HELP! Car door won't open from the inside

I have a 98 Toyota Corolla and cannot get the driver’s door open from the inside. It opens from the outside, and all the other doors work fine. I thought at first it had frozen shut, but I don’t think this is the problem since the 3 other doors seem to work fine. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions on what is wrong, how to fix it, or how much it would cost to fix?

There’s a rod behind the door skin that goes from the door handle to the latch. That’s probably slipped off the handle. You’ll need to take the inside of the door off (not too hard, but go slow and gentle so you don’t break something) and then find and re-attach the rod.

I agree with shadowfax. I once repaired a similar problem on my daughter’s Corolla by reattaching the operating rod to the handle. If you DIY the cost will be zero.

One thing to add: Make sure you find all the screws in the door panel (only one or two, most of the door is held on with body clips), specifically the one in the recessed handle on the door, if it has one. I once botched a repair for someone missing that screw and had to spend the next two days searching junk yards for a replacement. :frowning: Rookie mistake.

In reference to Carveaholic;s post, let me suggest that you stop at the dealer’s parts department and ask them to print an “exploded view” drawing of the inner door panel installation. I’ve found that to be the best way to see where all the screws and clips are located. A Haynes repair manual might show this too, but I’m not sure.

Manufacturers are good at hiding the fasteners that hold the inside panel to the door. Sometimes these fasteners are under trim pieces or behind the armrests. Most cars have plastic clips around the edges as well that break easily. For a couple of dollars, you can buy a bag of these clips at the auto parts stores.

I’d add to what Trideq said in mentioning that you WILL break some of the clips when you remove them. You can buy a special tool that may help a little, but my experience is that I still break just as many as when I use a screwdriver. You can live without one or two of them, but buying replacements is a good idea.