Question about 2003 Pontiac Montana

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Driver side door has play, hitting catch

When I clsoe the driver side door the door hits the catch and has to go up to close. How do I fix it? Is there bushings that can be replaced or do I have to change the hinges?

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  • 2dolf Jun 29, 2008

    I understand what you are saying but this problem only started recently and if I take the door I can move it slightly up and down.


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Most car doors are adjustable to some degree.
I assume from your description that the latch is misaligned so the stationary part is too high.
That part is normally slightly adjustable.
If you loosen the screws holding it to the door frame, you'll find that it can be shifted in all compass directions.

Frankly, Ford had a commercial years ago showing a production line behind the speaker that stuck forever in memory.
I recall that it was a Mustang of the era and the worker had a 2X4 under the lip of the door postioned at about 45 degrees, with the other end resting on the lower door frame and he was prying up and trying the door as he worked.
It looked pretty primitive and not something I would have let the outside world see.

If, after you can adjust the stationary latch so the door closes properly, check the alignment of the door when closed.
If it is too far out of alignment, you might try the hinges to see if they too have some range of adjustment.
If it is not well-centered in the opening, you may have seals that aren't tight any more.

Supposedly, modern vehicles are so precisely built that such slop shouldn't be necessary.
Maybe it isn't . . . on Toyotas.

Posted on Jun 29, 2008

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jun 29, 2008

    Never heard of a hinge actually wearing out, even on antiques but then we are surprised all the time about things not being as they should.

    I guess we ought to be used to it.

    Last question; can you see the hinge move unnaturally with the door partly open?

    You could also station an 'observer' inside to watch as you lift if you can't see the hinges well enough to judge.

    Perhaps the hinge fasteners have worked loose rather than being that worn.

    I'd look around the hinges to see if you can identify a shadow that would imply that they have shifted.


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