Car Door Won’t Open From Inside Or Outside (Common Causes & Solutions)

by Joshua Thomas

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 from both inside and outside.

The good news is that this is a fixable problem. However, to fix this, you will first need to understand the possible causes.

Car Door Won't Open From Inside Or Outside (Common Causes & Solutions)

Car Door Won't Open From Inside Or Outside (Common Causes & Solutions)
Car Door Won't Open From Inside Or Outside (Common Causes & Solutions)

1. Locking Door Unknowingly

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

For many modern vehicle models, the doors are designed to lock automatically for increased security. Also, most modern vehicles have child safety locks, which prevent the doors from opening when engaged.

Solution: Unlock your door and disengage the child safety lock and try to open the doors. If the lock is faulty, you can try pushing the open and close buttons repeatedly until you are able to open the door.

2. 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 prevents the door from opening.

Solution: Pull the seatbelt out of the latch for the door to function smoothly.

3. Rust and Dirt Buildup

Accumulation of dirt and rust on the door mechanics is another common reason 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. This rust can then cause the door latch to jam, 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 that are necessary for smooth and easy door opening.

Solution: A spray lubricant provides the best solution for rust in your car door, whether it is on the hinge, lock or even a sticky locking mechanism.

Rust And Dust Buildup
Rust And Dust Buildup

4. Frozen Door

When you have 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.

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

5. Mechanical Failure or Broken Lock

The door is a more complex vehicle part than it may look. 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 to expect 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.

Solution: You need to identify the problematic part on the lock, and in some instances, this will mean taking the vehicle to a locksmith or calling one over. Possible repairs will range from repairing lock assembly and replacing specific components like rods to changing the entire lock or even door panel.

6. 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 becomes hard to do, which means you have difficulties opening your door.

The problem can be with either the inside or outside door handle or even both. Sometimes handle mechanics such as worn-out or broken springs that are unable to trigger the door opening mechanism.

Solution: While it is possible to repair some handle issues, in many cases, the best solution will be to remove and replace the handle entirely.

Possible Solutions For A Door That Will Not Open From Either Side
Possible Solutions For A Door That Will Not Open From Either Side

7. Damaged Door

If your car's door gets damaged, the chances are that the lock will also develop issues, which often causes then door not to open from inside or outside.

Solution: The best way to fix a damaged door is often to replace it. While it is possible to have the door repaired, it will never work the same way in most instances. Hence, to ensure you never have to deal with stuck doors, a complete replacement is the best option.

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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.

About Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.

He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.

His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.

Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

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