Have you ever wondered how your door stays firmly locked with your vehicle kept safe and secure? There are a number of components involved in the vehicle's locking system, one of which is the door striker plate. This part is mounted right on the body of the door. As the door closes it will catch on this door striker plate so that it forms a tight secure fit. Not only will this ensure your door is shut tight, it also makes sure that your door doesn’t suddenly fly open while you’re driving. This of course would pose a safety risk to you and all of those around you. As well once it becomes damaged you'll find it very difficult to get in and out of your car.
In order for this part to hold up well over time, it is made from a hard metal. This metal shouldn't wear out fast but it can become damaged, which then renders it useless. If you would like to extend the life of your door striker plate it is recommended that you keep it clean and lubricate it on a yearly basis. By doing this, you may be able to get by without ever having to replace it.
There are some signs that signal a replacement is needed and that the door striker plate has lasted its entire lifespan. Let’s take a look:
You have a hard time closing the door, it doesn't seem to catch and stay secure.
You have a hard time opening the door, the catch just doesn't want to release.
As you are driving the door may rattle and sound loose, as though it is going to open on its own.
When you close the door or open it, the door visibly moves down or up as it connects with the striker door plate.
You can see visible damage on the door striker plate such as a section broken off, it is warped/bent, or it appears extremely worn down.
The door striker plate is an important aspect of keeping your car door closed firmly and securely. The last thing you want is to be driving along and suddenly have your door open on its own. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your door striker plate is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a door striker plate replacement service with a professional mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Door Striker Plate Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.