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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

The Dangers Of Broken Car Door Locks

by Wesley July 4, 2022

Car door lock repair is one of the most important services your vehicle will need to keep it safe and running smoothly. It will provide you as the driver with peace of mind knowing that your car is secure at all times and not susceptible to attempted theft.

A lot of people fail to realize their car’s value can be directly tied to car door lock repairs, which puts further emphasis on hiring the right person. Automotive locksmiths are often the best option for car door lock repairs because of their experience and expertise.

Going with a trusted professional is a smart move when deciding who to call for car door lock repairs. You want someone who knows what they are doing and can solve every problem you have at an affordable price. This article will explain how to deal with car door lock repair in these situations:

  1. Car Door Won’t Close
  2. Broken Car Door Handle
  3. Car Door Replacement

Car door lock repair is certainly not limited to these three issues. As you will learn throughout our discussion, car door lock repair offers more benefits for preventing theft and keeping you safe. Before we get into those themes, let’s answer a few common questions about car door lock repair.


What causes a car door lock to break?

There could be many reasons why a car door lock breaks. The culprit could be inside the door paneling, part of the door lock mechanism, or a broken car door handle. There is also the possibility the problem is too great, and the only solution is a complete car door replacement.

It can be difficult to speculate what the real problem is without a professional opinion. Assessing the situation is what a locksmith would do before performing any kind of car door lock repair. With years worth of experience, locksmiths know exactly where to check so they can quickly get to work.

Who should I call when my car door won’t shut?

Picking up the phone and calling someone when your car door won’t shut can be a stressful situation. You’re not sure what the problem is, and you need your car functioning properly before you feel safe driving it anywhere.

This is why auto locksmiths exist. Rather than having someone without the right credentials take a look at your vehicle, it’s best to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. And the best part is most locksmiths are mobile with direct service to wherever your location is.

Why is my car door not latching?

Like a lot of the problems that require car door lock repair, there’s no definitive solution. The issue could simply be a broken car door latch. Sometimes it’s an easy fix with only having to replace a part or two, or maybe the latch just needs a little bit of lubrication.

The problem could also be that you have a car door latch stuck in the lock position. Luckily, you can try to open the door from both sides on your own by using the physical key, remote, and interior locks. If this doesn’t work, you might need access to the lock assembly inside the door.

This becomes increasingly more complicated because now you have to use a slim jim or some other tool that can slip inside the door without removing the panels. We will get more into detail about these types of procedures later, but this is not a job for an amateur.

How much does car door lock repair cost?

Every situation is priced on an individual basis because some jobs will inevitably be more labor-intensive than others. You should plan to spend somewhere in the ballpark of $120 minimum. Prices vary based on the situation, and there may be a cheaper fix that doesn’t require car door replacement.

1. Car Door Won’t Close 

You just pulled into your garage or parked your vehicle on the street after work. It’s finally time to kick your feet up and relax before eating some dinner and reflecting on a long day. But as you’re ready to walk inside, you suddenly realize that your car door won’t close.

Now you have to deal with this dilemma instead of beginning your night of peace and tranquility. You might be asking yourself, why is this happening to me now? You’re so used to the door shutting perfectly every time that this feels like a major inconvenience.

In reality, fixing a car door that won’t close can be relatively easy. But first, you must diagnose the problem as to why your car door won’t close. There are likely two main reasons why the car door won’t close properly – a stuck latch or a closed latch.

If your door opens correctly but can’t close without getting stuck, then you’re likely dealing with a stuck car door latch. This can occur from natural wear and tear over a long period of opening and closing the door. Like we talked about earlier, stuck car door latches can be solved by finicking around with both the exterior and interior door locks and the key remote.

The next step is lubricating the latch if your car door still won’t close. Any oil lubricant will do the job. However, using one of the best door lubricants will yield better results. Simply spray the lubricant into the latch mechanism while the door is open and allow it to soak in. You might even have to rub the oil into any rusty parts with a microfiber cloth.

Sometimes the issue will be a closed latch rather than a stuck latch. This is a situation where the latch may accidentally be closed when it should be open. Potential causes could be an electrical glitch or a mistake made by someone during car door lock repair. A locksmith will never have this issue because car door lock repair is something they’ve done countless times.

