How To Get Keys Out Of A Locked Car

by | Jan 12, 2021

There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling of realization that you’ve locked your keys in your car. It may take place immediately or you may not realize it until the next time you go to get into your car, but when you do it is a huge headache. 

There are a few good ways to get your keys out of your car they are:

  1. Use keyless entry
  2. Locate your spare key if possible
  3. Call your roadside assistance program for assistance
  4. Call the dealership and see about getting a temp key
  5. Call a locksmith
  6. Use a tennis ball to unlock the car yourself
  7. Use a shoelace to break into your vehicle. 
  8. Use a hanger to access the lock system in your car
  9. Use A Screwdriver And A Rod
  10. Use an inflatable wedge unlocking device
  11. Use a piece of plastic
  12. Use a professional lock picking tool

Using Keyless Entry

So most of you are probably wondering why we’re stating the obvious here. If you have a keypad to unlock your car on the vehicle door you should use it. We mention it here because sometimes when you panic about locking your keys in the car you forget about the obvious solutions to your problems in your panic. If you don’t know the code to get into your car, consider calling the vehicle manufacturer to retrieve this information. This will likely be the fastest way to resolve your current situation.

Locate Your Spare Key

If you are in the same city as your spare key, consider having a friend or family member bring it to you or use a ride sharing app like Uber or lyft to transport yourself to your extra key and back to the vehicle. This one is another Duh answer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget that they even have a spare key tucked away in their kitchen drawer. This may be costly in terms of time and money, but it will likely take less time to grab your spare than to wait for a locksmith. 

Call Roadside Assistance 

Most insurance companies offer roadside assistance in addition to their coverage. If you have roadside assistance call them as soon as possible and get a rep out to you at the earliest possible time. Typically it will take somewhere between 1-2 hours to get someone out to assist you, so maybe find a good place to hang out while you wait. If you’re locked out and currently reading this, consider yourself lucky since you at least have your phone or internet access in some regard. Hang out and watch some Netflix or a documentary on your phone while you wait. Just be sure to save at least 25% of your phone battery for emergencies and making important phone calls. 

Call Your Dealership

Your dealership can make you a temporary key in some cases which won’t start your car but will allow you to open the doors and access the key that you have locked inside. Call a dealership of your car’s brand and see if this is something that they can accommodate. In most cases dealerships are going to charge you for the key. In most cases around $50. Sometimes the key will continue to be an emergency key and in other cases it is only temporarily programmed. It varies from brand to brand. You may be better off just having a locksmith come out to you.

Call A Locksmith

A locksmith is a private business who specializes in opening locks. They will mainly focus on cars and houses but will also open safes and other types of locks on special request. Depending on the demand for their services during that day, you may wait for a locksmith for an hour or two. If you’re really in the middle of nowhere you may have to wait longer for them to get to you. Typically a locksmith operates on a time basis when it comes to charging you. This will sometimes include driving time and may have extra fees for you being a great distance from them. You can expect to spend at least $50 and an hour of your time on a locksmith. 

DIY Methods

There are several tried  and tested ways to break into your vehicle yourself. Some will work for one vehicle, others will work for another. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t work at first and don’t be afraid to switch up and try another DIY. In my opinion you’re usually better off just calling a locksmith or getting a new key, but if you’re tight on funds these can be great ways to get into your vehicle to retrieve your lost keys. 

The Tennis Ball Method

Seems kind of sketchy, but it apparently does work better than a lot of these methods. What you do is cut a hole in a tennis ball which you then press the opening to the key lock on your driver side door handle. Essentially what you are trying to do is use air flow to push the lock back to an unlocked setting. Try this on any door handle that has a lock as some may open more easily than others. 

Use A Shoelace 

If you are able to wedge open the top of the door you can fit a shoelace into the crack. This method will only work with door latches that are able to be pulled up. The object of this technique is to tie a loop in the lace and get the loop onto the door latch just right so that you can pull it up and unlock it. I’m not going to lie, this technique will require some patience. 

Use A Wire Hanger

Similar to some of the other methods you see, this method utilizes cracking open the door and using the hanger to pull open the lock. This will only work for a horizontal lock. 

Use A Screwdriver And A Rod

This method uses a screwdriver to hold open the corner of the door open and the rod to finagle unlocking the car whether using it to press the unlock button inside the vehicle or pull open the manual lock. 

Use An Inflatable Wedge Unlocking Device

This is just a professional tool that is easy to wedge into the corner of the door and is then inflated to allow for a unlocking device to be used to manually pull the lock open or press the electronic unlock button in the vehicle. 

Use A Piece of Plastic

This is just another option of something that can be used to pry open the door to the car and use an unlocking tool to pull the lock open. 

Use A Professional Lock Picking Tool

If you have one of these lying around it’s doubtful you’re reading this article. If you’re desperate for an inexpensive option and you have the time to wait you can also order a lock picking kit online and use that to pick the lock to your car, though I do believe there are better options already mentioned on this list. It is worth looking into. 

That’s it! We hope you found this article on retrieving locked keys to have been helpful and serviced your needs. If you are one of our members, PMC offers roadside assistance. Call us up and get a time frame for one of our trucks coming to unlock your vehicle for you. 

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Resources:

https://brightside.me/inspiration-tips-and-tricks/these-10-ways-may-help-you-to-open-the-car-if-you-locked-the-keys-inside-402710/
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/11/what-to-do-if-you-lock-your-keys-in-the-car/index.htm
https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/safety-and-security/hire-a-locksmith/
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-technology/a25589455/locked-keys-in-car/
https://lock-picking.wonderhowto.com/how-to/open-door-lock-without-key-15-tips-for-getting-inside-car-house-when-locked-out-0147386/
https://www.cashcarsbuyer.com/i-locked-my-keys-in-my-car/

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