Major Causes and Possible fixes for a Car Door That Doesn't Open From the Inside

“How can I fix my car’s door which can be only opened from outside the car? I am unable to open it from inside the car.”

Although this query was raised by a single person on Quora but there are hundreds of owners who face such a problem on regular basis.

Car Key Is Not Working

No doubt, issues such as lost car keys, and broken car keys are extremely worrisome and frustrating. Not to mention how much time and money you’ll waste trying to do it yourself without the help of a business like AAA Mega Locksmiths.

However, sometimes, the inability to open car doors from the inside can be the cause of your discomfort and irritation. Even if it is one door and you can still get out of your car from the other door, it can still be an annoying experience.

Imagine you are taking someone as a guest to your home in your car and you reach home the guest cant open the door from the inside. A situation like this can be embarrassing for you.

Also, you might not like to have such a discomforting issue in your car for too long. You definitely would want the locked car door from the inside issue resolved as soon as possible.

Now, the following are some major issues that could be behind a malfunctioning car door lock from the inside along with possible remedies for each issue separately.

While you will be able to do some level of troubleshooting using the helpful practical tips discussed later in this blog, there will still be several issues where you need to hire a well-experienced to solve the problem at hand in a successful manner.

It will be better if you will check your car door locks in the hierarchy given in this blog for easy troubleshooting.

Issue with Manual  locks – Car Key Is Not Working

First of all, check the most obvious malfunction behind the car door locking from the inside which also has a high incidence rate. The manual locks of a car door lock come in daily use excessively.

So, while locking or unlocking the door, there exist high chances that the manual lock might falter and stop doing its work properly. In such a case, it might get stuck and won’t move despite your attempt to do so. Check your car door lock for this issue.

If you find this issue, you must proceed to change the manual lock and the issue at hand will be resolved completely.

On the contrary, if the manual locks are in perfect working condition, you need to jump onto the next possible issues discussed in this blog for troubleshooting.

Malfunctionion in Handle

Just like the car door manual lock, the car door handle on the inside of the car can also develop malfunction and as a result, get stuck or start moving freely.


To verify if this is the case or not, try to open the door from the outside using the exterior car door side handle.

If the car door opens, It’s a clear sign that the issue lies with your inner side car door handle. Replacement of the handle is one do able remedy if you face this malfunction.

Inoperable electronic button – Car Key Is Not Working

Modern cars creating ease for the end-users:

Equip cars with smart electronic button option to lock and unlock car door locks from the inside among other controls for several other utilities in the car.

The smart electronic button allows you to remotely operate the car door locks.

Sometimes, an issue can arise with this electronic remote locking and unlocking option.

As a result, your car door lock gets stuck in the locked state from the inside and you cant open it.

To ascertain if it is the electronic button that is malfunctioning, you must try and open other car doors of the car.

If it opens the other doors, then the issue is not with the electronic button and you will have to keep looking for other possible malfunctions to open your car door lock from the inside.

Malfunction of the key fob

Another reason you are unable to open the car door from the inside can be a malfunctioning key fob to your car. To ascertain the existence of this issue in your car, check if the car key remote is working for any of the car doors from the inside.

If the answer is negative, the issue lies with the key remote. For car key programming you can always contact AAA Mega Locksmiths for quick and authentic services every time.


Active Child lock – Car Key Is Not Working

Child lock is a handy safety feature that you will find in most modern-day cars. It was patented by Joseph M. Schumann in 1949 to ensure children’s safety while driving.

Basically, it is meant to save you and your family members from an accident while driving when children unwittingly open the car door lock from the inside as they play in the back seat of the car.

Many such cases were reported in the past so car manufacturers had to include this innovative feature in modern cars.

Now, if your car door is locked from the inside, check whether the child lock is active or not. One thing you must remember is that child lock is available only on the car doors for back seats. So, if you are facing a car door locking issue from the inside and it’s either the driver side door or front passenger side door, child lock activation is simply not a possibility.

