How to open a car door that won’t open; practical tips for a car door that is stuck

Imagine a Monday morning where you’re all dolled up for work and ready to kill it at the presentation to one of the clients you manage at your company. As you slip on your stiletto or your cap toe oxford shoes as a man, you spray your best cologne, carry your laptop bag, and head for the car outside.

With a massive smile on your face and a happy-go-lucky gait, you reach your car, but as you try to pull it open, it doesn’t budge. So, you think you did not use enough pressure to open the door. You’re very confident that you unlocked it already, and you didn’t change our lock.

You try again, drop your bag on the floor to keep trying, but the door still doesn’t open. Trust me; your mood quickly goes from happy-go-lucky to frustrated in a flash. Don’t let the frustration kill you. We’ll show you how to open a car door that won’t open. We won’t let the stuck car door darken the joy in your heart with frustration. Keep reading.

Why the car door won’t open from outside or inside (a car door is stuck)

Before we dig into how to open a car door that got stuck, let’s examine the possible reasons why the car door got stuck in the first place. Diagnosing why it won’t open would help you better understand how to approach the problem. Here are possible reasons why your car door is stuck.

The car is still locked:

Sure, it does sound basic and ridiculous. But the truth is you might have, somehow, not successfully unlocked the car. So, if you have the key with you, try to unlock the car first. Then, try to open the door. If nothing happens, or you lock the keys in the car, you should inspect the lock to see if it’s unlocked or locked. Sometimes, it could be that the lock itself is faulty. You could be suffering from a deadlock issue. This deadlock issue often rears its head with car models with certain types of security features. Furthermore, some car locks ensure that you must always have your car keys with you. That’s the only way you can.

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Connection problems:

Another reason your car door is refusing to open or is stuck is that there must have been a disconnection leading up to the car door latch or in the entire door lock assembly. Let’s take a peek into the internal make of the door lock assembly to see how a disconnect is possible. The door lock assembly consists of the rods, fasteners, cables, etc. all of these connect to the locking mechanism of your car’s handle, interior, and exterior. When a car door feels stuck, you should know that a fastener, cable, or connecting rod may have broken, come undone, or is loose. Once any part of the door lock assembly is faulty, the handle won’t open the door, regardless of how much you pull it.

Grime, dirt, and rust accumulation:

If you rarely clean your car or take it to the car wash to get cleaned up, you could suffer jammed car door as a result of dust, rust, or grime that has accumulated over time, and here’s how it’ll affect your car door. It is easy for rust to sink into your door lock assembly and settle on the elements in the door lock. Once this happens, your door would get jammed as rust, grime, debris, etc., can wear out your door lock mechanism, rendering them weak in the process.

Damaged door:

In this case, your lock could be excellent. You’d also hear your keys unlock the door once you use it. But you still won’t be able to get into the car. The reason is not your lock but the car door itself.

Other possible reasons your car door won’t open from inside or outside include; broken lock, core structure damage that often occurs after an accident, or when your latch is frozen (no thanks to winter weather).

The practical tips to open a car door that won’t open from outside or inside

Now that you know why your car door won’t open, you most likely would have an idea of how to fix some of these issues. Let’s dive in to unravel some of the plausible and efficient tips that’ll help correct the fault in no time.

Unlock the car door:

The first thing you should do is try to unlock the car door. This tip works best when you’ve not tried to unlock the car door at all, and you’re confident that’s why the car door feels like it’s jammed. So, using your car keys, unlock the door. If the automatic lock doesn’t work, try to open it manually by sliding the key into the keyhole on the door.

Fix the connection issue:

This tip works best for hobbyists and those who are skilled at car repairs. If you’re not confident about your auto repair skills, it would be best to back up a bit and leave this job to a mechanic. While it’s not difficult to execute, it is pretty tricky. It requires you to dig into the door lock mechanism to see what parts are faulty. If just a couple of parts are faulty, you only need to buy new parts to replace the old ones. Other times, you might only need to fix some of the parts as they might still be in good shape.


Another tip is to lubricate the door latch to get rid of the blockage. Start by adjusting the part that’s stuck. Then, lubricate the door lock assembly to eliminate debris, rust, etc., that have formed a blockage.

Inspect the panel:

Here, you’ll have to take out the door panel to figure out what’s wrong with the door. It could be an inside shaft or power locking issues. Once the panel is off, you’ll locate what the problem is, and you can fix it.

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Wrap up

As a hobbyist, you might get excited that you’re about to work your magic on your car. But before the excitement gets the best of you, ensure you take precautions to prevent ugly incidents from occurring. For instance, if you have to dig into the door panel, ensure that you, first, disconnect every electrical connection. Also, you want to switch off your car alarm too for obvious reasons.

The reason is that your car would assume you’re a thief trying to break into your vehicle. Since your car door is jammed, forcing it open or attempting to diagnose and fix the issue without turning off the alarm would set it off. It would alert your neighbors, and good neighbors could try to put a call through to you or the police.

Now, you don’t want to explain to the police why you’re “breaking” into your car. So, turn off your alarm. Furthermore, ensure you’ve got your license and insurance with you before you attempt to work on your vehicle, especially if you experience the problem far from home. With these safety tips in mind, feel free to fix your car door issue.

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