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Door slammers...

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  • Door slammers...

    I had to have the conversation with my fiance about closing the doors in my vehicles too hard. It was uncomfortable, (because she didn't think she was closing the door too hard) but it led to the discussion of "why?"

    I googled it. This has been the topic of conversation on lots of car websites/ forums, but I figured I'd bring it up here. I haven't been here much lately, but this is still my car forum.

    My understanding of why NOT to close the door too hard:
    Over time, a door that gets closed too hard will wear out the rubber door stops. It will then wear out the latch, loosen the inner components of the door, and eventually the door will be rattley, wind noisey, and just sloppy sounding when it closes. Whereas a door that is closed gently over its life will stay "solid" sounding far longer.

    Since I don't like to close my door too hard, often I have to re-open it and re-close it. Sometimes more than once.
    Now, here's the question that I don't have the answer to:

    Over time, is it going to be just as bad, worse, or not as bad for the door to have it opened and closed twice as many times, gently, or fewer times harder?

  • #2
    I hate to say it but it is probably splitting hairs . On the other hand my 92 vette doors close easy and the wires 2012 or 14 acura , everything closes easy . Drives me nuts to hear them get slammed . The only recourse may be us acting more gentlemanly and doing it for them . I'm mostly afraid that they will jar the rods loose that open and unlock the doors . This has happened to my sons vette bu his friend that drives an old pick up .
    Previously HoosierL98GTA


    • #3
      My experience it is the hinges that wear, then the door sags and everything else goes. If a door is stiff or makes noise, lube it. Lighter doors, better hinges I don't think it remains a problem.
      My hobby is needing a hobby.


      • #4
        The first primary purpose of a shut car door as far as the user is concerned is to keep the weather out. Given the manufacturing unlikelihood of making two metal surfaces (body/door) over odd contours ever perfectly match each other, the way sealing is done is via flexible weatherstripping which in order to work (i.e. handle air pressure differences) has to be compressed slightly. The eight feet or so of weatherstripping in a car door, to be compressed enough to work , is going to require a certain amount of squish attained at closing via inertia of the door, since the door will normally have some force going for it at the point it hits the shut position the force required to compress the weatherstripping can be more than what a person could provide by just tugging on it . When the door is shut enough for the weatherstrip to compress properly, the door latch is supposed to catch it at that point and hold it shut against said weatherstripping.

        To help stop the door at the right point and also guide closure, there may be rubber blocks in addition to the weatherstrip. As the weatherstripping starts to lose it's push over time, the blocks take over.

        The door latch itself is not meant to be a stop, although there may be such features designed within it that it may serve so for when the door is shut with force beyond that required to compress the weatherstripping and rubber blocks.

        So how to know to shut a door at the right force...first close it lightly so that it doesn't latch all the way. Then close it harder...but have it still not completely latch. Then try closing it just hard enough that the latch catches all the way at the proper shut position, meaning you've compressed both the weatherstripping and whatever rubber blocks right to the point they were designed for. That is how hard to shut the door. Shutting it harder is just abusive to the latch.

        Hinge sag is another thing, the latch may have ramp features in it to help guide things together as there is wear or mis-alignment for other reasons.

        Probably the '70-81 Camaro would be a good case study for all this, at about 70K they were usually past the whole wear cycle. Our tinny little Cherokee at 360K and 28 years still has doors that shut perfectly.
        Last edited by Loren; May 23, 2019, 07:56 PM.


        • #5
          I thought this was going to be a topic about a class of drag racing. I believe it has to do with cabin pressure. Most of us know about the right amount of force needed to close the door completely. Then just roll down one of the windows an inch and close it again with the same force. It will slam so hard it will make you cringe.


          • #6
            Bubba the Truck has those farm truck manual plunger door locks. I hate it when I lock door and then only close it halfway. Dang. Now I can get my keys back out, unlock it, open it, lock it back and close it harder. Or bang it with my hip to close it the rest of the way the first time. It depends upon my mood and physical condition at the time. I'll bet an experienced body man could detect a subtle indention in the driver's door that's vaguely shaped like my hip.
            Charter member of the Turd Nuggets