Locked out of your car with the keys inside can be one of the most frustrating and panic-inducing situations to find yourself in.
Sure it can happen to anyone at anytime, and leave you feeling stranded and helpless. But the truth is, knowing how to unlock your car door when your keys are inside is an important skill and one that can save you a lot of time, stress, and money.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the different methods and tools to unlock your car door if you find yourself locked out, as well as tips and tricks to help you stay calm and think clearly in such situations.
We assume you either don’t have a spare key (or access to it) in this guide.
So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time car owner, keep reading to learn how to unlock your car door with keys inside.
Method 1: Use a wedge and rod tool to unlock the door.
The wedge and rod tool method is one of the most popular ones to unlock the car door.
Here’s the skin and bone of this method:
Step 1: Gather your tools. To begin, you will need a pry tool and a rod tool. A pry tool is typically a flat, thin piece of metal with a pointed end and a handle. A rod tool can be a coat hanger or any long, thin object that is strong enough to push the locking mechanism.
Step 2: Create a wedge. Start by using the pry tool to create a wedge between the door frame and the car door. Place the pointed end of the pry tool at the top of the door frame and gently push the tool inwards to create a small gap. This will allow you to insert the rod tool into the car.
Step 3: Insert the rod tool. Once you have created a wedge, insert the rod tool into the car. Carefully manoeuvre the rod tool around the locking mechanism, and use it to push it up. This will unlock the door.
Step 4: Open the door. With the locking mechanism released, you can now open the door and retrieve your keys.
Tips for Proper Use
-Be careful not to apply too much force when using the pry or rod tool. You don’t want to damage the door or the locking mechanism.
-Be patient. It can take some time to create a wedge and unlock the door.
If you cannot unlock the door, do not continue to force the tools and move to the next method.
Method 2: Using a string to unlock the door
This method can be daunting but requires minimal tools and patience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a string to unlock your car door:
Step 1: Gather materials. You will need a strong and durable string, such as a shoelace or a thin rope.
Step 2: Tie a slipknot in the middle of the string. To tie a slipknot, make a loop in the string, and tie a knot with the line through the loop. This will create a small knot that can be adjusted and tightened.
Step 3: Use a doorstop or a thin piece of wood to gently pry open a space between the top of the front door’s window frame and the car door. This will create an opening that is big enough to fit the slipknot through.
Step 4: Carefully insert the slipknot through the opening and lower it down to the car lock. The slipknot should be positioned on the lock.
Step 5: Pull the string tight and gently pull up on the slipknot. This should cause the locking mechanism to disengage and the car door to open.
Tips for Proper Use
- Be careful not to damage the car paint or the door frame while prying open the space for the string.
- Use a strong and durable string that can withstand pulling and tugging without breaking.
- Practice the technique before trying it on your car to avoid mistakes and damage.
Method 3(Manual lock only): Use a wire coat hanger to unlock the door
One of the most popular methods for unlocking a car door with keys locked inside is using a coat hanger. This method is relatively simple and can be done with just a few tools as well.
Here is how you do it right:
Step 1: Straighten a coat hanger wire, which is long and thin.
Step 2: Bend the end of the coat hanger into a small hook shape.
Step 3: Insert the wire between the rubber moulding and the car’s side window. Be careful not to scratch the paint or damage the window.
Step 4: Carefully manoeuvre the hook around the door button and pull it up. This will release the door lock mechanism, allowing you to open the door. That’s it!
Tips for Proper Use
- Work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the car or the coat hanger.
- This method will only work on cars with manual locks, not power locks.
- If you don’t have a coat hanger, you can use a straightened paperclip, a bent wire hanger or a slim jim tool.
It is important to note that using a coat hanger to unlock your car can damage the door or lock mechanism and is not recommended for regular use.
Method 4: Using a Slim Jim tool to unlock the door.
A Slim Jim tool is one of the most effective tools for unlocking a car door with keys inside. This tool is designed to open car doors and can be used with minimal damage to the car.
Step 1: Begin by finding a rubber wedge and placing it on the top edge of the driver’s side door to create space for the Slim Jim tool.
Step 2: Take the Slim Jim tool and insert it into the space created by the wedge.
Step 3: Carefully manoeuvre the Slim Jim tool around the locking mechanism of the car door.
