Dryer: Door won't stay shut

If the dryer door doesn't stay shut when you close it, something is awry with the door latching components. A quick inspection should reveal whether the door strike or door catch is at fault. The bad news is that the dryer won't run if the door doesn't close. The good news is that replacing both components are quick, inexpensive fixes.

dryer

These repairs may help solve your dryer problem

Replace the dryer door catch

Replace the dryer door catch

The door catch is the part of the door latch assembly that's usually attached to the front panel, but sometimes is attached to the door. When the door is closed, the spring-loaded door catch encloses and grips the door strike, which is mounted across from it. The tension of the door catch keeps the door from opening until it's manually opened. If the door won't latch closed and the strike is intact, replace the catch. If the door catch holds the door closed to start the cycle but can't continue to hold the door shut during the cycle to keep the dryer running, replace the door catch.

Replace the dryer door strike

Replace the dryer door strike

The dryer door strike is the part of the door latch assembly. It's usually attached to the door, but sometimes is attached to the front panel. When the door is closed, the door strike is pushed into the spring-loaded door catch mounted across from it. The tension of the catch keeps the door from opening until it's manually opened. If the door strike damaged, replace the strike. If the door won't latch closed and the strike is intact, replace the catch. If the door strike holds the door closed to start the cycle but can't continue holding the door shut during the cycle to keep the dryer running, replace the door strike.

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust system, heating system failure, deposits on moisture sensor, control system failure
Main causes: bad drum support roller, damaged idler pulley, broken blower fan blade, worn drum glide bearing, bad drive motor
Main causes: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: damaged door strike, worn door catch
Repair guides common to all dryers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dryer.

How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

The heating element in an electric dryer generates the dryer's heat—it's one of the first things to check if the air in the dryer doesn't get warm. If it's damaged, this repair guide will show you how to replace the heating element.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

When the air in the dryer overheats—usually because the vent is clogged—the thermal fuse blows, stopping the dryer. You can't reset the fuse; you must replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in a gas dryer

The thermal cut-off fuse shuts off the heat if the dryer overheats when the high-limit thermostat fails. The thermal cut-off fuse kit includes both parts.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Articles and videos common to all dryers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dryer.

June 20, 2016
Electric dryer won't start troubleshooting video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what four things to check if your electric dryer won't start or run.

February 26, 2016
Quiz: Are you abusing your appliances?
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Take our quiz to see how well you treat your appliances. Then, find out what you can do to help them last longer.

February 11, 2016
How to keep a dryer clean and economical
By Sears PartsDirect staff

This easy-to-follow advice helps your dryer run efficiently, so you spend less on energy and your clothes dry faster.