Car Door Won’t Open From Inside Or Outside (4 Solutions)

Car Door Wont Open From Inside Or Outside

A car door that will not open from inside or outside can be very frustrating as it makes it hard to get in and out of the vehicle.

Car doors are one of the most used parts of the vehicle, and hence it is quite common for them to develop issues like failure to open. But, the good news is that this is a fixable problem, and in many instances, you will not even need to take the vehicle to the auto repair shop.

To deal with stuck car doors that will not open from both inside and outside, you will first need to understand the possible causes. Here we explain some of the most common causes of this car door problem and also provide some possible fixes.

Common Reasons Why Door Won’t Open from Inside or Outside

While there are different ways to deal with a car door that will not open from either side, the first step should always be to understand why this problem occurs in the first place. And of the many possible causes, the following are the more common ones.

1. Door is Locked

As unlikely as it might sound, one of the most obvious reasons why your car door will fail to open is because it is locked and you have not realized it.

Many motorists have a tendency of locking their doors without realizing it, and for some vehicle models, the doors are designed to lock automatically. In such instances, you can find it hard to unlock the door, and you will only be able to do it if you first unlock it.

Also, most modern vehicles have child safety locks which will prevent the doors from opening when engaged.

2. Mechanical Failure

When your car door fails to open from both sides, there will most likely be a failure with the mechanics of the door.

The door is a more complex vehicle part than it may look, and it will have several components and parts that work together to ensure it opens and closes smoothly. If there is an issue with any component that makes up the door mechanics, one of the signs of this will be the door failing to open.

Things like loose or broken rods and cables are among the most common issues that can cause mechanical failure on your car door.

3. Seatbelt Not Fully Retracted

A seatbelt that does not retract fully can also bring problems when it comes to opening the door whether you are inside or outside the vehicle.

When the seatbelt does not retract completely, it will often be closed inside the car door, and sometimes it can cover the latching mechanism, which then causes everything to jam and hence preventing the door from opening.

But, this should be an easy problem to fix as you will only need to pull the seatbelt out of the latch for the door to function smoothly.

4. Rust and Dirt Buildup

Rust and Dirt Buildup

Accumulation of dirt and rust on the door mechanics is another common reason why your car door will not open from the inside or outside.

As the door parts are exposed to the elements in different driving conditions, they will accumulate rust and dirt, which can then cause the door latch to jam, and hence making it hard to open the door.

In some instances, the rust will weaken the door latch material and break other things like the latch spring and door hinge, which are all necessary for smooth and easy door opening.

5. Handle Issues

In some cases, the source of your problems will not be the door but the handle. You need the handle to unlock the lock mechanism, and so if it is not working properly, this will be hard to do, which means you will have difficulties opening your door.

The problem can be with either the inside or outside door handle or even both but in many instances, the only solution will be to remove and replace the handle.

In some cases, the handle might have issues with its mechanics such as worn-out springs or it might be broken and hence unable to trigger the door opening mechanism.

6. Activated Deadlock

Deadlock is a car security feature that you will find in many modern models, and it is meant to make it hard to access the car when you do not have the right keys.

When the deadlock is activated intentionally or accidentally, it can make it impossible to open the door from both the inside and outside.

Vehicles with the deadlock feature will have a sequence of buttons on the car remote or even just a single button on the door that you push to activate the deadlock. But, the good news is that if you have the vehicle keys, this will be an easy problem to deal with.

7. Broken Lock

If you have a broken lock things will be almost as bad as when your car door is deadlocked as it will not open from either the inside or outside.

It can be a single lock that is broken or a few of them, but provided there is still a lock on the door that is working fine, you should be able to open the door with a little extra effort.

But, keep in mind that when you find a broken lock this can be a sign that the vehicle has low-quality parts and sooner or later, the other locks might also breakdown, and hence the need to address the problem immediately.

8. Frozen Door

When you are having issues opening your door from the outside and inside, it is also worth considering that it might be frozen. And this is more so if you live in a colder area.

As the temperatures outside get very low, the parts and components in your door can freeze, which then makes it difficult for the door to open from outside or inside.

If it is obvious that the reason why your door is not opening is that it is frozen, the best solution will be to help thaw it with some warm water.

Possible Solutions for a Door that Will Not Open From Either Side

Possible Solutions for a Door that Will Not Open From Either Side

Dealing with a car door that will not open from both inside and outside will require you to first understand the underlying cause because the solution will be highly dependent on the source of the problem. But, here is an overview of some of the best solutions for this car door problem.

1. Lubricate Door Latch

One of the first solutions that you should try when faced with a car door that will not open from the inside and outside is to lubricate the door latches.

Lubrication is very useful when the source of the problem is a sticky locking mechanism. Moisture and dirt often accumulate in the locking mechanism and hence causing it to stick, which makes it hard for the door to open.

Graphite powder or a dry spray will help ensure the locking mechanism works properly, and hence the door opens and closes smoothly.

2. Repair Lock Assembly

If the problem is with the lock assembly, you will need to take your vehicle to the locksmith for repairs.

A problematic lock mechanism is easy to diagnose and fix when being handled by a professional, and so if you suspect that it is the source of your door issue, you should have it checked by the locksmith.

And the repair here will entail either repairing or replacing the problematic parts and components to ensure everything works well.

3. Detach Door Panel

Another effective way of dealing with a car door that will not open will entail removing the door's inside panel and checking for any damaged or broken parts.

Once you identify the problematic components, you will only need to replace them and reinstall the door panel. Removing the door panel allows you to identify and fix issues with things like the inside shafts and other internals mechanisms like the power locking system.

4. Replace the Door

Sometimes the door might be damaged in an accident and become impossible to open from either the outside or inside.

When you have a damaged door, the best way to fix it will be to replace it, and if the frame is not damaged, it should be more affordable to replace.

A body works mechanic can sometimes help to restore a damaged car door, but you will be better off replacing it. No matter how good the job might be, the door will probably never be the same again, and it can end up getting stuck again in the future.


When you find that one of your car doors will not open from both the inside and outside, this is an indication there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

From dirt and rust built up to activated deadlock, various things can get your door stuck and prevent it from opening no matter how hard you try. And to deal with this problem effectively, you should always start by inspecting the door to identify the underlying cause.

A locksmith will be very helpful when it comes to dealing with this problem, but there are also a few fixes such as lubrication that you can do yourself. But also keep in mind that sometimes the problem might be beyond repair, and you might be forced to do a complete door replacement.

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