Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Get a Car Door Latch Unstuck

CarDoorOpen

Having your car door latch get stuck is frustrating whether you are inside trying to get out or outside trying to get in. There are several reasons that your door latch may be sticking and preventing the door from opening.

Determine which doors have the problem

If you can’t open one door, try another door to see if it opens. If all of the doors remain locked, the issue may be with the remote lock. However, it is likely to be a problem with the individual latch if the other doors open easily.

Try to open the door from the inside

Once you determine only one door is having a problem opening, you can try opening the door from the inside. The issue may be with the external door handle. Sometimes opening the door from inside will free the door mechanism and allow it to work properly. If you think this is the case, try opening and closing the door a few times to make sure the problem is resolved.

Common reasons for door latch failure

Many problems with car door latches happen in older vehicles and are the result of normal use. Over time, the components break down and make it difficult to open and close. Water can also get in this area and cause rust, which will affect the latch after a period of time. Slamming the door can bend the mechanism on the latch and make it more difficult to open and close. It may cause the latch to get stuck inside because it is slightly bent.

Many times, a latch will warn you before it quits working entirely. You may have to use extra force to get the door to close or open. You may also hear a scraping sound, which is an indication that the latch isn’t working properly. You can also book our mechanics to look at the door, and may be able to get it repaired before it stops working completely.

Repairs for a stuck or broken door latch

Lubricating the door latch may allow it to open and close if rust is the culprit. You should notice a difference immediately if this takes care of the issue. If this step doesn’t fix the problem, the door latch mechanism may need to be replaced.

It is important not to drive a vehicle with a latch that doesn’t work properly. You can become stuck in the vehicle if it is in an accident, which could put you in danger.

A door that doesn’t stay closed because of a damaged door latch is just as dangerous and may open while you are driving at a high speed. If your door latch is failing or has become stuck, have a professional look at it right away.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: How do I operate the door locks?

Your Honda’s door locks are easily operated. Each door has an individual power lock switch, and there’s a master switch located on the driver’s door panel that controls each lock as well. Pushing up on the button will lock the...

Q: Door Ajar alert staying on

Hi there. It sounds like it may be the door latch switch may have stopped working. It seems to be a common problem with this car and can be fixed easily. A common sign of the switch going bad is...

Q: Car interior/dome lights won't turn on.

Hi there. For the interior lights not working after replacing the battery, first check the switch to make sure that the light is on. If the light is on the door selection and will not turn on, then one of...