Driving a car with improperly closed doors can cause havoc as the doors can open during driving causing serious injury or an accident.
A door switch is thus a safety measure that prevents the doors from opening while driving. If you see a door opened car sign on your cluster meter, it can indicate that your car’s doors are not closed properly (1). Some car models also flash the door open warning sign when other components, such as the bonnet or trunk, are not closed properly. In addition, the door open warning light can also display when there are some other issues in the components. We will discuss the reasons that cause this light to display on the car’s cluster meter.
Why should you properly close the Doors While Driving?
Doors are an essential component of a vehicle that increases safety while driving. Although, an unlocked door will not open unless a pressure of 2500 pounds or more is applied. But locking the door increases safety while driving (2). Some drivers believe that keeping the door unlocked will allow them to exit their vehicle quickly in case of an accident. At the same time, others believe that car doors automatically lock themselves. Although the central locking system locks all the doors during driving, this feature is only available in modern car models.
To stay safe, it is of paramount importance that drivers should properly close the doors and lock them. Further, a locked door will not open during an accident, provide extra support to the roof, and keep the car’s body from twisting. A properly closed and locked door can thus act as a safety feature that will protect the passenger from forced ejection and prevent the body from twisting/roof collapsing (1).
Reasons for a Door Open Warning Light
This makes it easy for the driver to close that particular door properly to resolve the issue.
Improperly Closed Doors
The first and apparent reason for the door open warning light is that either one or all of the car doors are not closed properly. An improperly closed door will cause the door warning light to flash and will also vibrate during driving.
This prevents the children from opening the car door while driving inside. The door warning sign will indicate both before and during driving when the car doors are not closed properly. In addition, some new car models also illustrate this sign when the bonnet or trunk needs to be closed correctly.
If you are closing the doors with proper force and the doors still need to be closing correctly, there can be an issue with the door components (3). These components include door handles, hinges, latches, anchors, and door locks. An issue with these components will cause problems in closing the doors. In this case, try to clean the door components with a brush and WD-40 lubricant. If the issue persists, try replacing the defective components from a professional service center. If there is no issue with the door components, then try closing the doors with proper force. This will resolve the door open warning light issue.
Damaged Electronic Wires
Another issue causing the door warning light to blink is the damaged electronic wires or wire harnesses. Depending upon the car’s model, there are different wires associated with the car doors, such as car security system wires, car headlights, indicators, and ECU. Some wires complete the electrical circuit sending a message to the car’s ECU that the door is closed completely (1).
If you are a simple driver, you might need help to replace the faulty wires or the wire harness. So, taking your car to a professional service center is recommended to resolve the issue.
Damaged Door Switches
Door switches are simple on/off mechanics connected to different car components. These switches send a simple on/off signal to the interior light, ECU, speaker, and other devices. A properly functioning door switch will dispatch the proper signal to the ECU or other components displaying a door opening/closing sign (3). However, the door switches can get damaged due to the pressure of the door closing or during a car wash.
The door switch is usually located below the hinges. So, you can replace them yourself if you have some knowledge about car circuitry. These switches are readily available in the market or on e-commerce platforms. But if you are a simple driver, you are recommended to take your car to a professional service center to get the faulty switches replaced.
I recommend that drivers not drive a car with a door warning light on. It can be a sign that there is a problem with the door components that can prevent the door from closing correctly. I faced this issue in my Toyota Yaris, and I considered this sign a result of a sensor problem. But the problem was with the back door hinges that prevented the back door from closing correctly. And once, the door opened itself during driving, which caused me inconvenience. I had to tow the car to a service center as the backdoor could not be closed. So, this warning sign is only sometimes a sign of a sensor problem. Sometimes, the major door components can be damaged, and this sign warns you to replace them to prevent an accident.