HELP! Major Problem '95 Camry Door Stuck-won't open!

muscle machiniac
08-09-2005, 08:49 AM
Hi all, hope someone can help me w/my problem! I have a 1995 Toyota Camry V6 XLE and ...My driver's side door locked up and won't open from the outside or from the inside! Here are the problems:

1. I can put the key in the keyhole on the outside and it will turn clockwise but won't turn to the left at all- when I turn it clockwise it makes the normal sounds.

2. I can from the inside push the power door locks to lock and unlock and it moves the lock both ways on the drivers side, still won't open!

3. When I pull on the latch from the inside and from the outside I can hear the inner mechanisms moving, sounding like it wants to unlatch it from the locked position.

4. Now I am getting paranoid about the passenger side door because when I go to put the key in on the passenger side door lock, I can turn it to the Left to unlock the doors but the key won't turn to the right at all! It is a pain right now as it is to crawl over to the driver's side via the passenger door, but if that door locks up for some reason, I am really up the creek! I don't even lock that side right now b/c I'm afraid it might mess up like the driver's side door!

So, any ideas of what I could try before taking it somewhere, I'm short on funds right now and would like to figure this out, lmk, and thanks in advance for any replies! David

Brian R.
08-09-2005, 04:28 PM
See if you can open the door from the outside with a slimjim. Once you get the door open, take off the inside door panel and try putting grease on the linkage pivot points. Put graphite in the locks.

08-10-2005, 09:05 AM
In 1992, Toyota recalled about 550,000 Camrys from the 1987-1990 model years because of the potential for power door locks to malfunction and lock passengers out of or inside the vehicles.

Your model isn't covered by this. However, a bad door lock solenoid still could cause a similar problem. Because of the various electircal components involved, and their knowlege of this happening to earlier models, I'd take it to a Toyota dealer.

08-12-2005, 06:58 AM
(although this won't unlock your door it's something to think about)

the fact that your key turns one way and not the other makes me think that your key may be worn down. I've got a 96 and I had to have my keys redone because the key was worn down. it would do the thing where it would turn one way but not the other. the key thing may be a completely seperate issue than the door lock.

01-07-2006, 10:47 PM
Hi David/uscle Machnic

Did you figure out your door problem?? I have exact problem which you described. I still use front passenger door to get in Driver side. Let me know if you have an solution


01-18-2010, 09:52 PM
I too have a very similar problem. Driver's side door in my 92 Camry will not unlock. Have to crawl in over passenger seat. My plates expire in a few weeks and I suspect that a non-functional drivers door will raise eyebrows at the inspection.
I went to a local Toyota dealership and they told me they'd removed the door panel and traced the problem to a worn out power lock actuator. They said they could fix it for a mere $500!
I asked them to leave the door panel off and they refused, citing safety concerns. I'm going to see if anyone else in the St. Louis area will do the job for less. If that doesn't pan out, I may just have a shot at fixing it myself.
If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I'll update if I find any useful info. Wish me luck.

01-19-2010, 10:00 AM
I'd like to welcome you to AF and hope you find the site useful. I will ask that you refrain from reviving old threads. This is to ensure that the topics discussed in each thread is consistent ('92 versus '95, though same generation), relevant, and timely. Thanks.

That being said, a non-functional power lock shouldn't cause an inspection failure because there is the manual lock/unlock button which is required for ALL vehicles. If the manual lock is broken too, then you MUST have it fixed to pass inspection.

Yes, replacing the lock actuator is a big PITA. It is located next to the door's latchplate and is in a narrow, blind space inside the door that is hard to access. You may be able to find a used part from the junkyard to save some $, but there will be some labor cost to replace it. My passenger side door actuator has been broken for years...just not had the gumption to try it. But since your driver's side is the broken one, I can understand the annoyance. Try to find a local shop that will give you a better price...I'm guessing in the $200-300 range. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

01-19-2010, 04:33 PM
Local locksmith may be a big help here...


