Car Door Won’t Open from Inside or Outside: What to Do?

Are you having trouble with your car door, and now you are thinking about what to do when car door won’t open from inside or outside? Don’t worry; we have the perfect solution. Learn the most common reasons and best ways to fix it quickly.

Have you ever faced a situation where you reached your destination on time but got stuck in the car because your car door didn’t open from the inside or outside?

Or have you heard this unusual sound coming from somewhere? “Please Help! My car door won’t open from inside or outside.”

You might think this is a weird problem, but statistics suggest that more than thousands of people search for solutions to this frustrating situation every month on the internet.

car door won't open from inside or outside
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Yes, machines do break; whether it is a lavish Ferrari or a normal pickup truck, they are meant to cause problems that can be beyond your understanding sometimes. And when you are stuck inside a car that doesn’t open from the inside, you might find it quite absurd.

On the other hand, if you are outside the car and it doesn’t open from outside, you will feel more harassed than ever. So, you must know how to open a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside so you do not get trapped in similar situations.

There is a solution to every problem on this earth, and when it comes to machines, there are multiple solutions available. But before jumping to the solutions, you should know why the problems occur in the first place.

In this comprehensive guide, we have discussed in detail the reasons why car door won’t open from inside or outside and the most probable solutions to fix those problems. Keep reading to get an extensive idea about the same.

How Does a Car Door Lock Work?

There are millions of car owners worldwide, and not 1% of them might stop and think about how a car door lock works until, of course, it stops working. There is a certain mechanism using which the car door lock works, failing which, it may stop working.

Here are some of the crucial mechanics behind a car door lock and the different types of locks available. Understanding how your car door lock operates can help you maintain and troubleshoot any issues.

  • The Interior: On the inside, lock buttons are operated through a key or remote. There is an actuator inside the door with which it connects. You might think, what does a door lock actuator do? Well, it connects to a lever that helps unlock the door to open it.
  • The Connection: After the door button is hit, a rod is moved inside it. One end of the rod connects to the body of the main locking mechanism. The main mechanism consists of an electrical sensor or a set of magnets depending on the type of lock it has.
  • The Operation: Suppose you notice the car door lock mechanism diagram. In that case, you will see that it operates with either manual key operation by pushing the button or it operates through an automatic sensor. When you lock the car door, the mechanism gets engaged, and the door doesn’t open.
  • The Function: When you want to unlock the car door, the lock must be disengaged so the handle connects to the door. If the lock gets engaged, the handle gets disconnected. This is how does a car door lock mechanism work!

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8 Reasons Why Your Car Door Won’t Open from Inside or Outside

If your car door doesn’t open from the inside or outside, there are some specific reasons that need to be blamed for it. And it is not always that you know the exact reason why it happened. But worry not; we have got your back!

Here we have outlined eight possible culprits of car doors not opening from inside or outside and explained some of the most accessible, practical, and actionable solutions to get your door functioning properly again. So let’s check the reasons behind such occurrences.

Deadlock Might Be Activated

A deadlocked door might be the reason why the car door won’t open from outside (or from inside too!) Generally, the deadlock is activated when someone tries to break into your car without having the keys. Or perhaps when the deadlock button is pressed accidentally on your car remote key.

Most modern cars today have the deadlock feature, which helps in locking the car entirely by turning off the door lock mechanism. However, if you have the car keys, you can unlock the car easily.

You need to find out whether your car is deadlocked, and once you are sure, you can use the remote to bring your car back from the deadlock position.

There’s a Chance the Door is Frozen

For people living in colder areas, this might be a very common reason why the car door won’t open from inside or outside. A frozen car door often leads to the jamming of the lock, which locks the car door completely.

When the weather outside is too cold, it can lead the door components to get frozen. The best solution to get rid of this problem is thawing the car with warm water.

Of course, the warm water will melt the frozen ice, allowing the door lock to be unlocked. You can also park your car inside the garage for some time, which will help melt the frozen ice easily.

Car Door Handle Issue

Are you wondering; why won’t my car door open from the outside or inside? Sometimes the problem is not the door, but the door handle itself.

It is evident that the car door opens when the handle works properly. And when the door handle has some problems, it can lead to the car door locks. You need to find out the issue with the door handle.

The broken or worn-out springs don’t let the door mechanism work properly, so the lock-in occurs! While the door handles can be repaired, it is best to replace them to get better results!

Blockage From Rust and Dirt Build Up

If you have been thinking about how to open a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside, you must try to know why it happens in the first place. And one of the primary causes of why this happens is a blockage due to dust and dirt building up inside the lock mechanism.

