Car Door Hinge Work: Raise a Sagging Door
Through constant use and age, you may eventually be confronted with a car door hinge that starts to come loose and sag. This problem is not hard to fix, but if left unchecked, it can damage the latch. When this happens it will become much harder to open or close the door.
Sagging car doors are a common problem in many makes and models. As the door swings out from the car, it puts pressure on the hinge pins, which can cause the door to sag a little. When not taken care of, it can lead to other problems such as the hinge itself becoming loose, the pins popping out, and the door not closing shut or even flying open while you are driving. What starts out as a minor problem can turn into a safety issue if not addressed.
With a few tools and the right hardware fixing a car door hinge is not a difficult repair.
There are basically two reasons why your car door hinge will sag. The first is because the bolts that are holding the hinge onto the car frame are beginning to strip or come loose by the constant motion of the car. When these bolts loosen, the hinge will travel a little and cause the door to sag. You can tighten the bolts and end the problem, but usually if they are loose, they will need to be replaced.
The second reason is caused by general use of the door. The hinge pin that allows the swivel action in the knuckle of the hinge will cause the small hole to elongate and the door to sag. This is caused by just the weight of the door over time, or by leaning on the door while it is opened.
Determine which reason is causing the door to sag and then make a trip to the auto parts store.
Choose the Right Part
With your car's make and model written down, locate the right hinge assembly for your car. It will probably have to be ordered as it is not a commonly requested part. If it is in stock, you can complete the fix.
Jack the Door Up
Unless you have several hands it will be impossible to hold the car door up and fix the hinge at the same time. Use a jack, or jack stands, to relieve the downward pressure on the door.
Remove Hinge Bolts and Replace
Remove the bolts holding the hinge on from the car body itself. Once you have removed them, set the door down gently. Remove the rest of the hinge from the door and replace with a new one. Set the door back in place and, keeping it straight and aligned with the car, use new bolts to reattach the door to the body.
After you replace the hinge you might need to make some alignment adjustments. Take your time in doing this and make sure you get the door aligned perfectly to create a lasting seal.