Locked Keys in the Car? Follow This Checklist

You probably know how frustrating it can be to get locked out of your car – not only do you have to find a way to get into the car, but you also have to get home or to work. Don’t worry if this happens to you, though – we’ve got you covered!

This guide provides a checklist of things to do if you get locked out of your car. Follow these steps on how to get keys out of a locked car, and you’ll be back on your way in no time!

And remember, if you’re unable to unlock the car by yourself, it’s best to call professional roadside assistance services.

What to Do if You Locked Keys in the Car

locked keys in the car

What should I do If I locked my keys in the car? This is a very common question asked by car owners. Locking yourself out of your vehicle can be an annoying experience, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be a disaster.

There are many ways you can gain re-entry into your vehicle without having to replace locks or damaged car windows. The next time you accidentally lock your keys in the car, you can try the following:

1. First, Stay Calm and Think Clearly

The first step to dealing with a car lockout is, of course, to stay calm and think clearly. Getting worked up or panicking will not help you find a solution that is best for you, so try your best to relax and approach the situation rationally.

2. Call a Locksmith or Roadside Assistance

Calling for help is the most reliable, safest, and least damaging option. These professionals have all the necessary tools used to unlock car doors.

Some car owners choose to call roadside assistance first, as their auto insurance policies often cover these services. Make sure that your policy covers lockouts before contacting the company if you choose to go this route.

3. Try Using a Slim Jim or Other Tools to Unlock Car Doors

It may also be a good option to use an automotive tool such as a Slim Jim or a similar tool to gain entry. Just be sure you know how to use the tool you choose, and be careful not to damage your vehicle or cause injury while using these tools.

4. Use a Wire Coat Hanger

Another common method of unlocking your car door is using modified wire coat hangers

      • Step 1: Uncoil the hanger using pliers so you have a straight end and a curved end. 

      • Step 2: Put the curved part of the hanger between the weatherstripping and the window, so it’s accessing the interior of the door frame below the window edge at the approximate location of the lock. You will likely need to feel around with the hook end to locate the lock mechanism. 

      • Step 3: Push gently on the hook side of your coat hanger as you pull back and forth on it until it releases and unlocks your car door.

    This option is most effective with manual locks, such as are generally found on older vehicles.

    Option 5: Use a String

    String, twine, fishing line, or even a shoelace can also be used to unlock your vehicle. There are a couple ways to use string to unlock your door, depending on the type of vehicle and locking mechanism you have. 

    You will first want to create a slipknot in your string and insert the slipknot end in the space at the top of your door past the weatherstrip. You can then either loop the slipknot around the lock button and pull up to unlock, or, if your vehicle is the type that will unlock when the door handle is pulled from the inside, loop the slipknot around the door handle and pull the sting in the direction that will release the lock.

    Option 6: Use a Windshield Wiper

    Follow these steps to unlock your car door using a windshield wiper blade:

      • Step 1: Remove a wiper blade from one of the windshield wipers, and remove the metal part of the blade from the inside. 

      • Step 2: Bend the end of the metal and insert it into the edge of the door, between the window and the weather stripping, as you did with the Slim Jim. 

      • Step 3: Carefully move the blade around inside the door until you are able to find and release the locking mechanism.

    This method is best suited for vehicles with manual locks.

    Option 7: Use an Inflatable Wedge

    This technique is only available if your windows are opened slightly. You will need to have an air pump and inflatable wedge on hand to use this method.

    Simply insert the wedge inside the window opening until it’s tightly in place. Then use your air pump to inflate the wedge until the window opening is large enough to manually reach in and unlock your car door.

    Option 8: Use a Cell Phone

    One of the most convenient methods for retrieving keys locked in the car is to use an app on your cell phone – as long as your vehicle is new enough to be compatible with this technology.

    All you need to do is download a car unlocking application from Google Play or App Store and connect it to the remote central locking of your vehicle. The vehicle doors can be unlocked with just a few clicks on the unlock button icon and without any hassle.

    The application even allows users to store data on participating representatives who provide assistance with unlocking vehicles. This handy mobile app has proven indispensable for those who have locked keys in their car.

    Option 9: Use a Bobby Pin

    Locking your keys in the car is an all-too-familiar experience, but there is a simple solution many people often overlook: using a bobby pin. A bobby pin and some patience can get you can be back in your car in no time!

    Locate the small hook around the edge of your window or door frame where the window/door sits in its sealed position. Slide the bobby pin into this hook and gently press down while moving it along, sliding it slowly side to side until you feel it catch onto something inside.

    Now jiggle and pull gently the pin until you hear your door unlock. Try repeating it on different windows or lower parts of the handle if you don’t succeed on your first attempt.

    Option 10: Call a Family Member or Friend

    Your best bet may be to call someone to help you out, especially if you don’t have any tools or gadgets handy. This is an easy and convenient solution that will allow you to get back into your vehicle quickly, so make sure you always keep a spare key in a safe place in case of an emergency like this!

    There are many methods for getting keys out of a locked car, some of which are easier or more convenient than others. Whether you choose to try using a Slim Jim or other tools, inflatable wedges, bobby pins, or other tools or options, remember to stay calm and think about the best solution for you.

    Things to Do Avoid Being Locked Out of Your Car

    Looking for ways to prevent getting locked out of your car in the first place? Check out these tips:

      1. Always carry an extra set of car keys with you. It may be a good idea to keep a spare key in your purse or anywhere else that is easily accessible if you find yourself regularly being locked out.

    1. Make sure your car door locking mechanism works properly before walking away from the vehicle. This will help prevent accidentally locking yourself out.

    2. You might also want to consider installing an alarm system on your door lock. This can not only alert you if someone tries to gain entry into your vehicle but can also notify emergency services if something goes wrong or if there is an accident.

    3. Try to avoid being rushed when you’re getting into and out of your vehicle. Taking some time to double-check everything and ensuring you have your keys with you can help prevent accidents and added frustration.

    The team at Geyer’s Towing has you covered, whether you’ve locked yourself out of your car or need key replacement or towing services. Our team of trusted automotive experts is here to help – contact us now to learn more!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Stay calm if you lock your keys in the car. Think about calling a locksmith or roadside assistance, and check if your insurance covers lockouts.

    Using tools like a Slim Jim can unlock your car, but misuse may damage the vehicle or cause injury. If in doubt, call an expert.

    Uncoil a wire coat hanger to have a straight and curved end. Slide the curved part between the weatherstripping and window, aim for the door frame below the window to find the lock mechanism. Use the hook side to gently jiggle until the car door unlocks. Works best with manual locks.

    You can unlock newer cars with a smartphone app. Just download one from Google Play or the App Store, link it to your car's remote system, and unlock your doors easily.

    To avoid future car lockouts, carry an extra set of keys, check your car's locking mechanism regularly, and consider installing a door lock alarm. Always double-check you have your keys before leaving your car.

    To unlock your car with keys inside, use tools like a Slim Jim, wire hanger, string, wiper blade, or inflatable wedge. Newer cars may be unlocked via a smartphone app. Use these methods cautiously to prevent damage. If in doubt, contact a locksmith or roadside assistance for safe, reliable help.

    If you lock your keys in your car, stay calm, check if insurance covers lockouts, and consider calling a locksmith or roadside assistance. If capable, you might unlock it yourself with tools like a wire hanger or Slim Jim, or use a smartphone app for newer cars. Prioritize safe and non-damaging methods.

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