How To Open a Car Door That Won’t Open From the Outside or Inside

How to open a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside can be a tricky thing to learn. A door might not open for several reasons, such as a broken door latch or handle, a frozen lock, or a damaged structure.

How To Open A Car Door That Won'T Open From The Outside Or Inside

There are various methods you can do to attempt to unlock a door that won’t open from the outside or inside, no matter the reason. We’ll provide you with workable fixes for the common causes of car door problems in this post to help you get back on the road.

How To Open a Vehicle Door That Won’t Open from the Outside or Inside

To open a vehicle door that won’t open from the outside or inside, you can try using compressed air to blow out debris, spraying lubricant into the keyhole, opening the other doors, changing the keys, using a de-icing product, or calling a professional for help.

– Use Compressed Air to Blow Out Debris

Sometimes, the reason behind a car door that won’t open is that the lock of the door is stuck due to debris or dirt that is inside. If this is the case, the key won’t be able to turn in the lock, and the door won’t open. In this situation, you can try to use a can of compressed air product to remove any dirt and debris that might be stuck inside the door lock.

To do this, locate the keyhole of the car lock and insert the thin nozzle of the compressed air can into the keyhole. Then, spray the compressed air into the keyhole. The force of the compressed air will help dislodge any debris that might be stuck inside the lock.

After blowing compressed air into the lock, try to insert the car key and turn it to see if the lock has been loosened. If the lock still won’t turn, you might need to try a different method or seek the help of a professional to fix the problem.

– Spray Lubricant Into the Keyhole

If your car door won’t open even with the key in the lock, it could be due to a stiff or rusty door lock. One way to fix this is by spraying some lubricant into the keyhole. WD40 or PTFE spray is a common lubricant used for this purpose.

Using Spray Lubricant Into the Keyhole

Before spraying the lubricant, make sure to wipe away any debris or dirt that may have accumulated around the keyhole. Then, insert the straw or nozzle of the lubricant can into the keyhole and spray the lubricant directly into the lock. Make sure to use the lubricant sparingly and only apply a small amount.

Too much lubricant can attract more dirt and debris, making the problem worse in the long run. After spraying the lubricant, try turning the key again to see if the lock of the door has loosened up and the door can be opened.

– Try Opening Other Doors

If your car door won’t open from either the outside or the inside, the next step is to check if any other doors are functioning correctly. It is possible that only one door, such as the driver’s side or passenger’s side door, is not working due to a faulty door handle or latch.

In case your car has locks for the rear passenger doors, you can try using them to get inside the car. You can also try unlocking the rear tailgate if you have an SUV and use it to gain access to the area of the passenger. When you get inside, check if you can open the doors from there.

If you can open doors from another entrance, then the problem is likely isolated to the specific door that wasn’t working earlier. In such a case, you can investigate further to determine the root cause of the issue. On the other hand, if you are still unable to open the door even after trying other doors, it may be necessary to seek professional help to fix the issue.

– Consider Changing the Keys

Over time, car keys can become worn or damaged due to repeated use or exposure to harsh elements. When this happens, the teeth of the key may no longer align correctly with the tumblers in the door lock, making it difficult or impossible to unlock the door.

Using a Spare Key for Car Door

One solution is to use a spare key, which may be in better condition and able to make a more secure connection with the tumblers. If you don’t have a spare key, you may need to get a new one made by a locksmith or at a dealership. Another possibility is that the issue is with the key fob rather than the physical key itself.

If you’re using a key fob to unlock the car, the battery might be dead and need to be replaced. Try swapping out the battery with a new one and see if that solves the problem. If the key fob still doesn’t work, you may need to have it repaired or replaced by a professional.

– Use a De-icing Product

In colder temperatures, moisture can accumulate inside the lock of the door, which can cause the lock to freeze. When this happens, the lock’s tumblers can become stuck, making it difficult to insert and turn the key. One solution to this issue is to use a de-icing product.

