Corolla Car Door Won't Close When It's Bitter Cold

I have a 1998 Toyota Corolla. When it gets bitter cold out, the driver’s door will not close. If you push it (or even slam it) to try to close it, it bounces back open. I’ve tried applying white lithium grease, graphite, WD-40 and various lock-eze type products with no luck. The only thing that works is to warm the door lock mechanism with a hair dryer or wait til the temperature warms up. I’ve talked to several mechanics and they offered no suggestions. (One mechanic said he’d need to look at the door when it happens but it’s hard to get it to the mechanic to see when it happens.)This happens only on the most bitter cold winter days. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a particular part that is faulty that I could replace to solve this problem? Is it possible that some part in the door mechanism shrinks just enough in the cold that the door does not close properly? Any ideas?

It MAY be that water is seeping past the window rubber at the bottom of the window when closed and may be freezing in the mechanism, causing the door latch not to work.

As you say, it only happens on the most bitter cold winter days.

Pick up a small can of lock deicer and give it a whirl on the door latch mechanism. It isn’t a permanent fix to the problem, but is faster & easier than a blow drier.

Brush a small amount of anti freeze on the hinges and some deicer on the locks.

Try locking the door first.

I usually have success with spraying the WD-40 into the latch through the hole where the hook sticks out. Spray it in all possible directions. If that does not work, take apart the door and spray more WD-40 into any opening that you can reach.

Follow up with some spray lube.  (WD-40 is not really a lubricant)