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Car Door Latch Problem

The car door latch is a simple mechanism that apparently causes a lot of problems. This is the device that is keeping the car door shut and detaches it to open. It operates by the use of a couple of levers and other components that are jointed together to secure the car door. The majority of door latches are actually handles that are attached to actuator arms which are placed inside the door frame. The arm pulls directly or indirectly, depending on the connection, on the latch. When the latch is released or pulled in place, the door can be opened. When it is not use the latch shuts automatically. This is a safety requirement for all cars.

A door latch that has a problem can cause you trouble when trying to get in the car. In case of an accident, if you have a troublesome latch, it may prevent you from exiting the vehicle, therefore turning a little problem into a life threatening danger.

Car Door Latch Problem

Car door latches that are malfunctioning are the subject of typical complains usually herd by car owners. Most of these problems occur when dealing with older vehicles. In some cases the doors can be opened with great difficulty, since it takes a great amount of effort to activate the latch release mechanism. After much usage latches can become very loud when you open the door or close it. An even worse problem is when the latch get’s stuck preventing you from opening or closing the door at all. Usually cold weather trigger most of the problems.

The first symptoms of possible latch problems or malfunctions is the need to use extra force when opening or closing your car door. The clinking sound of metal hitting metal when opening or closing the car door is a sign of faulty latch positioning. Another sound that should give you an alarm signal is a squeaking or gritty sound.

One of the possible causes of latch deterioration is the usual wear down effect after much use. Problems like warped metal or other metallic components that tend to bend on the latch release mechanism. Powerful shocks usually cause bending to the latch mechanism, this may occur when slamming the door too much.  Another problem is with the water that tends to find its way inside the door jam may cause the latch to rust which makes the door much more difficult to open or close. Another water related problem is that, in cold weather, the water may freeze inside the door jam sealing your door shut.

A frozen shut door latch can cause you loads of trouble, luckily there is a simple (and funny) solution. Try heating up the door latch with a hair blower set on very hot. The effect is pretty satisfying and quite fast, depending on the hair blower and your aim of the door latch general area. Another solution is, if you can get into your car through another door, try warming up the car until the ice melts.

Rust can be treated quite easily with some rust remover and elbow grease, allowing your latch to work a lot better in absence of the friction caused by the rust. Using a lubricant or penetrating oil can work wonders against squeaking and not only, lubricant is necessary as part of your maintenance process destined to keep your doors in good working order.

Always remember, getting in a car that has a door latch problem may seem like nothing but it can become a life threatening danger in case of an accident.


One Response to Car Door Latch Problem

  1. p.chong says:

    my problem is that while greasing the latch i hit the plastic catch and it flipped inward. Now i can’t get it back into position to receive the striker. can’t close the door. must i remove everything to get at it or is there an easy solution?

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