Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
The passenger door on my 318 is very hard to open and it seems as though it has dropped. The driver door is quite stiff too.

Is this something I can fix? Is it just a case of tightening something or is it a more involved job?

Thanks
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Dude - {P}
I would be very surprised if your problem is the result of a dropped door(unless your vehicle has been involved in accident damage). The fact that both doors are quite stiff leads me to think that it may be a while since the hinges and door stops have been greased). You should however be able to compensate the closing action by adjusting the closing plate on your B. pillar.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
That sounds hopeful then. I'm pretty confident there is no accident history on the car, it had an RAC check prior to purchase and all of the panels seem true.

Could you elaborate on how I adjust the closing plate on my B pillar (I assume that is the bit the door slams into on the actual chassis?). Could you also elaborate on which bits I need to grease. Once the door is opened it swings back & forth very freely.

I must admit, when I had an old 950 fiesta the doors dropped and you could lift them when open and feel the excess play. I tried that with my BMW and I couldn't feel any play.

Many thanks Dude
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Dude - {P}
How old is this vehicle? - If it is an E.46 (the latest model which was introduced in 1998), then there is a plastic cover over the closing plate, which you can ease back to reveal the adjusting bolts, which have countersunk star fittings and will require the correct tool fitting. If the doors are moving easily once clear of the B. pillar, then they do not require greasing.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Cyd
It could be that the door has dropped due to hinge wear. Most OEMs have a standard for door drop after conducting door slam endurance. Rovers standard was tougher than BMWs equivalent.

If the drop is small you should be able to adjust the door striker on the B pillar to compensate. Otherwise you will have to re-adjust the door, which means getting access to the bolts holding the hinge in place (probably in the A pillar to adjust door height).

You can use spray grease to lubricate hinges, but only apply lightly and wipe off all excess once the solvent has evaporated. If the hinges have bushes, use WD40 and again remove excess.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
It's a late E36 - 1999 'V'. Compact.

I'm unclear as to what my A and B pillars are!
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Dude - {P}
The pillar locations are not exactly rocket science, - Looking at the vehicle from side view, the A Pillar follows the windscreen side frame & down the front of the door. The B pillar is the frame between the front & rear windows & down the rear of the front door, and the C pillar runs down between the rear of the rear side window & the back window. If the vehicle is only 1999, I would not expect there to be excessive wear present in the hinges, and it can be adjusted, as suggested by Cyd.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
I appreciate it may not be rocket science but as I'm not familiar with the terminology I simply didn't know.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - mscott
To check for a dropped door open and close it whilst keeping the opening handle (or button) in the opening position. If when you close the door you feel an obstruction then the catch on the door is hitting the striker on the door frame. Try doing it again, but this time lifting the door as much as you can. If the door now closes more easily then the door has dropped or the striker plate moved up. If however, the door opens and closes without obstruction then your door proably hasn't dropped and the problem will lie with the catch not releasing properly.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Cyd
A-ha! Given the age of the car I would suggest it is unlikely (but not impossible) to be door drop. Also given the age of the car I would take it to a dealer to look at.

Before you do however, take a good look around the hinges where they meet the doors and the pillars. Is the paint seal around the periphery of the hinge intact? If so then it has never been adjusted since leaving the factory and it's possible it wasn't adjusted properly (either the door or striker that is - there's no paint seal round the striker so we can't tell if someone's had a go at them). If the paint seal has been broken and either has or has not been made good by repainting (it should have) then the doors have been adjusted since the car was built - in which case this could be the most likely culprit, ie it wasn't done properly.

Either way the dealer will be able to sort it out. If the doors have clearly not been adjusted and the car has FBMWSH I would expect they would do it for free. If there is evidence the doors have been adjusted, you may have to pay. It could still be that the adjustment needed can be achieved on the striker, in which case they will be able to do it fairly quickly.

With a car this new I would entrust it to someone with a practised eye and touch.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - Rosanbo
I tell you what happened to me the other day.

my 150,ooo mile omega, I couldn't open the door from the inside, I could see the door was ajar slightly so I just pushed hard, and it opened. I got out the car to see what the prob was, now I couldn't close it, it appeared to have dropped by about one inch, I was really annoyed because it had been fine until this point, ( I only bought the car 7 days earlier)

When I presented the door slowly to the car it really did seem to be out of alignment and was clearly hitting the frame of the car where it shouldn't be, I tried lifting the door but no change. I then looked closely at the lock on the door I could see bits of broken plastic, I removed these with my car key and then I noticed the lock mechanism was in the door closed position, lifting the door handle had no effect, until I used my key (whilst lifting the door handle) to reset the lock mechanism to the "open" position. Then when I closed the door it was a little stiff at first but it soon became almost perfect. The door is now aligned perfectly again.

I really don't understand what happened there on that day and I haven't since had a sniff around to see if I can re-create the circumstances so as to have a better understanding. But maybe you should do the same with your car, check that your locking mechanism is in the "open" position if it is not use your key with door handle lifted to click it open.
Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
Thanks for all of this advice, I'll do these visual checks but may heed the advice and leave any adjustments to the experts.

The car is new to me so, although it does have a full BMWSH it isn't at my local dealer so they may be more reluctant to help gratis. I'll see if I can work out what is causing the stiffness first.

Incidentally, the stiffness is when you pull the handle (inside or out) you feel as though the handle might snap before the door pops open - luckily up until now the door has popped open!

Doors dropped, BMW 3 Series - UncleR
Seems sensible to finish this with the answer! A small squirt of WD40 on the door lock mechanism has solved the problem. Sometimes the answer is so simple you don't even consider it. Thanks for all of the advice.
 

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