Jetta Door Not Closing – What To Do?

Do you have a Volkswagen Jetta with a door that does not close and you want to know what you can do to fix it? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

One of the causes of a Jetta door that refuses to close is a latch that gets stuck in the closed position. Use an aerosol defroster, a penetrating oil, or WD-40 to loosen the latch. Use the inside handle to open the latch.

Learn about the other ways that your Jetta door can get stuck and how to get them unstuck in the succeeding sections. Read on!

A Volkswagen Jetta on display at the Chicago Auto Show media, Jetta Door Not Closing - What To Do?

How to fix a stuck latch on Volkswagen Jetta?

The latch on the door of your Jetta needs to be able to move freely for it to work. Unfortunately, there are many ways to prevent the latch from working properly.


Rust on the latch can prevent it from moving freely, and this can cause it to stay in one position—either a closed or open position. When you try to close the door of your Jetta and the latch is in the closed position, the latch will slam against the door lock instead of grabbing it to lock your door.

Rust on the latch can also weaken the springs that pull the latch back to the right position. Eventually, rusted springs will break, and you will need to replace the latch assembly.

Spray some penetrating oil on the latch and let it soak for a few minutes. The latch would move more freely after soaking it in penetrating oil. However, if the latch is still not loose enough, you can spray some more penetrating oil and let it soak some more.

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Regular application of a corrosion inhibitor like WD-40 will prevent rust on your door locks. Rust inhibitors prevent moisture buildup on the parts of your lock and prevent them from rusting.

Keep in mind that there are metal components like springs that an aerosol spray will not be able to reach unless you remove your inner car door panel.

WD-40 with smart straw sprays can do the trick. Check it out at Amazon through this link.


Drivers navigate flood waters in the aftermath of a blizzard and subsequent flooding

Freezing temperatures expand moisture or condensation on the parts of your door lock and prevent them from moving. To make it worse, ice can even prevent you from inserting your key into the door lock of your Volkswagen Jetta. Ice can build up around the door frame and prevent it from opening even though you’ve already unlocked the Jetta's door latch.

A buildup of ice on the door components can also prevent your door locks from responding. The first thing you need to remember is to never force your car key into a frozen lock to avoid accidentally breaking it.

The next thing you should do is to spray some defroster or de-icer into the lock. If you do not have a de-icer with you, you can use a windshield defroster or de-icer spray to get rid of the ice in the lock of your Jetta. You can also use a window defroster around the door to get rid of the ice there.

Fortunately, penetrating oil like WD-40 can prevent your car door lock from freezing since it prevents moisture from building up on the surfaces where it is applied. Apply some penetrating oil on the door locks of your Jetta each time you wash your car to give it protection from freezing.

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Dirt, sand, and debris from the road can also find their way between the different components of the door lock and make it difficult for the parts to move freely. Additionally, dirt from inside the door cavity can make its way between the lock components and make it difficult for the parts of the door lock to move.

Regular application of penetrating oil makes it hard for dirt and debris to accumulate in the components of the locking system of your Volkswagen Jetta. If it is already problematic to close the door, applying penetrating oil should loosen the components, making it easier to close.

What to do if your car door won’t close?

2019 Volkswagen Jetta at a dealership

Another common reason why the door of your Volkswagen Jetta will not close is when the latch accidentally closes. This can happen when an object hits the latch as you exit your car and trigger it to close while the door is still open.

Once you trigger the latch accidentally, the latch will close and block the lock. This will prevent your Jetta from closing because the two components of the car door that should couple to hold the door in place are unable to merge.

Below are the simple steps to resolve this issue on your Volkswagen Jetta.

Check A Working Door

The first thing to do is to check one of the working doors and check how the latch and lock should look. This will give you an idea of what a latch in the right position should look like. It will also give you an objective of what the latch of the problematic door would look like after you successfully fix it.

Compare the working latch with the problematic latch and observe the difference in how they look.

Resetting The Latch On The Door

  1. Place something between the problem door and the car that will not scratch the paint. This will prevent the door from accidentally closing (and prevent accidents like hitting your fingers) while you’re working on it.
  2. Get a big enough screwdriver to get inside the hollow part of the latch. Never use a screwdriver that is too big for the latch, and never force the screwdriver into the latch if it is too big. Forcing the screwdriver can create dents on the latch that can prevent the latch from moving freely.
  3. Push the screwdriver slowly towards the center of the car. You might need more force to push the latch in some Jetta year models. Once you’ve made an opening on the latch, compare it with the working door. This will tell you if the opening on the latch is the right size. If the opening is not big enough, push it some more.
  4. Spray penetrating oil on the latch to get rid of any rust or dirt.

How to check the lock actuator for problems?

Disassembled electric car door lock is on the gray

The lock actuator on the door of your Volkswagen Jetta is a combination of several components like gears, an electric motor, and a cable. Actuators are responsible for receiving an antitheft code that the key fob transmits. Once it receives the right code, it will send electrical energy to the motor to lock or unlock the door.

Unfortunately, like all the components of your Volkswagen Jetta, the lock actuator of your car will wear down after years of use. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for that will tell you that it is time to replace the door lock actuators.

Power Door Lock Works Intermittently

A bad actuator will prevent one of the doors of your Jetta from working properly. If the lock actuator has not completely failed yet, it might be able to open or lock the car door intermittently.

Erratic Locking Or Unlocking

A bad lock actuator will sometimes lock or unlock itself when it should not. This is sometimes caused by a grounded component that sends electrical energy to the lock actuator when it should not, causing it to lock or unlock on its own.

Noise During Operation

A lock actuator that is about to fail produces a variety of noises like grinding, clicking, or clunking during operation. This is sometimes caused by the actuator's components that are no longer in correct alignment and are grinding against another component.

Bad Operating Performance

A failing lock actuator will start to perform sluggishly. Sometimes, it might not have enough power to completely open or close the door. This will cause some components to close or open halfway and not be enough to open or close the door of your Jetta.

Lock Actuator Replacement

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, that means you need to replace the lock actuator of your Jetta. A certified mechanic can open the inside panel of your car door and check even the wirings that supply power to verify that it is really the actuator and not a wiring issue.

Keep in mind that a failing car battery will fail to supply the right amount of electrical energy to the actuator and will produce similar symptoms above. The only difference would be that the symptoms will be present in all the doors instead of just one.


A Volkswagen Jetta on display at the Chicago Auto Show media

Most of the reasons why you cannot close the door of your Volkswagen Jetta can be resolved without the help of a professional mechanic. Knowing what to do to resolve the different causes of a problematic car door can save you dollars from not having to bring your Jetta to a mechanic.

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