When your car door hinges begin squeaking, you want to find the cause and fix the problem immediately to silence the annoying noise. It is unlikely to go away on its own, so it is best to deal with the problem so that you can enjoy silence once again.
Door components and their roles
The first step is to open and close the door a few times until you are sure the door is where the sound is coming from. Three areas will generally cause the squeak: hinges, seals and the door check.
The hinge is the part that actually opens and closes the door. The hinge can rust over time, which will create a grating or squeaking sound.
The rubber seal is located around the perimeter of the door and ensures a complete close to prevent water and air from getting inside the vehicle. It often collects grime and dust, which can create a noise when you open the door.
The door check is what holds the car door to the frame and keeps the door from closing once it is opened. It is another area where you may hear the squeaking noise, which can be caused by rust or dirt buildup.
Steps to stop the squeaking
The first step to stop the squeaking noise is to clean the three areas of the door most likely to cause the problem. Simply removing the dust and debris can be enough to stop the noise. A basic household cleaner often works with light build-up, while heavier accumulation may require an automotive cleaner to get to the grease. In all cases use a cotton or microfiber cloth that is soft enough not to scratch your vehicle.
Once the area on the door is cleaned, it is important to apply a lubricant to keep everything working smoothly.
Mechanical issues that cause squeaking door hinges
Over time, some parts on the car door can wear out and need to be replaced.
One common issue is rusted car door hinges. While you may be able to clean off a small amount of corrosion, hinges that have an excessive amount of rust will need to be replaced to stop the noise.
The bushings on the door check may also be the culprit for the squeak. They may need to be tightened if they have loosened because of frequent use.
If you clean your car hinges and still hear the squeaking noise, it may be time to contact a professional to look at your car door. Repair is usually straightforward and the technician can silence the noise so that you can enjoy the quiet when opening and closing your vehicle’s door.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Keep Your Car Door Hinges from Squeaking and was authored by Joyce Morse.