When you drive the car regularly, it is obvious that dirt and dust will accumulate inside the door mechanics. And with long-term accumulation, it will lead to blockage too.

The door latch gets jammed and can be broken when there is too much dirt! To get rid of it, you can use a spray lubricant.

Seatbelt Not Fully Retracted

Another significant reason why the car door won’t open from inside and outside is this one! When the seatbelt is not retracted properly, it causes the door latch to get jammed, and it affects the regular working of the car door lock.

Sometimes the latching mechanism can get covered due to this, and hence it can also lead to a jammed door latch inevitably. You must check for the seatbelt if you want the door to open smoothly. Pull and retract the seatbelt properly to solve this problem. When it is fully retracted, the door will start functioning normally!

Car Door Connection Issue

Are you still wondering what causes a car door to not open? Well, this one is another significant cause behind such happenings! As simple as the doors seem to be, they are actually not that simple.

With a bit of complex build-up, a car door has the ability to get locked if there is any dispute in its connections. If the door doesn’t open from either side, look for the interior locking switch and the door lock cylinder, as these two are the most common connection issues the door can have.

After finding the exact problem, go for repair. In the worst case, you might need to change the entire door.

Broken Doors or Damaged Lock

One of the most common reasons why your car door won’t open from inside or outside has to be a broken door or a damaged lock. A damaged lock or a broken door will eventually jam out the car door lock because of certain malfunctioning.

If certain parts of the door are damaged, you may have to repair or replace them; if the entire door is broken, you must change it completely. However, replacing the door is always suggested rather than just repairing it because the problem can come back again after some time when you repair it.

Core Structural Damage to the Door

Before you know how to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside and inside, you need to know one last reason behind such occurring. The core structural damage to the door can be one reason why the lock won’t work properly.

There are certain parts of the door lock mechanism that, if get damaged, can cause problems in the functioning of the other parts as well. And when there is core structural damage to the car door, it will eventually lead to the locking of the door lock, and you will be stuck inside or outside of the car.

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What to Do When Your Car Door Won’t Open from Inside or Outside?

Now that you know all the possible reasons why your car door won’t open from inside or outside, you must be eager to know how to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside. So, let’s not waste any more time here and head straight to learn the solutions to a jammed door lock. Here we go:

Lubricate the Car Door Latch

If the car door won’t open from inside or outside, one significant reason, as you have read above, might be a jammed door latch. It can get jammed due to various reasons, be it dirt or cold. And one of the best methods to free it of the jam is to lubricate it.

When you lubricate the door latch properly, it will start functioning as required. For lubrication, some people prefer using home-based stuff. But if you are willing to buy a lubricant, we suggest buying the Wd-40 Specialist White Lithium Grease Spray and Permatex White Lithium Grease, as these two are the best lubricant you can get on the market today.

wd-40 specialist white lithium grease

permatex 80345 white lithium grease

If your car door won’t open from either side, you can apply these lubricants to free the jam caused by dirt or rust. Not only does it enable the smooth working of the door lock, but it also provides protection against further corrosion and rusting when put in the optimum amount.

Both products have amazing features that include multiple applications, nontoxic, stainless application, easy to spray, affordable, and various other such properties. You must use it regularly to avoid a jammed door latch!

Use a New Key or Install a New Lock

If you are wondering how to open a jammed door from the outside, one of the best and most convenient methods is to get a new key or install a new lock. Sometimes it can be expensive to install a new lock for most high-end cars, but then it is a safe method to rely on to avoid similar future experiences.

Sometimes, when you do not use your car for a longer period, you may find out that your car keys have worn out, or you might have just lost them due to negligence. And if you do not have a spare key, then you have nothing else to do except to make a new key or install a new lock in the worst cases.

If the car door doesn’t open from outside, call an auto expert and check for other reasons whether you need to fix anything else. If everything seems perfect, getting a new key or lock is the ultimate solution to this problem.

And when you do not have a spare key, it will be difficult for even the locksmiths to make a new pair of keys. So eventually, you have to replace the car door lock to fix the issue.

Repair the Broken Connections

As you have read above, one of the primary reasons why the car door won’t open from inside and outside is broken connections. The door lock might look simple from the outside, but the connection inside is not that simple.

It runs on a mechanism that has complicated parts that operate the locking in and locking out of the entire car door lock system. Thus, any broken or disputed connection can inevitably lead to the jamming of the door. And if you want to fix the issue, you must repair the broken connections.

