View Full Version : DIY: B6/B7 Door Strike Plate Adjustment (for sagging doors)

09-05-2009, 02:01 PM
Note: This is the shade-tree mechanic (aka lazy man) technique for temporarily fixing a drooping door from dragging against the strike loop when closing. The proper way is to adjust at the hinge, or replace the hinge completely. See first comment below from handyvorb for more info. This technique will stop the dragging, but will cause the door to be misaligned. This misalignment will be visible from the exterior with the door closed if you look closely at the belt line trim or any other trim you can compare from door to door.

On with the lazy/temp fix ...

This is a really simple DIY but I figured I'd post it since a few people were having this problem (including me) and it's a quick fix.

Symptom: When you close a door (typically the driver door sags before any other door) the latch mechanism will not meet the strike plate perfectly and you will hear a thumping sound. This is bad because it can wear the latch mechanism prematurely and in extreme cases, make it difficult to fully close the door.

Tools needed: M8 triple square socket. Depending on which one you have, you may need a 14mm deep socket and socket wrench. I purchased my triple square sockets at autozone, tools pictured below


This is the strike plate, the triple square bolts fix the strike plate to the door jamb/lower b-pillar


Here is a closeup of the strike plate, note the vertical and horizontal notches on the plate as well as the notches on the door jamb to help you remember the position if you ever remove the strike plate. Note that your strike plate is probably not going to be aligned like mine, but just remember which notches your plate lines up with.


To fix the sagging door problem:

1) Loosen the 2 triple square bolts almost entirely, allowing the plate to be moved around. Do not completely remove the bolts.

2) Since your door is sagging, that means you will need to move the strike plate down. Depending on how much your door is sagging, you may have to move it all the way down like I did. You should retain the vertical position of the plate and only change the horizontal position. Changing the vertical position may affect the ability to fully latch your door shut.

3) Once moved down, hand tighten the strike plate bolts and carefully close the door. Do not shut it completely, do not let the latch close on the strike loop as it will move the plate. Just test to see if there is still any binding. If there is, loosen the bolts and move it down some more. Once adjusted properly, tighten the bolts fully. I cranked them pretty good but did not check the torque spec. I would guess somewhere around 20-30 foot pounds.

Get in the car and open/close the door a few times to make sure everything is working properly. Listen closely to make sure the latch mechanism isn't still binding on something. It should cleanly close and open without any extra effort.

Hope this helps some folks. [wrench]

09-05-2009, 03:07 PM
A couple things I would like to point out...

German vehicle's use triple square bolts, Japanese vehicle's use 12-point bolts.

Triple Square and 12-point are not the same

Triple square is made up of 3 squares, 12-point is made of 2 hex's. Triple square has 90 deg. points, 12-point are 120 deg.

Using 12-point sockets on triple square bolts have a very nice chance of rounding them out.

That aside,

The striker plate should only be used to adjust door for depth (towards car interior) and not for height. If it's really sagging (height is correct at front of door, but is low at rear) the hinge is worn out, and lowering the striker plate will allow the door to shut in the misaligned position and cause a wind noise. The correct fix would be to replace the worn/dmg'd door hinge. So, just take that into consideration if trying this.

If your door is out of vertical alignment you need to adjust it via the hinge, at the door side, the bolt holes are elongated. A collared shoulder bolt is installed at each upper and lower door hinge (door side). These collared bolts need to be replaced with a plain hinge bolt listed out of the parts catalog for adjustment.

09-05-2009, 03:13 PM
Well damn, where were you last week when we were talking about sagging doors and remidiying them?

I will correct the part about 12-point vs. triple square, thanks for the clarification.

Also, if the strike plate adjustment should only be used to adjust the in/out position of the door then why can the strike plate be moved up and down? Just to fine-tune the vertical position of the back of the door?

09-05-2009, 03:26 PM
It's vertical adjustment is just to position the plate correctly to the car, not the door to the car.

At the factory the door is aligned to the car, then the plate is aligned to the correctly aligned door.

If you're looking for a band-aid fix for a sagging door the question is, do you want your door to shut smooth, or do you want it to be aligned when it's shut, I vote the latter.

Replacing the hinges shouldn't be that difficult at home, just do one at a time, and have someone or something to support the door while one of them is off. You may have to access one of the bolts from under the dash I can't remember off the top of my head.

09-05-2009, 03:29 PM

09-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Replacing the hinges shouldn't be that difficult at home

Yeah I was just looking at it and it appears to really be able to get in there the front fenders need to be removed (for front doors).

It's the difference between a 5 minute quick fix and a several hour job requiring an extra set of hands.

09-05-2009, 05:27 PM
Just for reference, I looked up the labor time for replacing the hinges on one door - 1.1 hrs customer pay time, this includes removal of lower a-pillar trim and lower driver side dash trim, no fender removal necessary, just need some low profile tools, and like you said an extra set of hands would make the job much easier.

09-09-2009, 11:02 PM
Ok, I had a Q7 come in today with a sagging driver door problem. The end of the door towards the front of the vehicle was lined up, but sloped downward toward the rear. It looks like the hinges are setup the exact same way as on the S4. Here's what I did to fix it...

The bolts that go from the hinges to the body of the car need to be loosened, you see 1 for each hinge accessible from the outside of the car when the door's all the way open, there is also 1 more for each hinge that bolts in from the inside of the car, the lower one can be accessed by just removing the lower a-pillar trim (basically pops out), the upper one you have to "remove the dash" lol. If you loosen just the lower one, and both outside ones (3 of the 4) you can tilt the door into proper position using a little force at the end of the door.

Got the door to line up perfectly this way.

09-10-2009, 07:00 AM
Thanks, so do you think that one bolt that cannot be accessed provides enough pressure to keep the door in position (not requiring an extra hand to hold the door) or did you do this with another person?

I'm gonna give this a try this weekend, the more I look at my door the more I can't stand the misalignment on the end of the door even though it's opening/closing fine now.

I will update this DIY to be a proper "fix door sag" DIY once I have done this.

09-13-2009, 09:53 AM
Yes that's exactly right justin, didn't even need another hand.

09-13-2009, 03:21 PM
Yes that's exactly right justin, didn't even need another hand.

Made a go at it today. No dice. Those bolts are far too difficult to get to with the fender in place. Maybe the exposed bolt on the upper hinge, and the inner bolt on the lower hinge (behind the lower a-pillar trim) but the 3rd bolt on the outer of the lower hinge is a no go.

The only thing I had that could remotely do the job was an open-end 13mm.

Is there a special tool the technicians use?

10-28-2009, 10:56 PM
Just now saw your post justin [:/]

I use a 9" long or so 1/4" extension with a 1/4" 13mm swivel socket, you may be able to get it with a regulator socket (haven't tried). Get the outer bolts with the door almost all the way open from the outside (in front of the door). Be very careful not to scratch your paint! The bolt behind the lower a-pillar trim shouldn't be a problem. Once they're all loose you should be able to raise lower the rear end of the door with your knee while you're squatting on the ground, I don't think it's as awkward as it sounds [:)].

I use a long handle 3/8" ratchet with an adapter to 1/4" to that 1/4" extension so I have a lot of loosening/tightening torque.