Door to Door was the group's last studio album before it disbanded in 1988. It was also the last Cars record to feature Benjamin Orr before his death in 2000. The band would not release another studio album until 2011's Move Like This.
Although by 1987 the Cars had reached the heights of superstardom, their last few albums had relied heavily on studio tricks and machines; this album was an attempt to move back to the group's original roots. For example, where the previous album, Heartbeat City, extensively used sampled and sequenced drums (a move that had somewhat alienated drummer David Robinson), this album returned to having Robinson performing the drums in the studio, often simultaneously with other members.
During a writing jam session, the band began to play "Ta Ta Wayo Wayo", a song from their earliest days together. It had never been recorded in the studio, except as a demo in 1977. They enjoyed the tune so much that the 1987 version of the song made it onto the album. The opening track, "Leave or Stay", also was originally a 1977 demo that was not properly recorded until Door to Door. Both tracks had their respective 1977 demo versions eventually issued on the 1995 compilation Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology.
While the original album bears the credit "Produced by Ric Ocasek", individual tracks from this record that appear on various Cars compilations bear the credit "Produced by Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes".