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Door Ajar Agony

Hey Car Talk community, I have a dilemma for you all. My 05 Impala door ajar light comes on at random times when you open and close the door, then stays on. Plus, that incessant beeping tone. So, I decided to take it to a shop. They fixed the door latch connection but this continues to persist. After taking it back a couple time to have them look at it, they told me nothing is wrong and you might have to take it to the dealer to reset it. There are new parts in the car but this still happens.

So, what do you all think? Is it a ghost or something more grounded in reality? Thanks in advance!!

“nothing is wrong and you might have to take it to a dealer to reset it.”

Their diagnostic skills are deficient, and they know it, and they’re feeding you a line of . . . to get you out of the shop

And you’d be well advised to find another shop, one with better skills and an honest attitude

I’m not sure if the door switch on this car is separate, or incorporated into the latch, but a competent shop ought to be able to figure that out and properly diagnose and repair your problem


A body shop might not be a bad place to check out for a repair, Not sure about the mechanism to indicate a door ajar, do the lights go on when you open the door, and during failure mode? Wonder if it is illegal just to bypass the switch if one was so inclined.

First suspect as mentioned above is the door switch is intermittent. There’s a switch somewhere that automatically opens and closes as the door is opened and closed. It might be located near the door hinges, or over on the other side of the door too where the locking mechanism is. Look for a little black plastic spring loaded thing that sticks out. With the door open press on it with your finger while watching the dome light. Notice anything weird or inconsistent happening with the dome light or door ajar light will you press/release that spring loaded thing?

When this happened to one of my cars, it was because the door was not closing far enough to turn the switch off. On this car, it was a black spring-loaded button on the outside edge of the door frame. I had to buy a large Torx socket to adjust the latching post to bring the door in closer to the frame. On my truck, I had a similar problem when all of a sudden I had wind noise that wasn’t there before. Again, the door had to me moved closer to the frame (one of the door bolts had loosened and allowed the hinge to move out.). This time the adjustment was to reposition the bolts on the door hinges - loosen them up and push the hinge in and then tighten them again. I hope one of these tricks helps you. The thing to look for is if the door needs to be moved closer to the frame. You can compare how tight the door should be in pressing the rubber weather strips by taking a sheet of paper and closing it in a door that does not have this problem. With the door closed, put the paper out and note how much force is needed to do so. Then go to the problem door and see if it takes the same or less force. Check front of door and back of door to see if the problem is at the hinges or at the latch. Let us know how this works.