There comes a time in every car door’s life when the latch just doesn’t catch the way it used to. Age, weather, lack of lubrication, and repeated opening and closing take their toll on this little metal mechanism, leading to its eventual demise. If your door is sticking, the handle is stiff and doesn’t trigger the latch as easily as it should, or maybe you can’t even get the door to open or close, the latch may be broken.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality door latch

  • Make sure you’re getting the right kind – there are bear claw latches (the most common in passenger vehicles) and bear jaw latches (these can be found most frequently in convertibles and classic cars).

  • Look for OE-replacement quality or buy OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). With original equipment manufacturer parts, you know that the door latch will fit your vehicle – no worries of aftermarket fitment problems.

  • Check out the warranty. Yes, door latches frequently come with warranties. This isn’t a terribly inexpensive part – it may run you around $50 or more – so you do want some assurance that it’s going to last for a while.

If you are still stuck, YourMechanic supplies top-quality door latches to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install door latches that you've purchased. Click here for a door latch replacement quote.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Door Latch and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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