01-20-2010, 12:39 PM
I had this exact problem on my 93 V6 XLE. Dirver's side door locked up. Turning key or pulling inside door handle or attempting power unlock or slimjims...all nothing. I took it to a body shop where they have some tool to open the door and replace the locking mechanism. $180. Good luck guys.

05-03-2011, 01:02 AM
Yes, this goes against my post from a year ago, but since I've had to deal with a door with a broken lock (will not unlock with key or power lock, and manual button won't move to unlock position) I thought I'd share my solution.

Even though the door is locked, the panel can be removed enough to access the actuator rods for the lock and handles. The process for removing the panel fasteners and door handle bezel can be found in my post here: (

The only screws that can't be accessed with the door closed are those in the gap near the dash. But the rear of the panel can be lifted off the window frame and the rods can be found there.

Now, if you had my predicament where I could not move the lock fully to the unlock position, it is due to a spring that has broken on the lock assembly. Roll the window down. If you have a flashlight and long piece of straight wire such as from a coat hanger, you can peer down into the gap between the window and inner door. At the very rear, you'll see a hook-like latch where the spring came from. Use the wire to push it down and then move the lock button to unlock then open the door.

To get to the spring, the lock mechanism must be removed. First, roll the window back up by plugging in the window controls temporarily then unplug and set the door panel aside again. Next, unscrew the rearmost screw and middle nut (attaching to the window track) from the inner door brace. Pull the rear end of the brace out slightly and undo the nut behind it to loosen the yellow cover. Disconnect the upper end of the yellow cover and pull it out.

Next, you need to move the lower window track out of the way by removing the lower screw and upper nut that are near the door jamb and upper corner, respectively. You can slide the metal track off of the rubber completely and set it aside or just set it out of the way inside the door. I wedged it between the middle window track and outer door brace.

There are three actuator rods that connect to the lock mechanism (inner door handle, outer door handle, and lock). There is a hole near the top rear of the door you can look into to disengage the retaining clips for the inner door and lock. The outer door handle rod requires a pair of pliers to press out of the retainer once it is disengaged. It was easiest for me to undo by pulling the assembly partially out through the hole of the outer door handle. Remove the three large screws that hold the lock mechanism to the door jamb. Then with a 3/8" 10mm socket and extension, remove the two screws that hold the outer door handle. Pull the outer handle out and up some and the lock should come with it. You only need to pull it out a few inches to acces the rod end. Use pliers to push the rod end through the retainer. Set the handle aside and the lock should be free enough to pull from the door is still electrically connected.

To access the mechanism, there is a translucent cover to remove. Clip the zip tie at the bottom and pry it off the snap retainer and set it aside. Looking at the mechanism you should clearly see two latch ends that have hooks where a spring should be. In my case, it was laying right next to it, minus one end that had broken from fatigue. I took two needle-nose pliers and bent the last coil up and into a new end. Don't try to cut the spring with regular wire cutters, the spring steel is hardened so any excess can be removed by repeatedly bending it back and forth between two pliers.

After the spring has been repaired, just loop the ends around the hooks. If you have the time, go ahead and spray down the whole mechanism with lithium grease.

To save time typing this up, installation is the reverse of removal. It wasn't as hard as I thought, but getting the rods off does take some blind manual dexterity. If I get to redo the passenger side door (the electric lock actuator doesn't work well) I'll augment this with some pics...someday.

02-08-2015, 10:38 AM
Many thanks to jdmccright for his post. I had the same problem he describes where the door lock on my driver door would only open part way, and I could not open the door from either side. Turned out the spring in the door latch had broken just like jdmccright describes.

I pulled the panel open enough to depress the piece in the latch where the spring had been to get the door open, then tore the door apart to get the latch out, got the spring out and was able to bend a new end on it and return it to where it went in the latch. Everything seems to be working fine now. Total cost 0$ and a couple hours of time!

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