Nothing is more confusing or frustrating than a door that won’t open from the inside. Is this normal? Can a door open from the outside but refuse to open from the inside? Yes, it can. One or more of the following may explain this phenomenon:
1). Loose or Broken Connections
Doors are not as complex as they may appear from the outside. You have a plastic retaining clip that holds a lead lug, which, in turn, attaches to a cable. A broken or disconnected lug can prevent the door from opening when you pull the interior handle.
A driver on the fit freak forum has mentioned a situation in which thieves damaged his car door by shoving a large screwdriver into the lock. As a result, the door wouldn’t open from the inside. If you’ve had a recent break-in, you should take the door apart to find the fault.
2). The Door Is Damaged
Is your door dented? Did you damage it in an accident? Maybe the safety lock broke or created connection issues, possibly even allowing dirt and rust to accumulate. If the door’s core structure takes damage, it may become more difficult to open from the inside.
3). The Safety Lock Is Engaged
Many cars have safety locks that prevent the door from opening from the inside. Parents love this feature because it means young kids are less likely to force the door open while the car is moving.
However, they also forget to disengage these safety locks after taking the kids out of the car. Therefore, when adult passengers attempt to leave the vehicle later on, they are surprised that the door won’t open from the inside.
4). The Car Is Locked
Some people forget to unlock the door before pulling the handle. Additionally, a faulty key fob may lock the doors whenever you enter. If you’ve ever handled defective fobs, you know they can lock or unlock the doors simply because you touched them.
If you don’t remember locking the doors after entering the car, it may not occur to you to unlock them when you try to leave.
5). The Seat Belt Has Hammed The Latching Mechanism
You can have a situation where the seat belt slides over the door latch. Closing the door in such a situation can disrupt the locking mechanism, preventing the door from opening when you pull the inner handle.
6). The Inside Handle Broke
You open the door by pulling the handle. This depresses the latch. What happens when the handle breaks? The door won’t open. Either the handle won’t move, or you will pull it, but nothing will happen.
7). The Door Is Frozen
Drivers expect low temperatures to freeze the door shut from the outside. However, the ice can penetrate the door to reach the interior door lock assembly. Once that happens, you can’t predict the outcome. The door may refuse to open altogether, or it may only open from the outside, but not inside. It depends on the components the ice has affected.
8). The Door Lock Actuator Is Dead
The actuator is a set of gears that mechanically lock and unlock the door. A bad actuator will create malfunctions. The door may refuse to open from both ends or just one side (inside). If the actuator seems fine, check the door lock relay and fuse.
How To Fix Nissan Altima Door That Won’t Open From Inside?
No one wants to drive a car that only opens from the outside. Use the following solutions to fix this issue in your Nissan Altima:
1). Jamming – Start By Lubricating The Lock
This procedure is somewhat complicated because it means taking the door apart:
- Use a screwdriver to take the interior door panel off. It has screws you must remove.
- Inspect the area below the door lock to find the locking mechanism.
- Focus on the rod that goes up and down. It is attached to a metal plate.
- If the lock is jammed, moving the rod up and down with pliers will unjam it. Keep pulling and pushing the lock until the movements feel smooth.
- Apply WD-40 to the mechanism if you encounter resistance.
- Do the same for the keyhole.
2). Deactivate The Child Lock
You find the door lock on the back of the door. You can’t avoid these mechanisms. This study in AM J Public Health identified automobile collisions as the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in children one year or older.
For that reason, government bodies in many countries mandate the use of child locks. The last thing you want is for a child to open the door while you’re driving at high speed. Child locks look like switches. You can deactivate them by pushing the switch from one side to the other. If the child lock won’t deactivate, take the door apart to find the fault.
3). Apply Lukewarm Water If It Is Frozen
You have several methods of thawing ice in and around a car door. The easiest option is to apply lukewarm water. But that works best if you want to thaw ice on the exterior of the car door. For ice inside the car door, use hair dryers, aerosol de-icers, and WD-40.
The Scotsman recommends heating the metal part of the keyhole using a lighter, but only until it is warm to the touch. Don’t overheat it. You don’t want to damage any electronic components. Naturally, you should keep the fire away from the plastic parts.
4). Inspect The Door
- Inspect the release mechanism. Is the retaining clip broken? Is the lead lug disconnected? Is the cable worn out? Replace all the broken and worn-out parts.
- Find the fuse box and identify the fuse that controls the door lock circuit. Replace a dead fuse.
- Replace a defective solenoid.
- Replace a broken door handle. JPulley has a video that explains the process of removing and replacing a Nissan’s interior door handle.
- Determine whether the deadlock is active. Deactivate it.
- Apply lubricant to any rusted components you identify.
- Try unlocking the door with the key fob. You may have locked the doors without realizing it.
- If a seat belt is jammed in the latching mechanism, you must force the door open by applying more pressure than usual. Remove the seat belt.
- Replace a broken or dented door that won’t open from the inside or outside.