How to Fix a Car Door That Won't Open

by Alisa Herrscher
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car image by Warren Millar from

It is frustrating when your car door will not open, especially when you are in a hurry or are battling extreme weather. There are a variety of reasons why a car door won't open. Identifying the problem and eliminating the cause are the first steps to fixing the car door. There are a few common issues that will help identify the problem.

Step 1

Eliminate the easy fixes. Check that the door locks are open. Many people lock the doors without realizing it, or the doors lock automatically when the door closes. If the door will not open from the inside, check that the child safety lock is not engaged. If the child lock is on, the door will not open.

Step 2

Check the seat belt. If the seat belt has not fully retracted, it may be blocking the door's latching mechanism. Give the door a firm shove from the inside while pulling the door handle open. This may take quite a bit of force and multiple attempts. Once the seat belt is taken off the latch, the door will open.

Step 3

Remove the panel of the door to access the mechanical components. Reference the car manual for the location of the door locks and its parts. Look for a broken rod or loose cable. Replace the broken part at your local automotive store.

Step 4

Lubricate the door hinges. If the door consistently jams or opens with extreme difficulty, using a spray lubricant might be all you need. Open the door to access the hinges. Spray a liberal amount of lubricant to the hinge. To work the lubricant into the hinge, open and close the door without shutting it completely. If it continues to creak or is difficult to open, add more lubricant.

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