So, in the case of the front door, there might be some other issue than the child lock which has locked the car door from the inside.


In the case of backside car doors, there is a possibility that you might have activated the child lock without any intention while opening the door. Similarly, while the door is still open,  there is also a possibility that children might turn on the child lock while playing with it. This might also be a common occurrence because a child lock is found on the lower side of the car door and with the playful nature of children, there is always a chance that children will stand by the open car door and activate the child lock. If the case is so, simply open the door from outside and deactivate the child lock.

Sometimes, child lock develops a malfunction where they slip to active mode without any voluntary action. In such a scenario, you will have to  repair car door latches using the expertise of professional automotive locksmith services.


Freezing – Car Key Is Not Working

This can be a common cause behind car door locking from the inside in cold areas with freezing temperatures. The freezing of a car door, whether externally or internally of the car door lock assembly part, works similar to the jamming caused by rust.

One scenario can be the accumulation of snow or some other form of precipitation and later its solidification into a tough sheet of ice over the Car door. In such a case, the car door is jammed and is hard to be opened from the inside as well as from the outside.

You can get out of this situation by pouring hot water to defreeze the ice sheet covering the car door.

Also, you can apply some ice removal products available in the market for quickly removing the ice sheet and opening the car door easily.


Similarly, freezing of car door locks can also happen for the internal components of the car door lock assembly. To solve the situation, move the car door lock to and fro to break the lock actuators free from ice. If this does not seem to be working, you will need to remove the car door for redressal. It is highly advisable to only go with a professional automotive locksmith company in such a resolution has to be adopted. Otherwise, a quack locksmith can make the bad situation even worse by disturbing the car door lock assembly and car door fitting among other things.


Connections – Car Key Is Not Working

An inside car door lock may look simple to the naked eye but it has several intricate and inter dependable parts and connections such as levers and actuators within the car door lock assembly. Over time,  wear and tear of connections can cause them to slip and engender car door lock malfunctioning.

If this is the issue with your car door lock,  exposing of car door assembly will be required. Follow the steps given below to resolve the issue with the car door lock not opening from the inside.

  1. Open the targeted car door from outside
  2. Remove paneling; Car door lock assembly must be exposed
  • Actuate the car lock
  1. Find lose connection
  2. Make reconnections

Though, now, you know the steps that must be followed for finding faults in connections within the car door lock assembly, only professional automotive locksmiths with ample experience on their back can take on this job in a perfect manner. So, you will be better served if you leave this task to the experts.

Rust – Car Key Is Not Working


Lastly, rust is also a  very common issue behind car doors getting stuck and locked from the inside. Rust can develop on most metals used in the manufacturing of the car. Therefore, most car owners have to come face to face with the rust issue sooner or later.

Car door locks are shaped in a way that on precipitation, it takes some water or at least moisture into it, which turns it into a breeding ground for rust. This is also the reason, modern car makers are trying to make car door lock designs near waterproof. Rust on reaching the car door locks jam up the car door assembly parts. As a corollary, it doesn’t allow the car door lock parts to move easily.

Now, for troubleshooting,  start with some anti-rust spray on the car door lock and surrounding area. Slowly, you will see that the rust will loosen up and the lock will also become operable again. Clean all the visible rust from the car door lock to prevent any rusting of the car door lock in the future.


Final Verdict:

Normally car door locks on the inside panel of car doors are very robust and sturdy. However, their excessive use can cause them to wear and tear with the passage of time or develop some other issue. This post has successfully detailed most of the possible issues that can be behind your car door lock malfunctioning. Not only that, but the post has also shared practical ways that can get you out of the situation. While DIY can save cost if done correctly, there are some solutions such as the ones involving the removal of car doors and exposing of car door assembly which should not take on by yourself.

Doing so will be a big mistake. While looking to save cost, you may end up making losses in much greater proportions. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep a reputed auto locksmith service provider on your dial list to get you out of different car lock issues and malfunctions whenever the need arises.


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