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Oven Not Closing Fully? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

An oven door may not close fully due to obstructions, gunk buildup, misalignment, and failing parts. An unlevel oven or a dropped door can also prevent the appliance from closing fully.

So, you must investigate the cause and select an appropriate solution from the following options.

Here are 10 ways to fix an oven that’s not closing fully:

  1. Check whether the oven is level.
  2. Align the oven racks properly.
  3. Clean the oven door, seal, and liner.
  4. Inspect the oven’s door lock.
  5. Check and clean the hinges.
  6. Inspect gasket misalignment.
  7. Replace a worn-out gasket.
  8. Replace the bad hinges.
  9. Fix a warped oven door. 
  10. Replace other broken parts.

Some of these solutions do not require replacement parts, but a few broken components can be beyond repair.

Several typical problems are easy to fix, and you do not need to spend any money. Keep reading to know everything about how to fix an oven that’s not closing fully. 

1. Check Whether the Oven Is Level

An unleveled oven may not close fully if its door’s alignment changes in due course. Oven doors shut flush with the frame, facilitated by the hinges, gasket, and lock.

The hinges, lock, or gasket may not work flawlessly due to the uneven weight distribution of the door of an unleveled oven.

Thus, check whether the oven is level or not by following these steps:

  1. Use a bubble-level or similar tool to check if the oven is sitting flat on its feet. Place the level on top of the oven and then at the bottom edge of the door frame. 
  2. Test if the oven’s platform is level. This platform may be a countertop, the base of a cabinet, or the floor, depending on the oven: built-in, free-standing, size, etc. Place the level at the cabinet’s base towards the front edge, on the sides, and at the rear end. 
  3. Check if the oven door is level. Hold the door partially open and place the level on the top edge or trim. Even in a slightly open position, the door’s top edge of the horizontal trim should be level.

Here are the solutions based on the problem you detect:

  • Adjust the feet of your oven. Some models have two adjustable feet at the front, while the rear ones are fixed. A few ovens have four adjustable feet. Raise or lower these adjustable screws to level the oven. 
  • If the countertop, cabinet, or floor is not level, you can use a sturdy object as a shim. You may use a wooden shim, metal washer, or anything appropriate you have handy to raise the oven’s feet to level the appliance.
  • A tilted door trim of a leveled oven on a flat surface indicates a problem with the frame or one of the key parts. For instance, your door may have dropped a little. Hence, you need to inspect the oven door’s components. 

An unlevel oven or door is likely to have problems sooner or later. Bear in mind that the oven won’t evenly cook your dishes if it is not perfectly level. 

2. Align the Oven Racks Properly

Oven doors may not close fully due to obstructions, like an improperly placed oven rack. You have probably pulled, pushed, and adjusted the oven racks many times.

Hence, either a misaligned oven rack is the problem, or you have significant gunk buildup on the door frame. 

Pulling, pushing, adjusting, and removing the racks tends to move the greasy buildup inside the oven. These actions may inadvertently force the gunk to accumulate at a few parts inside the oven frame. 

Aligning the racks is an easy fix for an oven that’s not closing fully. Adjust the rack and see if it is well inside the oven and not obstructing the door frame. 

3. Clean the Oven Door, Seal, and Liner

All ovens require regular cleaning and preventive maintenance. 

Your oven door and its seal or gasket will get dirty and greasy in time, irrespective of what you cook, bake, or broil and how much butter, oil, and other ingredients you use for those recipes.

An extensive gunk buildup may prevent the door and its seal from closing fully flush with the frame. 

Therefore, clean the oven door, seal, and liner. Even if you have a self-cleaning oven, you need to clean the seal and liner outside manually.

Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to select the appropriate cleaning agents and methods. 

Here are the standard ways to clean an oven door, seal, and liner:

  • You may use some dishwashing soap, baking soda, vinegar, or non-toxic commercial cleaner to clean the glass door of your oven.
  • Regular detergent or baking soda and water work well on the metal liner. You may want to avoid vinegar on the metal liner of your oven if you have to scrub hard.
  • Use a mild detergent or hydrogen peroxide to clean the seal. Always use a piece of soft cloth or sponge on the gasket, not an abrasive material. Do not scrub the seal intensely. 

Here’s a short video guide to cleaning an oven seal from Bosch:

4. Inspect the Oven’s Door Lock

Check if the oven’s door lock is functioning flawlessly. 

Like the oven racks and gunk buildup obstructing the door’s closing, a broken, faulty, or grimy lock can cause the same problem. A bad door lock may also have the latch closed even when the oven is open. As a result, the closed latch or locked lever will prevent the door from closing. 

Here is how you can inspect and troubleshoot an oven’s door lock:

  1. Check if the latch is open before you close the oven door.
  2. Clean the oven’s door latch. Preferably, use a lint-free microfiber cloth.
  3. Test if the latch is working properly, be it a manual, electromechanical, or electric lock.
  4. Replace a faulty door lock or its motor assembly if the latter is broken.   

Electric and gas ovens with a self-cleaning feature have a motor assembly mounted at the back. A bad door lock motor may interfere with your self-cleaning oven’s closing and opening. In this scenario, replacing it is the only solution.

Here’s a video from RepairClinic on how to replace the door lock motor on an LG oven:

Refer to the manual to check the location of this assembly. You can match the motor for the door lock. The other steps shown in the video are broadly applicable to most ovens.  

5. Check and Clean the Hinges

Like the oven door, seal, and liner, you may find some greasy debris on and in the hinges. 

The oven door’s hinges may not operate smoothly and to their full range of motion if the gunk buildup is severe. So, the door of your oven may not close completely. The simple solution is cleaning the hinges. 

