Driver's Side Door Won't Unlock

I have a 1995 Toyota Camry that I love; however, a little while ago the driver’s side door got locked, and now won’t unlock. I have to climb over the passenger’s seat to get in and out which is super annoying. I took the car to the mechanic I normally go to (who is really good) and he said he didn’t have the tools or expertise to deal with it. I have no idea what to do, and I’m looking for help. Anyone have any ideas?

I would really like to just get the door open even if I can’t lock it anymore.

When I put the key in the lock, I can’t turn it. When I pull the handle inside the car, nothing happens. I’m going to try to take a hangar to it tonight to get it unlocked, but I’m assuming that won’t work.

A 95 camry? I can’t believe a mechanic who is “really good” doesn’t have the expertise or tools to repair/replace a simple locking mechanism. It might be time to find a new mechanic. I haven’t seen any locks on any cars that take rocket science to figure out. Most all door panels come off the same way, and most all locks are somewhat designed the same. I wonder what kind of mechanics were producing these days? If you get a Haynes or Chiltons, you should be able to follow the directions to remove the door panel and replace/fix the lock.

Try a different mechanic, take it to a body shop or a locksmith. Advise making a few phone calls and figuring out where to take the car since it is a chore just to get in the driver’s seat.

What’s probably happened is the little plastic retainer that holds the lock rod to the lock mechanism has broken and the lock rod has fallen out of the mechanism. The inner door panel has to be removed to fix this problem.


That was my thought also. Then I remembered that the normal tools for removing a door panel only work if the door is open. I did once manage to pop the panel off a Dodge Neon with the door closed, but I doubt I could do it with a Camry without destroying the panel. If the door can’t be opened, and the car is well built, I suspect that the best option might be to cut a hole in the panel in order to get access to the lock mechanism. Maybe someone else knows how to force a door open if the lock doesn’t work, but you have access to the inside of the car. I don’t.

YES, ANOTHER TECH. Probably a locksmith with a slimjim.

A couple years ago a friend came by with a right side door -same problem-. Key won’t unlock it, lock knob won’t unlock it, door handle wont open it and you can’t take the door panel off without the door open. I tried a slimjim for a half hour with no luck ( I’m inexperienced with it. )
Called over my favorite body man, handed him the slimjim and went back inside to work. 20 minutes later he returned the slimjim " it’s all fixed".
! ?
To this day I don’t know what he did.

(Chuckle) Tricks of the trade, never divulge the ‘how to’.