In this article you’ll see how to make a squeaky door fix quick and simple.
Although this is a pretty harmless car problem it is very annoying.
The car doors are opened thousands of times. Having a squeaking, creaking or clicking noise every time you do it is simply not an option, you’ll surely agree.
As you’ll see, the procedure for fixing it is not complicated and is pretty cheap provided you have a few common household items.
Besides this written tutorial, you also have a video at the end of this article. You can also watch it on our You Tube channel.
MAIN CAUSES OF A SQUEAKY DOOR
There are two main points you should pay attention to if you want to make a squeaky door fix:
These are the main points in which the door is held to the car body. In almost all cars there will be two of them.
Main reason why hinges can cause problems is corrosion, better known as rust. Over time due to various reasons (mostly moist and lack of lubrication) a rust build-up appears between the two parts of the hinge.
This leads to the door hinge getting dry and stiff thus producing the squeaking sound. In more extreme cases, the sound will be a really loud screech.
Car door check link
The check link is a small mechanism that has the purpose of holding the door in place once you open it. Without it, the door would simply fall back on you.
You’ll recognize it as a small rod located usually between the two door hinges. It’s screwed on one side to the door and on the other side it enters the car body (in to the reinforcement below the A pillar).
Check links are the most common cause for a squeaky door, much more than door hinges. Rust and lack of lubrication are also the main cause of problems here.
Main ˝hot-spot˝ on the check link is the metal rod that enters the car body.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED FOR A SQUEAKY DOOR FIX?
In order to fix a squeaky door you’ll need these items:
Although many people tend to use classic WD-40 for lubricating have in mind that this spray is a solvent best for REMOVING rust and not for lubricating. If you use it lubrication, it will have a short term effect, the hinges will go dry again soon and the squeaking will appear again. So, use it only for rust removal and cleaning the hinges or check links.
Some kind of lubricant spray
Lithium grease spray would be best. Hinges and check links have small clearances so the proper access and lubrication is pretty hard. Sprays are best here as they can reach all off these tight places and lubricate them properly.
Classical lithium grease will be best for rusty or jammed check links. You can of course use it on hinges but you won’t get a good effect as it won’t be able to penetrate the hinge nor lubricate it properly.
So, again, best use it only for check links
Oil can with lubricant oil
After the lubricant spray, this is the next best thing. Only downside is that the lubrication doesn’t last as long as the spray does. The oil simply tends to dry out over time.
If you decide for this option then best use car engine oil as it has, in my opinion, the best characteristics for this job.
Some clean cloth or paper towel
This is for cleaning up the spray, grease or oil that will leak or trickle around the car when lubricating.
As mentioned, most of these items you probably already have around the household as they are used for numerous other purposes.
If you don’t have these, they are fairly cheap to buy so a squeaky door fix won’t set you back that much in terms of cost.
HOW TO FIX SQUEAKY DOOR HINGES?
If the door hinges are causing the problem the main symptoms will be:
Moving the car door back and forth is harder then usual
Squeaking or creaking sound when you move the door
If this is the case, first take a look at the door hinges. If there are traces of rust and they seem ˝dry˝ then you’ve probably found the cause.
Also, you can listen to the squeaky sound when you move the door. Pay attention to where to where it’s coming from. If the sound is coming from the hinges, then you’ve double-confirmed the location of the problem.
In order to fix squeaky door hinges do this:
1. Use the WD-40 spray and apply it to the hinges. Best use the small straw-nozzle that comes with the spray for better access to all parts of the hinge. Pay extra attention to the part where the hinge turns. Try to get as much spray as possible in and on to the hinge.
