Local Automotive Locksmith

Why Does My Key Turn But Won’t Unlock the Car Door?

Ever been stuck in a situation when you insert the key in your car socket, and suddenly the key is not working? Didn’t get why it suddenly happened and how to get out of this situation?

Well, we all have gone through such door lock problems but are not able to figure out what went wrong. If you too have faced such a situation, then we understand how frustrating it would have been. 

However, there could be some reason why it happened. Continue reading this guide till the end to know why you faced such an incident and how to get rid of it easily next time.

Let’s get started.

Reasons Why Key Turns But Won’t Unlock the Car Door

There are some reasons you may look into to examine why your key is turning, but your car isn’t unlocking:

1. Damaged Car Lock

Sometimes, it happens that our car lock is damaged and the lock won’t turn from the inside, and you figure out you can’t unlock the door. It might be because you often use a car remote to unlock the car and don’t use the car key frequently.

Therefore, the car lock gets damaged by the contamination of debris or dust, resulting in obstructing the lock, which doesn’t let the key unlock the door. 

However, if you live in extreme temperatures, it might have melted some part of your car’s lock, or maybe you have met with an accident recently that may have damaged your car lock.

Technically, the car lock comprises two parts: a lock assembly and a car lock cylinder. Whenever the car key turns but doesn’t unlock the car door, the car cylinder is most likely damaged.


If you figure out that your car lock is damaged, it is important to visit an automotive technician to get it replaced or repaired immediately. Alternatively, if you own a Mazda car, try to lubricate it or contact a professional locksmith for a car key replacement service.

2. Car Key Damaged

As the name suggests, your key won’t unlock your car door if it is damaged. It doesn’t mean that it contains visible damage. Sometimes, its grooves are damaged, which results in not unlocking the car door.

Subsequently, if the depth of one or more grooves goes wrong, it will not sync with the internal mechanism of your car’s lock. Though keys are wear and tear-resistant, constant pressure on their grooves and lack of maintenance is likely to result in key damage.


If you have examined your car key closely and grabbed the physical error in its grooves, then it is time to get a professional locksmith and get a new key for your car lock. Your locksmith will cut a new car key through a registered key code system.

It is also a wise idea to get a pair of new keys to keep as a backup. Moreover, if you have a Mazda car with a transponder key, then an expert Mazda key transponder chip locksmith will get a new key programmed for you.

3. Dead Fob Batteries

Sometimes when your fob isn’t working, then its battery might be dead. That’s why your key is turning, but your car is still locked. There is no specific life for fob batteries, so that can happen anytime. 

How to Confirm that Fob Batteries Are Dead?

To confirm whether it’s an issue with the fob batteries or not, send another signal from your fob. If it is not responding, then very likely the batteries are worn out or dead. Also, sometimes, the fob buttons require intense pressing to complete the command.


Once you are sure that the fob batteries are no longer working, you have to replace them to get them in order again. Just take a small head screwdriver, remove the upper head case of your fob, and replace an old key with a new one. You don’t have to re-install its program, though.

4. Old Car Lock

When using your car for several years, its lock may get older, and the car key doesn’t fit in anymore. Usually, the lubrication works in such cases as there might be some dust stuck in there or rust has obstructed the lock.


Look for a professional locksmith or technician to lubricate the gears properly and get them back in action again. Not only will lubrication help to remove rust and dirt, but it will also help to reduce the lock stiffness and make it smooth again.

5. Car Lock Frozen

While living in cold areas where the temperature falls to lower levels, it is possible that the car door locks freeze and don’t unlock when the key turns. The low temperatures freeze the internal car lock mechanism. No need to worry about this issue as this can be fixed easily.


To solve this issue, get ice thawed to melt the ice and bring the temperature of the car back to normal. Alternatively, if you don’t have a de-icer, you can simply use a hair dryer or blower to get rid of ice.

6. Fault with the Ignition Cylinder

The key of your car is not only associated with the car lock but also involves starting or igniting your car. If your car key is unlocking your car but not igniting it then obviously you can’t reach your destination.

Usually, this might be a sign that there might be an issue with the mechanical parts of your car, and major steps have to be taken to fix the problem.


To that end, a professional automotive locksmith can solve your problem with ignition cylinders. Take your car to an expert and get the problem fixed.

Final Words

We are living in an era where the automotive industry is continuously progressing and daily new key technologies are introduced. However, car keys not unlocking the car door can be a huge problem in every era.

Subsequently, lubricate the car lock regularly, or if the problem persists, contact professional help to ensure you get a permanent solution for your problem. They are experts and understand how to keep your car locks safe for longer periods.