A sagging or misaligned car door is certainly a nuisance. After all, it can take multiple tries to get it to close properly, which can be time-consuming when you’re in a hurry to get to work or make an appointment on time. It also increases the likelihood of property theft – both of your vehicle and its contents – because there is a higher possibility of accidentally leaving your car or truck unattended with an open door you thought you closed. A misaligned car door is also a safety issue in that it may pop open while your car is in motion.
The problem of a sagging car door is more than just a mere annoyance; if door sag is ignored over time, it can cause other issues that will ultimately cost even more to repair. Here are the most common causes of a misaligned car door:
Misaligned striker and latch: If the door sag isn’t too noticeable, the culprit may be simply that the striker and latch aren’t quite lined up properly. This is a relatively easy fix, often caused by repeatedly slamming the door too hard, requiring some small adjustments to the fitting in between the striker and latch that a qualified mechanic can do in little time.
Worn hinge pins and bushings: If your car door sags more dramatically (i.e. is visible to the naked eye), it’s likely the hinge pins and bushings are worn or damaged, which can be caused by frequently slamming it shut or simply from wear and tear from the elements. This repair is a little more intensive, usually requiring removing the door entirely, replacing the problem parts, and rehanging the door in correct alignment.
Weather stripping needs to be replaced: Sometimes our eyes deceive us and make a door appear to sag when there’s really just a general misalignment that makes it difficult to shut. In this case, it is possible the problem lies in old weather stripping in need of replacement. This is something that can occur just with the passage of time and exposure to various weather conditions.
While it is possible to repair why door sags occur on your own, there is a risk that inexperience hands can unintentionally cause further damage. Such realignments and parts replacement also often require more than one set of hands and specialized tools to expedite the process. These are just a few reasons why it isn’t wise to attempt repairs yourself, especially when economic options to fix the problem are out there.
If you are experiencing a problem with car door sag or misalignment, call one of our highly-trained repair persons for a consultation. A technician will come to you, assess the situation, and then make recommendations about the best course of action. This way, you can rest assured the repair will be performed expeditiously, correctly the first time, and without any further harm to your car or truck.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Causes Doors to Sag and Become Misaligned? and was authored by Elan McAfee.