Question about 1996 Pontiac Sunfire

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Last night we started the car to clean off snow. Closed the doors. Cleaned the car. Got in and the doors would not close. It appears that the mechanism on the door that grabs and latches the door is "frozen" in the closed position so when you pull the door to close, it bounces off and can't latch. How do we fix this?

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cy schousboe

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If the latch is in the closed position, simply use a screwdriver to pry as if the door was being opened at the same time as you pull on the handle to open it. This will return the latching part to its proper position and you can then close the door. If the latch is already open and won't close when you shut the door, the quickest way to get it closed is to heat the latch with a blowtorch. Don't get close enough to the door that you scorch and burn the paint but heat the area arond the latch for about 30 seconds or so and the door should latch. You could also do this with a hair dryer or heat gun but it will take longer. Open and close it a few times quickly and it should work properly for a while. To keep it from happening again, once you have it working freely then spray into the latch with some WD-40 or RustCheck. Don't be shy with the spray and get it right into the latch through the door. If it keeps being a problem then before you spray it with a lubricant use a small can of lock de-icer once you have the door working. After that put the lubricant in. Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 05, 2010

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Anonymous

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Make sure your locks are in the unlocked position, hold inside or outside door like you're opening the door and turn the latch mechanism open on the door, should be good to go!

Posted on Jan 31, 2011

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