Step 4: Once you feel the Slim Jim tool engage the locking mechanism, gently pull it up to unlock the door.
Tips for Proper Use
- Always be careful when using a Slim Jim tool, as it can cause damage to the car if misused.
- Before you start, check if your vehicle is open, as sometimes the door may not be locked fully.
Method 5: Use a Strip of Sturdy Plastic to Unlock the Door
In a pinch, a strip of sturdy plastic can be used as a makeshift tool to unlock your car door. This method involves using the plastic strip to manipulate the locking mechanism and release the lock.
Step 1: You will need a strip of sturdy plastic, such as a credit card or driver’s license, that is thin enough to fit between the door and the frame.
Step 2: Look for the lock on the door, it’s usually located near the top of the door and is a small button or knob.
Step 3: Carefully insert the plastic strip between the door and the frame, making sure to keep it as close to the lock as possible.
Step 4: Use the plastic strip to push or pull on the lock, trying to release it. This may take some trial and error and patience.
Step 5: If successful, the lock will release and you can open the door.
Tips for Proper Use
- This method is not guaranteed to work and may not be suitable for all types of cars and locks.
- Before attempting to use this method, make sure you have identified the lock and familiarize yourself with the location and mechanism of the lock.
Method 6: Using a keyless entry code to unlock the door (if equipped)
Locking your keys in the car can be the worst nightmare. Still, modern technology has provided a solution for those with keyless entry systems.
Many cars (including the new Dodge Ram) now come equipped with a keyless entry code that can be used to unlock the doors without the need for a physical key.
You can use this method to unlock your car door if your car is one of these.
Step 1: Depending on your make and model of car, the keyless entry code may be located on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb, in the vehicle’s manual, or in a separate card provided by the manufacturer.
Step 2: Once you have located the code, press the “Unlock” button on your car door and enter the code. The code will typically be a 5-digit number.
Step 3: Unlock the door
If the code is entered correctly, the doors should unlock, and you can access your car.
Tips for Proper Use
- Make sure to keep the keyless entry code in a safe and easy-to-access place, such as in your wallet or a keychain.
- Contact your car manufacturer or a local dealership for assistance if you need help locating your keyless entry code.
- Be sure to use the keyless entry code only on your vehicle, as using it on someone else’s car is illegal.
By following these step-by-step instructions and tips, you should be able to unlock your car door using a keyless entry code if your car is equipped with one. However, beaware that not all vehicles have this feature, which may not be a viable option for everyone.
Remember, it’s always best to seek professional help if you’re unsure how to properly and safely unlock your car door – And avoid causing any damage to your vehicle.
When to Call a Locksmith
There are various methods, as we discussed above, for unlocking a car door when your keys are locked inside. Still, sometimes the best solution is to call a locksmith.
Locksmiths are experts in opening locked doors and can quickly and safely unlock your car without causing any damage.
Situations when calling a locksmith is the best solution:
- If you have tried multiple methods and are unable to unlock your car door
- Having a more complex locking system that requires specialized tools or skills
- If you have a child or pet locked inside the car and need immediate assistance
- When you have lost or broken your key and need a replacement
How to find a reputable locksmith:
- Look for locksmiths that are licensed and insured.
- Ask for recommendations from friends or family.
- Confirm that the locksmith can come to your location
- Ask for an estimate of the cost before they arrive.
Locking your keys in the car is an inconvenience, but there are ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips for avoiding the frustration and stress of locked keys in the car:
- Keep an extra key on hand: One of the simplest ways to prevent locked keys in the car is to always have a spare key. This can be a traditional key in your purse or wallet or a keyless entry fob that you can keep on your keychain.
- Be mindful of your keys: Before you exit your car, double-check that your keys are with you and not still in the ignition. This simple step can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
- Consider a smart lock: Smart locks can be controlled with your smartphone, so you will never have to worry about forgetting your keys again.
By following these prevention tips, you can reduce the chances of locking your keys in your car and save yourself a lot of frustration and stress. However, even with the best prevention methods, accidents happen, and it is always best to keep the contact information of a reputable locksmith on hand, just in case.
Warning: Attempt these methods at your own risk. The methods are strictly for information purpose only. We are not responsible for any damage caused. Do not try to unlock other’s vehicles without their consent.