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My Car Door Won’t Open: What You Need To Know To Fix It

car door wont open

The car door is an essential part of your vehicle. That is why it is also important that you immediately get to the problem and fix it when your car door that doesn’t open. After all, what’s a good car if you can’t open its door to get in anyways?

Which is why today, we will be featuring a simple step by step guide on how to fix a car door that won’t open. We will also include several ways on how to prevent this from happening again.

Possible Reasons Why Car Door Won’t Open

There are a lot of possible factors and reasons as to why your car door won’t open. It is important that you know what these factors are to be able to give the problem at least an initial diagnosis.

Here are some possible causes:

Car door hinges

A car door hinge that you don’t lubricate enough can be one of the most common reasons or factors as to why a car door won’t open. However, this is not something that just naturally happens overnight.

It might have already started some long time ago. That is why when you start hearing creaking sounds from your car door, do not ignore it. Or else, the hinge might get locked in that position.

Car door latch/locking mechanism

This factor, on the other hand, can be much more complicated than the first one. If your vehicle door open from one side but not from both outside or inside.

Extreme temperatures

extreme temperatures for your car

Car locks can be affected by extreme temperatures, particularly cold winters. During the winter, moisture is a constant enemy that your vehicle faces. It can cause mold and also freeze your door’s locks.

This moisture buildup can happen right inside your door’s locks. When this happens, turning the lock with a key is almost impossible. Although this mostly happens to cold climates, it can occur in hotter ones too.

As for extreme summers, the metal inside the locks can expand due to excessive heat transfer. That causes the structure inside to bulk up, causing it to get jammed.

What You’ll Need

  • Hinge lubricant – In case the interior of the door is the problem, lubricants for hinges can ease the problem
  • Graphite powder – This is an underrated item to have that works brilliantly with the lubricant in unfreezing faulty locks
  • Socket, ratchet, and wrench – Essential tools for any job that involves your vehicle
  • Screwdriver set – You might need a screwdriver set in case of disassembly

How To Fix a Locked Car Door

Step 1: Go back to the basics

The first step is always to check the fundamental aspects of your door’s mechanism. So, a lot of people overlook this step because it is simple. But trust me, there have been so many instances where the cause was just a stuck seatbelt.

With that said, make sure to check if the locks are fully engaged or not. If it doesn’t open while you’re inside, this could be because of the child safety lock. Child safety locks, when engaged, will prevent the door from opening.

Step 2: Check if the seatbelt is properly tucked or clipped

check seatbelt

Another common cause of a door that won’t open is a seatbelt. Sometimes, seatbelts can get stuck in between the door, in particular by the hinges. Thus, always check to see if the seat belt is fully retracted or engaged.

Another important thing to consider here is other items present near your car seat. For example, if you have a seat cover, this can get tangled up with the door too. There is also a compartment beneath the door, and other things can be the culprit as well.

Step 3: Applying lubricant

Source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/car-maintenance/lubricate-car-locks-hinges-and-latches/view-all/

Another reason why your door is having difficulty in the opening is its hinges. Like any door, the hinge is probably the most important part of its mechanism. Applying hinge lubricants that come in spray bottles are the way to go.

Just open the door (if possible), and spray a generous amount on the hinges. Should the door not open, try to spray the lubricant in the hinge area just near the fender of your car.

Step 4: Remove the door panel

If the first two steps don’t do anything, then the problem might be inside the door. Car doors work using different hinges and latches, just like a house door. With that said, you’ll need to get a hold of tools like the screwdriver and ratchet.

open car door with screwdriver

Be very careful in disassembling your door. Removing the casing is easy since it’ll only require a few bolts and nuts to remove. Once removed, you’ll see a plastic cover protecting the internal parts of the car door. You’ll need to get rid of this along with the electrical connection inside.

Step 5: Inspecting the interior

inside car door

Once you’ve safely dislodged the connections and screws, you can now check what’s going on inside. Car doors that work properly have metal shafts working smoothly inside. So, a faulty car door can mean that the rods are too loose.

If you see any abnormalities in the shaft, you can fix this my tightening it up. If the shafts don’t engage, this is usually because of wear and tear. Putting a nut by the shaft to tighten its grip can quickly fix this problem.

While this might seem a difficult task, there are in-depth online tutorial videos that you can refer. Moreover, you can always hire a professional to do this for you.

To Wrap Things Up

If a car door won’t open, it is usually due to a lack of lubrication or fundamental mistakes. The instances where a car has internal issues is a lot rarer. In fact, the cause might be because of an old car model, lack of maintenance, and door slamming.

With that said, always remember to think when approaching a locked door. If it’s too complicated already, then professional help is always an option. Good luck, and don’t forget to share this with your buddies!

Steven K. Galloway