unless they made an exception to the warranty.

As of 07-03-2014 this warranty issue is pending with Ford Motor Company under case #CAS-4651084-H7G4M8. A complaint has also been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defects Investigation, confirmation number (ODI Number) is: 10607751.

We can:
harness the horsepower of a stallion,
harness the energy of a scorching sun,
harness the power of wild raging rivers,
but Ford cannot seem to get it right harnessing my feisty Fiesta’s pair of Double-Defective swingers.”

If Ford Motor Company does not correct these malfunctioning free flapping doors under warranty or safety recall I can’t help but feel that I am the one who will be taken for a ride!

Author’s Note:
While the prevailing tone of this article is satirical parody and innuendo (in-your-endo for those still with me here :) the reality of these malfunctioning defective doors is NOT at all humorous.

Photo Of Defective Ford Fiesta 2012 Door Latch

Defective Ford Fiesta 2012 Door Latch

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