Locked your key in the car? Don’t beat yourself up. It has happened to the best of us. You hop out of your car, thinking about a hundred things at once, only to end up slamming the door shut only to shortly realize that your key isn’t in your hand. Wondering exactly how to get keys out of a locked car? Regardless of how it happened, you need to keep calm so you can consider all of your options.
Do you have a replacement key? It’s always a great idea to make a copy of your car key and leave it in the hands of someone you trust. If you have a spare car key, you should see if someone can bring it to you. But if you don’t have a spare key, you’re going to have to put in some work to get back into your car.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car – Check All the Doors
First thing first, you should check and see if you left any of the other doors open. Pull on each door to see if it’s unlocked. In some vehicles, if the key is detected as being in the car when the doors shut, all of the doors won’t lock automatically.
You should also see if you could access the trunk. If you have an SUV you might be able to crawl into the trunk to unlock the door. Depending on your vehicle you may have a powered liftgate that can still be activated even if your keys are stuck inside the car.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car – Call 911 In A Emergency Situation
Contrary to popular belief you can’t just call 911 to open your car door if your keys are locked inside. After all, first responders' primary duty is to ensure public safety. Some dispatchers use discretion when sending help for situations like this but you shouldn’t rely on help from first responders. If you aren’t in danger then this should not be your first option.
Of course, if you believe that the situation is unsafe you should dial 911 immediately. If your keys are locked in the car and your child is in the rear seat in the car seat this constitutes an emergency. The police or the fire station will be dispatched to come and get your car door open. Also, if you left your pet in the vehicle, especially if the car is running this is deemed to be unsafe and an emergency. Emergency responders will be dispatched to the scene to help.
Sometimes, first responders have to use force and cause some damage when opening a locked door if an animal or child is inside. If you have a modern vehicle that uses advanced technology, if it’s too difficult getting into the car they may have to break a window.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car – Get A Temporary Key From the Dealer
Did you know that some dealerships are able to provide a temporary key to help you regain access to your vehicle? The key won’t be able to start your vehicle but it will be able to unlock the door so you can grab your keys. You will have to pay to get a temporary key from the dealer but it’s a lot cheaper than paying a locksmith to come to change the locks.
Once you’ve realized that you locked your key in the car, you should quickly call the dealership to see if this option is available to you. If so, you’ll have to call a friend or Uber to the dealership to retrieve the temporary key. You will have to prove that you own the vehicle by providing the VIN. The VIN is usually stamped onto the lower edge of the windshield.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car – Does The Hanger Trick Work?
Yes, the hanger trick is a classic. But does it really work? The hanger trick can definitely be helpful. Start off by stretching the wire hanger all the way. If you have them available you can even use pliers. Don’t forget to untwist the hook portion so that it’s curved at the end. Bend into a hook shape. When you are finished the wire hanger should look like a big checkmark.
You may have to adjust the checkmark hook until it’s flat enough to fit inside the window and is the correct size to grab hold of the lock. If your window is slightly open you can stick the hanger inside of the car. If the window is all the way up then you are going to have to pry it open using something strong with a flat surface such as a paint scraper.
Use the paint scraper to make a gap between the window and the door frame. Once you have pried it open you should put some type of wedge into the opening to maintain the position. You’ll need to apply the right amount of pressure. Too much pressure and the window could possibly break.
Slowly snake the hanger into the opening and hit the automatic unlock button with the tip of the hanger. If you don’t have automatic locks you’ll have to use the V shape end of the hanger to pull the lock up. While the hanger trick may be something that you commonly see in movies it actually works.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car – Unlocking A Manual Door
Along with the hanger trick, there are several other methods you can use to unlock a door with manual locks. One great method that’s quick and doesn’t require a lot of extra tools is your shoelaces. Any other sturdy string will also suffice but if you’re stuck outside of the grocery store you probably don’t have much on you.
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car Using the Shoelace Method
For the shoelace method, you can take the laces right out of your sneakers. Tie a knot in the middle of the string, but don’t make it super tight because you will need to tighten the lace by pulling on the string ends.