The best way to do it is to remove the door panel and check for problems inside it. The electrical connections are attached to the door panel, so you must be very specific while examining.

On the other hand, if the car has a power locking system or other complex connections, you might have to take help from an auto expert to fix the problem of the broken connections as they know how to open a car door that won’t open otherwise!

Check if the Door Latch is Broken or Malfunctioning

If you are still wondering how to open a car door that won’t open from outside or inside, consider checking the door latch once! If it is broken or malfunctioning, it can also lead to a jammed door lock.

Sometimes people hit car doors very hard. And when it’s done multiple times, the door latch gets broken or malfunctioned, due to which it will get stuck and the car door won’t open from both sides. You need to check and analyze the problem and then try to repair it using handy unlocking tools used for emergencies.

If you still find that the car door is not opening from inside or outside, you may have to try other methods to open it. Some people prefer using a door hanger type of stuff to open a broken or malfunctioning door latch, which actually works!

However, if you are unsure of the consequences, it is advised you repair or replace the door latch and have a smooth riding experience after that! You may also call an auto expert to get the desired help you need for the repair!

Remove the Door Panel and Inspect the Issues

To know how to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside, you have to know the exact reasons that are causing the trouble. And for that, you need to remove the door panel and inspect the issues. To remove the door panel, you need a screwdriver.

Start with opening the screws from the bottom of the door panel so that it becomes easier for you to remove the panel easily. You should also keep the screws in a safe place and organize them accordingly, like the way you have removed them, so that you can put them back likewise.

After you are done removing the door panel, check for the probable issues that are the causes of why the car door will not open from outside or inside. You can check for the metal rods, the plastic cover, the latch, the power locking system, and all other parts in detail.

If you are not able to detect any issues by yourself, it is better to call an auto expert and get the door checked by him.

Call an Auto Locksmith to Help You Out

If you are still baffled thinking about how to fix a car door handle that won’t open from the outside, and all the formula mentioned above fails to exert the desired results, the last thing you can resort to is asking for help from an auto locksmith.

Sometimes your car keys can get lost, or the lock system may malfunction. In such instances, it becomes very difficult to solve the issue on your own. You need the help of an auto locksmith who will eventually help in making new keys or new locks for you so that you do not face the trouble again.

Not only that, but the locksmiths are also able to detect the exact issues why you can’t open the car door from inside or outside. And when the right issue is detected, solving it becomes easier than ever.

However, the charges that the locksmiths take for such works vary differently, and you should pick the one that does the job well but doesn’t charge a hefty amount too!

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How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car Door That Won’t Open?

The cost to fix a car door that won’t open varies accordingly depending upon the type of problem it has and the type of repair you choose to have.

For instance, if you want your car door to be repaired at the car dealership, it can cost you more, while taking it to a local auto repair shop will cost you less. But if you ask for an average idea of the cost you have to bear for a problematic car door lock, here is some light on it:

If the car door won’t open from inside or outside, it can cost you between $50 and $200 if you take it to an auto shop. The same repair can cost around $200-$600 if you take it to a dealership.

Whether the problem is a broken switch, loose rod, burnt-out motor, or having multiple problems, the car door lock repair cost will be adjusted depending on that. They can also charge you per hour basis, so if the servicing takes more hours than what is fixed, the charges can increase by up to $50-$120 per hour basis.

If the problem is the actuator, then fixing it separately can cost you around $10-$75, spending on the damages. So, now you know how much does it cost to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside!

How to Fix a Car Door that Won’t Open from the Outside or Inside – Author’s View

When you find out that your car door won’t open from inside or outside, you will probably look for quick solutions to fix this frustrating problem. But it is only after you diagnose the problem that you can find the exact solution to fix it.

And in this guide, you have read about both the problem and the solutions behind the non-opening of your car doors either from the inside or outside.

There are multiple solutions mentioned in the article that are effective in solving your problem. But you can’t try them all at once, isn’t it? So, I have zeroed in on some of the best ways to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside. Here are my suggestions:

  • Lubricate the Car Door Latch (Jamming is real!)
  • Repair the Broken Connections (A broken connection always gives us pain!)
  • Call an Auto Locksmith to Help You Out (A professional is always trustworthy!)

These are my preferred ways to rely on when I think of how to fix a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside. However, the other solutions mentioned in the article are also reliable and effective. You can choose to follow any of the solution that makes sense to you and does the job perfectly for your convenience.

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About Jace Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars and pickup trucks. Applying innovative car care products and installing different latest car accessories are my hobbies. Also, I love sharing my adventurous experience with car lovers.

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