I Locked My Keys in My Car, What Can I Do?

There is nothing more frustrating than locking your key in the car, especially when you are in a hurry. Don’t worry! Instead of calling roadside assistance or car service center, there are still some DIY methods that help you quickly unlock your car door.

You may find these lockout tricks unbelievable, but they most definitely work. Different cars have different structures and the newer the car is, the harder it is to get into with automatic locks and security systems. However, nothing is impossible so let’s get started with the first one.

Tip Number 1: Prepare A Spare Key

If you are often absent-minded and lock your key inside your car, you should prepare a spare one and hide it somewhere that only you know. The best places for the extra key are inside your purse or wallet, somewhere on the vehicle (but not inside the car door) or under any stuff in your garden. It also works with the house’s key as long as there is no one except your family members know it or you will give everything away.

Tip Number 2: Use Your Shoelace

It sounds incredible but what you need is just the shoelace. Firstly, take off a lace from one of your shoe (another kind of string is okay also). Then, you will need to tie a small loop in the middle of it that you are able to tighten by pulling on the end of the shoelace.
Next, you need to hold one end of the string in each of your hand, slide it through the car door’s corner. Use the back-and-forth motion until the knot slide over the door knob. Finally, pull on the lace to tighten it and pull up to unlock the door.
Unfortunately, this method won’t work with cars which have the locking mechanisms on the side of the door. But, if your car has a knob at the top of the door, you will have a chance.

Tip Number 3: Use A Wooden Wedge, Air Wedge And The Rod

You can also use a wooden wedge, air wedge, and a rod to unlock your car if the top part of the car opens a little bit. You first grab the wooden wedge and slide it through the small hole of the top part (If you don’t want the wedge to damage your car, put a plastic to cover it).
Now, get the air wedge and slide it in next to the wooden wedge. In order to make more space between the car and the door, pump air into the air wedge. After that, change the wooden wedge’s location until you get the sizable gap. At last, slide the rod through the gap and unlock the door. Check out this video for detail information:

Tip Number 4: Use A Strip Of Plastic

If the locking mechanism of your car is up top, instead of shoelace, you should use a strip of plastic. Of course, you still need to open the door as much as you can with or without an air wedge.

This video might help you.

Tip Number 5: Use A Coat Hanger

Another common way to unlock the car door is by the modified wire coat hanger (or a slim jim). This one is suitable for manual locking doors, usually on the older cars.

Step 1: Unravel the coat hanger with the help of some pliers until you have one straight side and one hooked. You will use it to pull up the control arm inside the door.

Step 2: Slide the hanger down between the weather stripping and the car window so that the hook will be inside nearly 3 centimeters at the meet of the window and the car door. The exact location is where the control arm usually is (you should check the location before sliding the hanger).

Step 3: Make the hook face the inside and fish around for the control arm by rotating the hanger. This is the hardest part because it isn’t easy to find and fish around. When you are locked in, pull up and the car door will open.

You could also study how to use the coat hanger to unlock the car door here.

Tip Number 6: Use The Windshield Wiper

It is much easier to remove the windshield wiper; just different models have different methods. However, no matter which type of your car is, this way will work.

Make sure your window is slightly open because you need to move the wiper in front of the car then maneuver it through the small crack in your window. It will help you both grab the key on the chair and hit the unlock button on the side of the door.

Not only the windshield wiper but also anything long enough to fit through your window is usable.

Tip Number 7: Use The Hail Mary (Also Known As Tennis Ball)

This is one of the coolest ways to unlock a car door, what you need is a simple tennis ball. Now, to start, you will make a hole in the ball by the heated electric drill or screwdriver. After preparing the ball, place it with the hole over top of the keyhole and start pushing. The magic is that the pressure created in the ball will force your car to unlock.

Despite this cool method, there are always plenty of arguments about does this way actually work. Many guys had tried it and some are successful while some get disappointed.


In conclusion, these 7 tricks are really helpful when you need to use the car at the drop of a hat or you want to unlock by yourself. If you can’t try any of them, don’t worry, the car service man will be by your side immediately to help you.

I hope you find these things interesting and don’t hesitate to share more ways to unlock the car without using the key if you have.

3 thoughts on “I Locked My Keys in My Car, What Can I Do?”

  1. Thank you for the comment about how if these tricks don\’t work, then you can just call a serviceman to help you. I was actually unable to understand how some of these tricks worked when I was reading them. If I am in trouble with my car being locked I will probably go straight to calling a company to help me out.

  2. I have 2000 Ford Contour 4 doors and all doors are
    locked suddenly . The original keys failed to open the doors.

    Ford says”Quality is our job number one”.
    What kind of quality locks the 4 doors of my car.


    faiked to with 2 keys neither key is working.

  3. It’s so detailed and helpful. Thank you for your article. Additionally, contacting a locksmith may be pricey for some and put your security at danger.


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