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Locked Keys in Car? Here Are Some Quick DIY Tips

May 4, 2016

Locked Keys in Car


Have you ever been in a hurry to get to a meeting or arrive at a destination? You manage to manoeuvre your way through traffic, bypass all the possible interruptions and then finally you arrive at your destination. Still in a rush, you grab all of your belongings, and with your hands full, shut the doors of your car. It is at that moment that you realise you have locked your keys in the car. This means that you cannot gain access back into your car. As frustrating as this may be, there are some solutions that you can try. Here is what you should do: –


The Shoestring Method

This is a method that works excellently if the mechanism for opening your door is one which you pull up. It takes about two minutes or less to carry this out, if you have had a little practice of course. All you need to do is take your shoelace and then tie a small loop in the middle of it. You need to make sure that this loop is adjustable. After this, work the shoelace into the door. This can be done from the tip of the door at the corner that it opens and you can gradually push the string in so that the loop is inside the car, and you are holding the ends on the outside.

When the loop has reached the lock, pull it so that it tightens around it. When it is taught, pull up the string and you will pull up the lock as well. Then, open your door and get your keys out.


The Inflatable Method

Your car may be a more modern make or model, meaning that you do not have the door opener that you are able to pull up. Instead, you may have a little switch that you need to move to get open. In this instance, it would be better for you to try out an inflatable door opener.

What you need is an inflatable object, an excellent choice being the equipment that is used for checking your blood pressure. That way, you can control how much you inflate the object.  Begin by using your fingers at the lip that is close to the top of your car, and pull at it until you have created a gap which is around ¼ inch in width.

Slide the blood pressure device into this gap and then begin to inflate it. The more you inflate it, the bigger the gap that will form between the doors. Then, when you have a gap that is around ½ an inch wide, take an untwisted wire coat hanger and use it to flip the door opening switch. If this is challenging, you could try reaching for the keys instead. Your door will be open soon thereafter.


The Coat Hanger Method

If there is one method that has proven to be highly popular through the ages, it is the coat hanger method of getting into a locked car. Popularised by movies and similar entertainment platforms, mastering this method can have you gain access to your car in minutes.

You will need to have a wire hanger. Take the hanger and untwist it so that on one side you have a long wire and on the other end you have a hook. The hook will go into the weather stripping for the car window. After you have put it in place, you will need to feel your way around by jiggling it until you will find the mechanism that locks the doors. Once you do, simply pulling it up should open the door for you.


The Trunk Method

It is entirely possible that you have locked your keys inside your car, yet you still have access to your trunk. In this instance, you can use the trunk as a door to gain access to the rest of the car. Feel around the back of your trunk until you find the emergency cord. This is normally at the top of the trunk, close to the door.

Pull at this chord when you have found it. The back passenger seats will normally fall forward, which will enable you to see into the cabin of the car. Once this has been done, you can crawl into your car, stretching yourself until you are able to reach your key. Then you can crawl back out and use the key to open the door.


All of these tips are excellent for dealing with the problem of locking your keys in the car. However, there are some other things that you can do which will use up less of your energy, but may achieve the same results. These include: –

  • Making sure there is a spare key. With a spare key, all you need to do is get it and open your doors with ease. You can keep the spare key in your office or home for quick access when the need arises.
  • Make use of AAA roadside assistance, who are able to come to you if you call them with a problem of this nature. They have qualified locksmiths on call who are able to open your car in seconds at a minimal cost. They are unlikely to cause any damage to your car, which you may do on your own.
  • If you are not sure about what you are doing, and it appears that you will cause some damage to your car, stop immediately and call a locksmith. In the end, the costs will be much lower for a longer lasting result that you can believe in.


Locked key in a car is the most common task that locksmiths deal with today. If it happens to you, do not get stressed or frustrated. Take a methodical approach and try and use the methods that have been outlined to get the keys out and regain access to your car. If all else fails, call a locksmith!