I cannot open my husband's car door, even with the keys

My husband has a 2003 Audi A4 cabriolet. It was sitting in the driveway for about a month. When we recently tried to open it, we couldn’t open the door. We tried both using the electronic key and the physical key. We have changed the batteries in the keys. Nothing works. We called our local dealer and the service rep said that he had never heard of this problem. He suggested towing it to the dealer, but the car is parked in the driveway with the emergency brake on. My husband is getting ready to break a window, but that seems very extreme. The AAA guy who came to our house didn’t know what to do either. Help!!! Thanks, Linda

Try opening the hood manually, there should be a lever under the grill and jumping or charging the battery with a trickle charger. It might be the grill release lets it go partway up, then under the hood is the final release. I think once you get a charge on the battery you will be good to go.

I’m sorry what does jumping the battery have to do with manually opening a car door?

Have you tried the physical key in all door locks(passenger side if available?)

Due to keyless entry people cease to use manual door locks. They likely cease up over time. I would fill the door lock with a graphite lubricant and cross your fingers.

Never saw this on Audi,on BMW 7 series yes,it was a latch/actuator malfuction preventing even the outside key from working. Ended up cutting the door panel off and working the latch with a long screwdriver.

Replaced both latch and door lock actuator.

Have you tried other points of entry?, passenger side, trunk? if your able to gain access other ways, then the drive side door latch-locking mechanism is at fault. Are you sure you are using the right key? some cars have two sets, one for trunk and one for door… When inserting the key are you able to turn it? if not put some WD40 or graphite into the key hole to lubricate it & try it again… I searched the Audi web site on this car to see if it was a design deterent by the manufacturer, the only thing I saw was when starting the car, not trying to open the door. And since the dealership advise they never heard of this trouble, it must not be a design issue- or call another dealership to inquire… I have AAA, not sure what kind of man you received, but I have used AAA three times to unlock my door, on two types of cars, manual and electronic entry and all times they were able to open the door. Call AAA back or call a local locksmith to return to your house and have them open the door.

i dont mean to sound crass, but are you SURE you are using the correct key?

after a month, it has been sitting, where were the keys? any chance you got it switched with someone elses?

can you open the trunk, back lid?

I just went out to check. I can open the trunk with the key, so it is the right key. It doesn’t have a separate trunk key. I checked both keys I have and neither work on the door. It does not appear that this model has a hole for the key on the passenger side door, and it’s a two door.

We will call a locksmith. I really really appreciate all of your suggestions. Thank you so much!

My example was for only the front passenger door,all others worked

I hope the locksmith can do the job. Please post back to let us know how it turned out.

I am interested because a friend had the same problem with a circa-2000 Camry. He had been away for several months and he could not get the doors to open, even though the key turned in the locks. As I recall, something under the front of the hood had to be removed so the hood latch could be released. Charging the battery let the locks open.

I think that on the Camry the key does not operate the lock mechanically, but only signals the computer to open the lock(s). That’s how on my 2000 and 2004 you can open all door locks by turning the driver side key twice or the passenger side key once. I suppose other computer-controlled cars have the same feature.

Automobile engineers are not stupid, but I sure wonder what advantage the electronic control gives that outweighs the problem of being locked out if the battery dies.

does the key turn in the lock on the door at all?

if it turns but does not open the door, then the battery is dead.

if it does not turn, then the mechanism is corroded.

Right you are, a charged battery and the keyless will work, and since the battery is dead the car will not start anyway. RE: electricity and keylocks it may be an electric interface with the keylock or antitheft system, sure that sounds stupid but on my 03 blazer when I left it in accessory position I could not turn the key to off and remove it until the battery had a charge on it. But as I said I think once there is a charge on the battery all will be well. Thanks cappy" does the key turn in the lock on the door at all?

if it turns but does not open the door, then the battery is dead.

if it does not turn, then the mechanism is corroded."

Andrew is spot on for the most likely solution.

VW, FORD, Chrysler and many others practically use a grease gun to pack the locks full of thick lithium paste.

After 2-3 years of summer/winter and no use ( always using keyless remote ), the mechanical locks jam up.

The “tumblers” ( really called wafers ) can no longer slide up and down as key enters… and just sit a tiny bit high or low, and though key enters… no operation.

Spraying lube such as HOUDINI ( available at better locksmith shops ) or silicone lube should soften, and dissolve this buildup… you might have to use a lot.

Houdini will not cause damage to car finish, electronics or plastics, so you can safely spray it in.

This is recommended for all vehicles… and if you have a trunk keyhole and one on passenger door… use the key occasionally… it really helps.

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