2. Leave it like that for about 10 minutes or more so the WD-40 can ˝eat˝the rust off as much as possible.
3. Wipe off any spray that trickled around using a cloth or paper towel.
4. Next use either a lubrication spray or an oil can and apply it to the hinges. As mentioned, lubrication spray would be much better. When applying, pay extra attention to the clearance where the door hinge turns. Where ever you can access the hinge opening apply the spray or oil. The more the better in this case
5. Move the car door back and forth full-swing. This way the lubricant will penetrate the hinge as much as possible. Do this for at least ten times in a row or until the squeaking or creaking stops.
6. If everything is OK, the problem should be solved. Use the cloth or paper towel and clean any spray or oil that’s trickled or leaked around.
HOW TO FIX A SQUEAKY DOOR WHEN A CHECK LINK IS THE PROBLEM?
If the check link is causing problems the main symptoms will be:
You’ll here a distinct clicking sound every time you open the door
The car door will squeal when opening
In more severe cases both of these will occur at the same time with a louder creaking tone appearing as well.
As mentioned the main cause is rust and filth getting inside the mechanism over time.
Besides this another common reason is that the rubber protecting the mechanism gets stiff over time. It’s located right where the metal rod enters in to the reinforcement on the car body.
In order to determine if the check link is the problem, swing the door a bit, inspect the check link (is it in good order and properly lubricated) and listen when opening the door (for squeaking or creaking noises).
If you’ve concluded the check link is in fact the problem then the squeaky door fix procedure goes like this:
1. First use the WD-40 spray and apply it to the check link. Spray all over it(metal rod, small hinge attached to the door, rubber protection part attached to the door reinforcement).
2. Leave it like that for about 10 minutes so the WD-40 can ˝eat˝off the rust as much as possible.
3. Wipe off any spray that trickled around using a cloth or paper towel.
4. At this point you can use either lubrication spray, an oil can or lithium grease. Lithium grease spray is good as it penetrates the best. Lithium grease is better as it will keep the check link lubricated for a prolonged period of time. Oil tends to dry out over time so use it if you don’t have any spray or grease at hand.
5. Make sure to apply the spray or grease on all parts of the check link (metal rod, small hinge attached to the door, rubber protection part attached to the door reinforcement). If you’re using lithium grease you don’t have to over do it, a thin layer will be fine.
6. Move the car door back and forth full-swing for at least ten times in a row.This way the lubricant will penetrate the check link as much as possible. Some will surely get in to the check link mechanism and lubricate it also.
7. If everything is OK, the problem should be solved. Use the cloth or paper towel and clean any spray or oil that’s trickled or leaked around.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK?
If this squeaky door fix procedure didn’t help then you may have a more serious problem.
Just be sure that the lubrication has been done properly. In some more severe cases of rust, especially with the door hinges, you’ll have to repeat the whole procedure a couple of times in order for the lubricant to penetrate properly in to the hinge.
As mentioned, the hinge clearance is small and getting lubricant in to it can be difficult.
But if the problems persists despite this most common reasons are:
Faulty door hinge
Sometimes the rust problem can be so severe that simple lubrication won’t help.
Also, if the door hinge is faulty then taking off the door and replacing or fixing the hinge is the only solution.
Faulty or broken check link
It’s not uncommon for the check link to break. The mechanism inside falls apart mostly due to material fatigue or lack of lubrication.
In most cases it can’t be fixed and has to be replaced completely.
CAN YOU USE OTHER LUBRICANTS?
For the end, one more word of advice on how to fix a squeaky door.
I’ve seen people use and recommend cooking oil, various typed of lard or other unusual lubricants for this job.
My advice on this is a big NO! You can only cause more problems. For one the effect will be short-lived and the squeaking or creaking will return in a couple of days.
Second, they can cause a glue like film to form inside the hinge or check link which makes it a ˝magnet˝for filth and dust. This only makes the situation worse.
Best use the lubricants that are mentioned here. Variations should only be in price, manufacturer, quality etc.
If you don’t have any of the upper mentioned lubricants, rather postpone the repair a bit, go to the store and buy the real thing.
When you fix a squeaky car door the proper way, it will last for years to come.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author at Despairrepair.com