Either way, if you have a car door with a closed latch, open another door of your vehicle that’s functional to see how the latch is supposed to look. A working door will have a latch that appears to have open jaws. These jaws catch the door jamb anchor and rotate into a closed position to secure the door.

If the latch’s jaws are already closed, it can’t engage with the anchor, and your car door won’t close. You can attempt to fix the issue by taking a screwdriver and holding the door handle in an open position. As you pull the handle, rotate the latch with your screwdriver into the correct alignment.

For safety precautions, you might want to ask someone if they can help you hold the door open while you’re doing this. The last thing you need is getting a hand or finger caught in the door jamb. Once you feel like you moved the latch into the right position, test the door handle. The latch should open, and your car door won’t close problem should be solved.

Even after doing all of these steps, it’s possible your car door won’t close, and you need to call a locksmith. That’s okay because spending a little bit of money for car door lock repair is going to end up saving you money long-term by fixing the problem for good.

2. Broken Car Door Handle

In many cases, car door lock repair comes down to an issue with the handle. When you pull on a door handle, it should extend a cable or metal rod that disengages the door latch from an anchor. A broken car door handle that fails to do this typically has some sort of broken cable or metal rod.

Sometimes your door handle stops working because some of the screws are loose. If this is the case with your broken door handle, you can take a screwdriver and tighten them up to ensure the handle’s mechanics are secured and working correctly. Most people would prefer this because the problem ends quickly with a tool everyone knows how to use.

Unfortunately, if the root of the problem lies in a faulty door handle, you will need to get professional assistance. This is when an auto locksmith becomes your best friend. For a cheaper rate, a locksmith will come directly to your location and fix a broken car door handle on-the-spot.

A locksmith eliminates having to pay a large sum to tow your car to the nearest auto body shop or car dealership, or even worse, driving somewhere with the possibility of your door flying open. Locksmiths address all car door lock repairs in person for your convenience and safety.

A broken car door handle is not an excuse to put your life in danger by driving around in a car that isn’t properly secure. Not only do you have to worry about it opening unexpectedly on the road, but someone can easily break in while it’s parked. Car door lock repair is a preventative measure, especially with a broken car door handle.

3. Car Door Replacement

When most, if not all, of these car door lock repair methods don’t work, it’s probably time to concede that you need a full car door replacement. The problem is clearly beyond a broken car door handle or a car door won’t close.

The tactics mentioned above have been proven by industy professionals for car door lock repair. If they don’t seem to be solving your problem, there may be other problems in play. Car door replacement is necessary for the following instances:

  • Car Door Misalignment
  • Broken Car Door Hinges
  • Faulty Car Door Electronics 

With car door alignment, the door must be perfectly aligned with your vehicle’s body and positioned at a certain angle. This issue can be determined by a simple visual inspection, as misalignment is often the result of a car door that droops a little bit when open.

In some cases, the door and fender might appear to be uneven with one another. When this is confirmed, the first thing you should do is check your door’s hinges. The hinges, much like a broken car door handle, might be worn down, damaged by corrosion, or even dented from past impact.

If the hinges look a little rusty or clogged with dirt, you can try lubricating them. There’s a strong chance, as with broken car door handles, that a certified professional such as a locksmith will have to make any advanced repairs. The most advanced of these repairs would be car door replacement.

Defective car door electronics can be another complication that prompts car door replacement. These would be the inner wires and fuses that send power to your windows, locks, and other instrument panels of the door. Short-circuits can prevent your locks from disengaging when the door is open.

Trying to fix these electrical issues on your own can be very tricky. Unless you have prior experience with electrical wiring and fuses, you should be more inclined to seek professional help. Taking apart the car door paneling and messing around with items nonchalantly is the easiest way to perpetuate the problem.

Car door replacement isn’t an exact science. Nobody can determine if it’s needed outside of automotive experts with years worth of experience. That’s why it’s in your best interest to call somebody within the industry who can give you a concrete answer on whether car door replacement is necessary.

Closing Advice 

Car door lock repair can be a complicated process. We have discussed scenarios in which a car door won’t close, a car handle is broken, and when car door replacement makes sense. In each of these situations, an auto locksmith will have the skills and knowledge to solve your car door lock repair issue.

The most important component of car door lock repair is making sure your doors are secure and working properly. There’s nobody who can achieve more consistent success more than a locksmith. Keeping you safe and your vehicle in the best working condition will always be their number one priority.

Category: Automotive, Safety & Security

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