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Door makes a clunk sound when it is opened or closed

2005 Chevy Malibu

When the driver side door is opened there is a clunk sound about half way through the swing. When the door is closed there is a couple clunks then a thud. The sound is coming from the front of the door.

What is causing this and does it mean big trouble soon?

I think your hinge bushings a wearing out.


I sprayed lithium grease on the hinges and that arm that goes into the door this morning but no change.

By the way, what is that arm thing anyway? I figured it just keeps the door from flying across the street.

but the bushings are wearing out. possibly the pins too.
Lubing them won’t change their egg shape.
Time for new hinges, probably both, or pin/bushing kits.

The arm thing does stop the door from flying accross the street. and it probably has a detent or two as you’ll notince the door will stay about half way open as well.

Thanx for explaining.

Are the hinges something I can replace myself?

A fairly big DIY job even though the hinges are just nuts and bolts.
A door is quite heavy and the right tools are welcome.
A separate jack that will hold the door in alignment should be used.
Could also be a two man job.

The hardest part is the alignment after installation. Fore/ aft…up/down…AND tilt angle.

Although I could myself, This is a job I’d take to my body shop where they have the jig to hold the door in position as they work. My body man Henry would make it a twenty minute job.

Thanx, Ken!

That’s what I was afraid of.

I finally saved up enough to have the door hinges replaced but it turned out to be the “door check assembly” that was making the clunk sound when ever I opened or closed the door. What I earlier called “the arm thing that goes inside the door”. $168 material and 1 hour labor.

doesn’t sound like too much, but I’ve never priced out body work before. Glad everything is OK now

Keep the hinge pins and door check lubed with white lithium when the oil is changed.