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How to Fix a Car Door That Won’t Open From Inside? – 6 Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to fix a car door that won't open from inside

Dealing with a car door that refuses to budge can be frustrating, especially when you’re in a rush or have somewhere important to be. It’s a problem that can happen to anyone, and while it may seem like a minor inconvenience, it’s crucial to fix it as soon as possible for safety reasons.

There can be several reasons why your car door refuses to open from the inside, and in this blog, we’ll discuss some simple solutions to get your door opening smoothly again.

So, here’s how to fix a car that won’t open from the inside.

Ways to Fix a Car That Won’t Open From Inside

You may be wondering, “Why won’t my car door open?” There are various reasons why this happens. Before you try to fix a car door handle, you might want to investigate the problems first.

Having a car door that doesn’t open from the inside? Here are the possible causes you may want to take a look at.

1. Enabled Child Lock


If your passenger door won’t open and you’re driving a modern car, you most likely have activated child lock. This feature is designed to prevent your car door from opening when your child is fidgeting with the buttons at the back.

To disengage the child lock, open the door from the outside, and put the child lock in the unlock position. If the child lock doesn’t move when you try to put it in a different position, you might have to change your door latch.

2. Frozen Door Handles


If your inside car door handle is not working, it might be because of the freezing temperature. If your car is exposed to the cold in the winter seasons, internal components inside your car door become frozen and cannot move.

To unfreeze your door handle, apply a deicing product to it. Make sure to cover your car door as well. You can also try to move the lock actuators to try to break the ice inside the car door.

3. Disconnected Wires


Due to wear-and-tear, internal components inside your car door might get disconnected, resulting in a car door that won’t unlock. This can also happen at times when you usually drive on bumpy roads that shake your car, disjointing the cables and causing buttons on car door handles to not work.

In order for you to reconnect the wires, you have to open your car door and the door lock assembly, which will expose the internal components. If you see any disconnections, reconnect the wires to their proper places and test your car door again.

4. Accumulated Dirt and Rust


Dirt and rust can accumulate on your car door. This makes it difficult for your car door to open all the way as it affects major moving parts such as your door latch or door handle.

If this occurs only on the driver door of your car, apply lubricants such as WD-40 to your car door’s moving parts.

5. Enabled Deadlock


The deadlock feature prevents the car doors, including ones on the driver’s side, from being opened from the inside. This locks out the occupants that are inside the car unless they have the key fob of the car with them.

You can disable the deadlock by simply pressing the unlock button on your keyfob or on the dashboard.

6. Technical Issues


If you have already tried the above-mentioned ways and nothing works, your vehicle may suffer from some technical problems. In this case, consult an automotive professional or a mechanic.

Depending on the issue, the cost to fix your car door ranges from $50 to $150 dollars for the diagnosis and repair. Additional repair costs can be incurred depending on the distance and complexity of unlocking your car.

Causes of Jammed Car Doors and How to Fix It

Jammed car doors are one of the common problems you encounter when you have a car. It prevents the door from opening or closing properly. This can happen for several reasons, including mechanical malfunctions, extreme weather conditions, or objects lodged in the door frame.

Inspect the following if your car door won’t open from the inside or outside.

1. Connection Issues

Wirings and connection to your car door might get disconnected over time. Signs that you have car door connection issues are sticky or stuck doors, doors that open automatically while driving, or you have to use force to either manually open or close the door.

To prevent this scenario, have your car maintained regularly by a professional. You can also try to do it by yourself by opening and exposing the components inside your car door.

2. Lodged Hinges and Handles


Due to rust and dirt accumulating in your door handle, as well as your car door, it might be difficult for the components to move. Check the nooks and crannies of your car door and handle to see if dirt or rust is blocking the movement of the components.

If your car door is hard to open due to rust and dirt, clean your car door and car handle thoroughly. Wash the outside part of your door with soap and water and vacuum the inside part and components.

3. Damaged Car Doors


If your car has recently been in a car crash, it’s possible that the internal components of your car door have been damaged. The telltale sign of this problem is when your car door is stuck closed and you can’t open it through the usual ways.

To prevent this problem and drive safely, follow traffic rules and do not drive when you are drunk.

4. Deadlocks

If you accidentally pushed a button and you can no longer get out of your car, you might have activated the deadlock function. The deadlock function disables the car door from being opened from the inside.

Normally, the deadlock feature is always off unless you push the lock button twice. To prevent your car from activating deadlock, locate the deadlock button on your key fob and do not push it unless necessary.

5. Weather Damage


Extreme weather conditions, such as cold temperatures or heavy rainfall, can also cause car doors to become jammed. Water can freeze around the door frame, making it difficult to open or close the door. Alternatively, humidity can cause the door’s rubber seals to stick, making it challenging to open or close.

Ways to Open Jammed Door

With the above-mentioned causes of your car door jamming, here are the things that you can do to open your jammed door:

  • Lubricate your car door lock. If your car door doesn’t open even with a key, you can try blowing compressed air onto the keyway first before lubricating it to ensure the key goes all the way inside the lock.
  • Access the other doors. If only two doors on one side are jammed, try the other side.
  • Change your keys. If you have a physical key, you might want to get your spare keys. If you have a key fob, change the batteries on your fob and see if it might unjam your car door.
  • Use a de-icer. If a car door is unlocked but won’t open, your car door components might be frozen shut and are due for de-icing.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it typically take to fix a car door that won’t open from the inside?

The time it takes to fix a car door that is not opening from the inside depends on the cause of the problem. Lubricating your door handle would just take 1-3 minutes while replacing a car door will take around two hours.

Can I lock my car if my door won’t open from the inside?

Yes, you can still lock your door even though you can’t open the car door from inside. Having a car door that won’t open from the inside doesn’t necessarily mean that your lock is broken, so you can still use it to fend off potential thieves from accessing your car.


During the course of having a car, it’s inevitable that you will encounter small inconveniences to major problems. What you can do to prevent such is to better know your car and do regular maintenance.

Knowing how to fix a car that won’t open from the inside will come in handy in emergency and non-emergency situations. You can never be too careful around devices that may malfunction randomly.

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