How Long Does a Door Latch Last?

A door latch is located on every door on your vehicle. It is what keeps the doors shut while you are driving down the road. Each door has two handles, one on the outside and one on the inside. While the handle allows you to open the vehicle, the latch keeps the vehicle locked so no one from the outside can get in unless you let them. The doors can be locked automatically or manually, depending on the type of vehicle you have. Furthermore, most vehicles have a remote control that will unlock, lock, and even open the doors to your car.

Most modern vehicles are equipped with child safety locks. These locks are engaged by flipping a switch when the door is open. Once the door is shut, the door cannot be opened from the inside. However, it can be opened from the outside.

The door latch is operated by a tug, lift, or pull depending on what type of vehicle you have. You must use some force for this operation because it is a safety feature. This way, an object cannot hit the latch and accidentally open it while you are going down the road. Furthermore, a child or an adult cannot accidentally hit the latch because that would be hazardous as well.

Over time, the door handle may come off or the latch may become broken. If the interior handle of the door does not work, chances are the exterior does not work either, and vice versa. If the latch does not work, the door handle may still work, it just depends on what exactly has happened to cause the door latch to break.

Since they can become worn and break over time, it is important to know the symptoms of a failing door latch.

Signs your door latch needs to be replaced include:

  • The door will not shut all of the way
  • The door will not open
  • The door will not stay latched closed
  • The door opens while you are driving down the road

The door latch is an important safety feature of your vehicle so this repair should not be put off. A professional mechanic will be able to repair the door latch in order for your handles to work properly.


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Nolan

30 years of experience
200 reviews
Nolan
30 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-3.5L - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Tucson, Arizona
Very Happy with his work, definitely will use this service again, Nolan was very professional and knowledgeable.
Toyota Camry - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Tucson, Arizona
Nolan is friendly yet very professional. I appreciated the 360 check of the whole car. I will certainly use Yourmechanic again.

Manuel

32 years of experience
580 reviews
Manuel
32 years of experience
Cadillac Escalade V8-6.2L - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - La Mirada, California
Manuel was great. He knew exactly what to do and how to do it. He had been given the wrong part and was able to get a replacement part in about 25 minutes and be back on site. If I need more work done I will request him to do it.
Nissan Sentra - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Long Beach, California
This is the 3rd time in three months that Manuel has provided a service for me, and I cannot promote his level of professionalism and friendliness more. It might be a while before I need additional services, but I certainly will b requesting this gentleman again!

James

30 years of experience
873 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Nissan Rogue L4-2.5L - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Debary, Florida
James was on time, he was professional and polite. He got a challenging job done right!! Great personality and I will request him when services are needed again. Thank you, James!!!
Acura Integra - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Winter Springs, Florida
James is a perfect gentleman and knows how to fix cars, especially since the doorhandle we need it has been discontinued. We were able to get a similar replacement and James made it work perfectly in record time

Travis

10 years of experience
156 reviews
Travis
10 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe V8-5.3L - Exterior Door Handle Replacement (Driver Side Front, Driver Side Rear) - Houston, Texas
I was skeptical because this appt was rescheduled twice. However Travis arrived on time, was personable & did a great job. I will reuse the device for my breaks in the very near future.

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Related articles

How to Replace a Door Latch
A car lock involves the door lock assembly, which includes a car door latch. Replacing this is similar for both electronic and mechanical door locks.
How to Replace an Interior Car Door Handle
The inside handles on car doors fail when the handles come loose or when the doors are either hard to open or will not open at all.
How to Replace an Exterior Car Door Handle
Exterior car door handles are used so much they can sometimes fail. Door handles need to be replaced if they come loose or stay locked.

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