Ideally, you should clean the hinges while working on the door, seal, and liner. However, people generally prioritize the glass panel and metal body of the door, not the hinges deep down on the frame. Most people do not remove the door from the oven to clean it, so the hinges remain dirty.

Here are a few things to remember when cleaning the hinges of an oven door:

  • You’ll need to remove the door from the oven to access the hinges and their ports. 
  • As you clean the hinges, eliminate all the gunk from the locking mechanism. 
  • Try to extract as much greasy debris as you can from the springs of the hinges.
  • Remember to clean the ports on the oven where you insert the hinges while assembling the door. 

6. Inspect Gasket Misalignment

The third step in this guide talks about cleaning the oven door gasket or seal. You should spot any misalignment while cleaning the gasket. However, if you don’t need to clean the oven door, inspect the gasket and verify if it is aligned alright.

Regular use can lead to gasket misalignment. If the seal juts out somewhere or is not snugly fit, your oven will not close properly. A misaligned gasket compromises the heat seal of your oven. As a result, your food may not cook evenly or effectively. 

Clean the gasket, if necessary, and align it properly on the oven. However, if the seal is broken, visibly damaged, or excessively loose, you will need to buy a new gasket. Otherwise, your oven will not close fully, and it will consume much more energy than necessary to cook a dish. 

7. Replace a Worn-Out Gasket

Oven gaskets do not last forever. You should replace a damaged or worn-out gasket. Remember that an apparently usable gasket may still not form an impeccable seal.

In this case, consider replacing the gasket if the oven is not closing fully and the seal looks frayed, compressed, loose, or deformed. 

Here is a guide to replacing a worn-out gasket on your oven:

  1. You may remove the oven door to get more working room. However, you can access the gasket on most ovens without removing the door. 
  2. Find the oven’s model name and product number on the rating plate. In most cases, the rating plate is at the bottom. You will see it on the body when you open the oven door. 
  3. Check the gasket type on your oven. For example, the seal could be a rubber gasket that fits into a groove or a woven mesh material with hooks.
  4. Match the model name, product number, and gasket type when buying a new seal. 
  5. Fit the new gasket as per installation guidelines. Some gaskets have four clips on the corners that fit snugly in the oven. Ovens with grooves require a gentle sliding push for the rubber gasket to fit perfectly. 

8. Replace the Bad Hinges

Generally, the hinges on your oven door should outlast the gasket. However, the hinges can fail, and you must replace them if the oven door does not close fully. 

The most common issues with hinges are rust, corrosion, and failed springs. The metal hinges are unlikely to deform unless the oven or its door has suffered some serious damage.

However, the hinge assembly can malfunction.

Your oven may have hinges at the two lower ends of the door, and the assembly is on the sides. A few ovens have hinge assemblies throughout the door’s height.

So, like all other replacement components for your oven, match the model name and part number to get the right hinges. 

Here are the steps to replace the hinges of an oven door:

  1. Open the oven door completely and unlock the hinges by releasing the tabs or clips. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to release the tabs by moving them down. 
  2. Close the oven door partially, hold it firmly at the sides, and lift it a little so that it slides out of the hinges. Pull the door out and keep it on a flat working surface. 
  3. Remove the door’s outer glass panel by unscrewing the top cap, lower bracket, and side pieces. Your oven door may have an integrated frame and outer glass panel. Or, you will be able to remove the lower bracket and frame before taking off the glass from the door.
  4. You may have to remove the handle if the hinges run throughout the height of the door on both sides. Otherwise, you can keep the handle on the door. Most oven handles are fastened with screws on the top or inside the door. So, unscrew accordingly. 
  5. The hinge assembly has screws at the bottom or on the back of the door. Some models may have a mounting bracket. Remove all these screws and brackets.
  6. Disassemble the old hinge assembly. Install the new one and tighten all the screws. 
  7. Reinstall all the door components. Ensure the tabs or clips on the hinges are in the open position when you reinstall the door on the oven, or the door won’t fit in the frame. If the clips are closed, release them, slide the door in, and lock the tabs. 

9. Fix a Warped Oven Door 

An oven door can warp in some instances. In rare cases, the oven body may be warped as well. In both situations, the oven door will not close fully. 

You may try a few remedies to fix a slightly warped door, such as oven gasket rope, tape, and high-temperature adhesive. However, these makeshift solutions may not work for everyone. 

You can attempt to bend the warped part of the door. However, I don’t recommend a DIY fix for such cases because the glass can break, you might damage the door, or the outcome may compromise the oven’s seal and safety.

Consult a certified technician to weigh your options. A warped door may be repairable. If it’s not repairable, you will need to replace it.

Here’s a 1 minute video from BuySpares to help you remove and replace an oven door:

10. Replace Other Broken Parts

Most ovens have similar but not identical parts. Additionally, gas ovens have a few different parts than the electric ranges. Furthermore, built-in ovens and ranges have differences. 

In most cases, the oven door should have the same parts I have discussed in this guide. However, a few ovens’ seals or gaskets, mounting brackets, springs, locks, and other parts may be slightly different. 

Bearing this in mind, check any such components on the door or its frame on the oven to find any anomaly. Clean those parts and test if they are working alright. Replace broken components that can’t be repaired. 

Key Takeaways

Cleaning the door and all its parts, removing any obstructions, and ensuring the appliance is level with accurately aligned components are the first fixes if an oven does not close fully. After that, you need to inspect and fix or replace the following, subject to the problem:

  • Oven door gasket or seal.
  • Door latch or lock assembly.
  • One or both door hinges. 
  • Oven door, if it is damaged.