Holding one end of the lace, place the other end at the top right of the corner in the door. Now you’ll have to wiggle the lace down towards the lock. Once you reach the lock you should be able to pull the side of the lace that you have in your hand to tighten the knot around the lock and pull it up. The shoelace method won’t work on a car that has its locking mechanisms on the side of the door.
How To Get Keys Out of LockedCar Using A Slim Jim
A slim jim is perhaps the most popular way to pop a lock. How do you unlock A slim jim is a long strip of metal. The end of the slim jim is molded into a weird shape. The slim jim is considered an official lockout tool.
At first glance, you might be wondering just how this tool can unlock your car door. It does take a little bit of time to figure out how to properly use a slim jim. The slim jim unlocks the door by releasing the control arm. It’s best to learn about your car’s locking mechanisms because every car is different.
If there isn’t any room between the window and the weatherstripping which is that piece of rubber that runs along with the door and the window. If there isn’t any room you can use a wedge or anything else that you have on your people such as a scarf or some type of cloth that can hold the space open. Slide the slim jim into the opening inserting the molded edge in first. Align the slim jim, push the slim down into the keyhole. Once the slim jim catches onto the locking mechanism, slowly moving it upwards.
How To Get Keys Out of Unlocked Car Door – Call Roadside Assistance
If you can’t manage to pop the lock on your car door with the above methods, you’ll need to call in for backup. If you have AAA or some other type of roadside assistance program, now is a great time to call them. Roadside assistance doesn’t just help you change a flat tire or jump your car’s battery but they can also help you get your keys out of a locked car.
If your keys are in the ignition and the car is running you’ll have to seek professional help anyway. If you don’t have AAA, you should try finding a friend or family member who does. The great thing about AAA is that if you know someone who has the service, as long as they are on the scene with you they can come out and provide assistance. Depending on how far AAA has to travel they may charge you a small fee for traveling the extra distance.
Perhaps your insurance provider offers roadside assistance depending on your policy. A lot of insurance companies provide roadside assistance in full coverage policies. You should call your insurer and see if roadside assistance is included in your policy.
If your car is still under warranty, roadside assistance is often included especially for consumers who are driving brand new or certified pre-owned cars. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s website to see if you are eligible.
How To Get Keys Out of Unlocked Car Door – Try Using The Lockout App
Thanks to modern technology, many automakers have made it easier than ever for owners to access their vehicles without having to use traditional keys. For instance, carmakers like Hyundai, Chevrolet, and GMC have created apps for their customers that allow them to lock, unlock and even start their cars right from the app.
If you have a newer vehicle, chances are there is an app available that can help you get into your car during a lockout. You can also find out this information from your dealer. They may be able to help you set the app up.
How To Get Keys Out Of Unlocked Car Door – Call A Tow Service
What many people don’t know is that traditional tow services can provide some of the same services like roadside assistance programs. Calling your local tow company can help you get into your car quickly.
Tow services are equipped with the necessary tools to pop the lock on your vehicle to help you regain access without damaging your property. The great thing about going with a local tow service is that you don’t have to worry about paying an arm and a leg to get into your car.
How To Get Keys Out Of Locked Car Door – Get A Locksmith
The last resort is to hire a locksmith. A locksmith can travel right to your location at any time of the day or night. However, you should expect to pay more money if you call a locksmith outside of normal business hours.
Some locksmiths handle car lockouts while others will simply change your car's exterior lock to help you regain access. Locksmiths aren’t cheap. So you should definitely call around and get a few quotes before you make your final decision. If you can’t find your key at all, then the locksmith will also have to change the lock on the ignition as well which has a significant impact on the final cost.
If you get desperate, breaking a car window may seem like the not only option you have. However, breaking a car window can be very expensive. Therefore, this should only be done in emergencies such as if your baby is trapped in a hot car. Most modern vehicles use shatterproof glass so if you have to break the glass, large shards of glass won’t fly everywhere. If you have to break a window opt for a side window.
When it comes to learning how to get keys out of a locked car it’s important to use caution and remain calm. Everything always ends up working itself out.