These products typically come in a bottle with a nozzle that can be sprayed directly into the keyhole. The de-icer contains chemicals that help to melt any ice or frost that has formed inside the lock. Another option is to warm up the metal key before inserting it into the lock.

You can do this by holding the key above a lighter or a match for a few seconds. The heat from the flame can help to warm up the metal key, which can, in turn, help to melt any ice or frost inside the lock.

Once the key is warm, insert it into the keyhole and try to turn it to unlock the door. If the locked car door is still frozen, repeat the process a few times until it works. It’s important to note that if the lock is frozen due to structural damage or other issues, de-icing the lock or warming up the key may not work.

– Call a Professional

If none of the above mentioned methods work, you might need to call a professional to help you out. If you have doubt that the door of your car is stuck shut due to a broken lock, you should contact a locksmith. They usually carry all the necessary equipment and expertise needed to fix the problem.

Professional Can Help to Open a Locked Car Door

A skilled locksmith is an expert in unlocking and manipulating any type of lock no matter its age, condition, or complexity. They have the experience and expertise to properly bypass or replace the existing lock to get you back into your vehicle safely and quickly.

In addition, locksmiths know how to identify faulty mechanisms and hardware, which may be causing your car door to become stuck in the first place. They will also assess break-in attempts to determine if any further work needs doing beyond just unlocking the doors.

However, if the car doors won’t open due to damaged structure, such as after an accident, a mechanic of any body shop or specialist of bodywork is a better option compared to a locksmith. They can inspect the door latch and door handle to see if there is any damaged structure that needs to be repaired to get the car door open again.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are the Factors That Can Prevent a Car Door from Opening?

The factors that can prevent a car door from opening are typically a faulty latch or lock assembly. Due to normal wear and tear from opening and closing the door, the components of the door’s latch or lock are prone to malfunction over time.

Inadequate lubrication of the moving parts can accelerate this process, resulting in difficulty unlocking or opening the door. In some cases, corrosion in and around the actuator rods could also be hindering proper operation.

2. What Are the Signs of a Broken Car Door Lock Actuator?

The signs of a broken car door lock actuator include when a driver has power locks and they are not functioning correctly, especially if they make sounds other than normal clicking. If a manual key must be used to gain access, that can also indicate trouble with the actuator.

It is relatively simple to determine if a lock of the door actuator is malfunctioning. The door must be manually inspected for any visible signs of damage such as burned or melted wires, then further testing may need to be conducted depending on the outcome of this inspection.

A multimeter should be utilized to test for continuity at the terminals of the actuator, and after replacement with a new one, sometimes a coding process needs to be done for proper alignment and functionality.

3. Is It Okay To Operate a Car That Has a Damaged Door?

No, it is not okay or recommended to operate a car that has a damaged door. This is because these doors provide structural support and protection to occupants in the event of an accident or rollover. As such, any damage sustained can significantly reduce its effectiveness in such situations.

This can then lead to an increased risk of injury or even death. In addition, driving with a damaged door can also increase aerodynamic drag and put additional stress on other components affecting the performance of your vehicle.


You can try many techniques on how to open a car door that won’t open from the outside or inside, as you have already learned from this article. It can be easier than you think to find a solution, which includes inspecting the structure for damage and utilizing lubricants and de-icing chemicals.

However, these are the main ideas to remember:

  • A damaged lock, a dysfunctional latch, or damaged structure are just a few of the potential causes of a car door that won’t open.
  • Try opening other doors, locks, or the trunk if the door won’t open from the outside or inside.
  • You can use lubricant or de-icing chemicals to help loosen the lock of the door after checking it for debris or rust.
  • The door may not open due to a broken key or a dead key fob battery.
  • When all else fails, call a seasoned locksmith or mechanic.

When trying to unlock a stuck automobile door, keep in mind to be methodical and patient so you may avoid the headache and cost of a car repair with a little troubleshooting.

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