Car Door Wont Open From Outside

The Car Door Wont Open From Outside Or Inside | Top 7 Reasons

One of the most frustrating situations a car owner can encounter is when the car door wont open from outside or inside. This inconvenience can occur unexpectedly, leaving drivers feeling trapped and helpless, especially in emergencies.

Whether it’s due to a mechanical malfunction, an electrical issue, or wear and tear, understanding the potential causes behind this problem is crucial for any vehicle owner.

In this article, we will delve into some common reasons why car doors may refuse to open from inside and outside perspectives, exploring possible solutions to help alleviate this annoying situation and regain control over our mobility.

How to open a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside

Remain calm and assess the situation. Panicking will only cause unnecessary stress and hinder your ability to think clearly. Start by trying the most obvious solution: unlocking the car using your key fob or manually inserting the key into the lock.

If your car has central locking and none of the doors respond to unlocking commands from your key fob or inside controls, there may be an electrical issue. Try using your physical key in the driver’s side door lock cylinder; sometimes, electronic malfunctions can disable remote access while still allowing mechanical entry.

Different Reasons Why Your car door wont open from outside Or Inside

1. Rust and Dirt Build up

Rust build-up is a common problem that plagues car doors, especially in regions with high humidity levels or frequent exposure to rain or snowfall. Water seeping into small crevices and cracks in a car’s paintwork can initiate corrosion on metal surfaces over time.

This inconvenience can be attributed to various reasons, with rust and dirt build-up being prominent culprits. Exposure to moisture and different environmental elements can cause rust to develop on the metal components of the door latch mechanism.

Accumulated dirt, dust, and grime can obstruct the smooth operation of the latch system. Understanding these issues is crucial for every car owner to prevent further damage and ensure hassle-free access to their vehicles.

2. Faulty Lock System

The lock mechanism is responsible for securely keeping your car door shut but can prevent you from accessing your vehicle when it malfunctions. There are several reasons why a car door’s lock system may fail to open from the outside.

Worn-out key fobs or keys can lead to issues with unlocking the door. These components can become damaged or lose effectiveness, making it difficult to open the car door using traditional methods.

Car Door Wont Open From Outside

Frozen locks are a common problem during cold winter months. When water gets inside the lock mechanism and freezes, it becomes virtually impossible to turn the key or push down on the button to unlock the door.

3. Wiring Issues

When there are faults or damages in the wiring system, it can disrupt the flow of electricity and prevent proper unlocking mechanisms from functioning.

This can be caused by various factors, such as wear and tear over time, exposure to moisture or extreme temperatures, or even rodents chewing on the wires.

A faulty wire connection may result in a lack of power reaching the door lock actuator, which releases the latch that keeps the door closed.

If no electrical current runs through these connections due to damaged or loose wires, it becomes impossible to unlock and open the car door from the outside.

4. Broken Handle

One possible cause is a faulty door latch mechanism, which may have worn out. This issue prevents the door from opening when pulling on the exterior handle, requiring immediate attention to ensure your safety and ease of access.

Car Door Wont Open From Outside

Another reason for a car door not opening from the outside could be a broken linkage inside the door panel. The link connects the exterior handle to the latch mechanism and enables it to release when pulled. If this linkage becomes disconnected or damaged, it can prevent the proper functioning of the handle, rendering it useless.

5. Structural Damage to the Door

One of the possible culprits is structural damage to the door itself. Collisions or accidents can result in bent panels or misaligned frames, making it difficult or even impossible to open the door from the outside.

This damage may not always be visible to the naked eye and might require a professional inspection to diagnose and repair accurately.

Another reason for a stubbornly stuck car door could be a malfunctioning latch mechanism. Wear and tear can cause the latch assembly to become corroded or jammed, preventing it from adequately releasing when the exterior handle is pulled.

6. Deadlock

Deadlocks are designed to provide an extra layer of security by preventing unauthorized access to your vehicle. If this mechanism fails to disengage correctly, it can prevent the door from opening even when using the key or handle on the exterior.

Another reason for an external car door lock failure could be a faulty actuator. The actuator is responsible for physically moving the locking mechanism inside the door when you engage or disengage it with your key or remote control.

If this device becomes worn out or damaged over time, it may no longer function correctly, resulting in difficulty unlocking the door from the outside. Attempting to open the car multiple times without success may exacerbate the problem and eventually require professional intervention.

7. Automatic Lock

These locks are designed to enhance security by locking the doors automatically when you start driving. They can sometimes malfunction and prevent you from accessing your vehicle.

Car Door Wont Open From Outside

One possible reason for a car door not opening from the outside due to an automatic lock is a faulty actuator. The actuator is responsible for physically moving the lock mechanism inside the door when you press a button or use your key fob.

If it fails or gets stuck in one position, it can prevent the door from unlocking. Another potential cause could be an issue with the wiring or electrical connections that control the automatic lock system.

How to Open A Jammed Car Door Without Visiting Your Mechanic

1. Lubricating

One of the easiest and most effective solutions is lubricating the door hinges and latch mechanism. With just a few everyday household items and a little time, you can save yourself both money and frustration.

Gather some penetrating oil or WD-40, as well as an old toothbrush or small brush. Start by spraying the oil onto the hinges and latch mechanism, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where rust or debris may be causing friction.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate deeply into the mechanisms. Use your brush to scrub away any visible dirt or rust buildup on the hinges.

2. Repair the Broken Connection

You can quickly repair the broken connection with patience and some essential tools. Start by checking whether the lock cylinder or the latch mechanism is the issue. If it’s the former, try spraying some graphite lubricant into the keyhole and slowly working your key in and out.

Car Door Wont Open From Outside

This may help loosen any debris that could be causing interference. If it’s the latter, locate the latch mechanism inside your car door panel and inspect for any visible damage or loose connections. Carefully remove any screws or plastic covers that secure your door panel.

3. Remove the Lock Panel

You can remove the lock panel. To do this, start by locating the screws or bolts that hold the board in place. They are usually located on the edge of the door or hidden behind plastic covers. Use a screwdriver or socket wrench to remove them carefully, making sure not to strip any screws.

Once all screws are removed, gently pry off the lock panel using a trim removal tool or a flathead screwdriver covered with tape to prevent scratching. It might be secured with clips that could break if too much force is applied.


A car door wont open from outside can be a frustrating and inconvenient issue to deal with. By identifying the potential causes, such as a faulty latch mechanism, frozen lock, or broken key fob, it is possible to find a solution.

Whether it involves repairing or replacing the necessary components, seeking professional help, or implementing preventive measures like regular maintenance and lubrication, taking action is crucial to resolve this problem.

Neglecting the issue could lead to further complications or even compromise your safety. So feel free to address the problem promptly and effectively for a smoother, hassle-free driving experience.


How Long Does It Take to Fix a Door Handle on a Car?

It usually takes about 1.5 hours of labor to fix or replace a door handle. This estimate can change based on the make and model of the car, as well as the specific issue with the door handle.

Is it safe to force a car door open when jammed shut?

Pushing a jammed car door open is not recommended as it can damage the locking mechanism further or cause physical harm. It’s best to consult a professional to resolve this issue safely.