Life Hacks

What to do When Your Keys Get Locked in the Car

Even though being locked out of your car with the keys inside can be upsetting and annoying, you need not worry about what to do when your keys get locked in the car as there are some steps you can take to get back in the car.

1. Stay Calm

First of all, in this situation just stay calm. If you find yourself locked out of your vehicle but have the keys inside, it’s critical to maintain your composure. Panicking won’t help and might even make things worse. Inhale deeply, make an effort to unwind and concentrate on the problem at hand.

Remind yourself that getting locked out of your automobile happens frequently and that there are several ways to get back inside. You won’t be stuck in this predicament by yourself, and you’ll figure out how to return to your car.

Spend some time considering the subsequent actions you must take. Choose the best course of action after carefully weighing the various options accessible to you.

Key, Car Key, Keychain, Metal, Door Key
image by TBIT/ pixabay

Keep in mind that losing your cool or getting furious won’t help the situation. Instead, it might drive you to take hasty actions that might cause more problems. You’ll quickly discover a solution if you remain composed, concentrated, and determined.

2. What to do When Your Keys Get Locked in the Car

There are several things to do when keys get locked in the car and some of them are:-

2.1. Check for any Unlocked Windows or Car Door

Checking for any unlocked doors or windows should be one of your first moves if you find yourself locked out of your vehicle with the keys inside. It’s surprising how many people forget to verify and presume that all the doors are locked despite the fact that this may seem obvious.

Start by inspecting the car’s doors, all of them. You can quickly regain entry to your car if any of them are unlocked. Check the windows to see if one of the entrances is unlocked. Look through the car’s windows to see if any are open. You can easily get into your car if you locate any. You might be able to reach inside and physically unlock the car if the window is sufficiently open.

Free Car Steering Wheel photo and picture
Image by Mikes-Photography/Pixabay

Be cautious when opening any unlocked windows or doors; some vehicles have alarm systems that will activate if a door is opened without a key. Try to open the window or door as gently as you can, and be prepared to silence the alert if it sounds. If you discover that all windows and doors are locked, continue on to the following solution.

2.2. Spare Key

It can be irritating and stressful to be locked out of your car, so having an extra key might be useful. If this occurs to you, a dependable solution is to unlock your car with a backup key. The first step is to obtain your backup key from a safe location. Whenever you have a spare key, you must choose the lock that is the most straightforward to open.

Depending on the make and model of your car, there can be different entrances. Others can have a code on the door handle while some cars have locks on the driver or passenger side. You can open the door by inserting the spare key into the lock after finding it. After unlocking the door, remove your original keys from the car.

It is wise to always maintain an extra key in a safe place in case you ever find yourself locked out of your car. Always keep an extra key with you as it is the simplest way to open the car even if you are having any other alternative solutions.

2.3. Call a Locksmith

Calling a locksmith is a common solution if you unintentionally lock your keys inside your vehicle. Locksmiths are professionals with training in a variety of lock-related problems, including vehicle lockouts, who specialize in the installation, maintenance, and repair of locks.

It can be risky and expensive to fix your vehicle’s lock system if you attempt to gain access to it on your own. Local locksmiths can typically unlock your vehicle quickly and efficiently, and they have the knowledge and specialized tools required to do so without causing any harm.

It’s crucial to select a reliable locksmith with expertise in unlocking cars who are also insured, licensed, and reputable. Get an estimate before the locksmith begins working on your automobile, and let us know if you have any questions about the process.

2.4. Use an Inflatable Pump Wedge

It’s common practice to use an inflatable pump wedge to unlock a vehicle that has its keys locked inside. This technique includes sliding a tool, such as a wire hanger or a long, slim jim, to physically unlock the door into the gap between the vehicle door and the frame after inserting the deflated inflatable pump wedge and inflating it.

Make sure it is safe to use this technique by first assessing the situation. It might be wiser to contact a locksmith or roadside assistance service for assistance if you are parked in a risky area or feel uneasy trying to open the door yourself.

Find space between the vehicle door and the frame if it is safe to do so. Typically, the opening is found near the top of the door or on the side that faces the latch. Place the deflated pump wedge inside the opening and start pumping air into it until a room is made between the door and the frame. Make sure not to overinflate it as this could harm the door or window.

After you’ve made enough room, use a slim jim or wire hanger to physically unlock the door. If you don’t have a tool, you can also try pushing the unlock button or pulling the door handle from the inside using a long, sturdy item like a wooden dowel or a ruler.

An inflatable pump wedge should only be used as a last recourse when all other options, like contacting a locksmith or using a spare key, are unavailable because it can damage the door or window. Additionally, not all automobiles may be compatible with this technique, specifically those with automatic locks or extremely tight door seals.

2.5 Use of a Strip of Sturdy Plastic

Free Vw Volkswagen photo and picture
Image by Atimedia/Pixabay

You can start by using a quick and efficient technique to open your car: a strip of durable plastic. The “credit card trick” is another name for this ploy, but you can also use any flat, flexible plastic item, like a gift card or a loyalty card.

You need to find a tiny gap between the car windshield and the door frame in order to use this trick. Normally, this opening can be found near the window’s top lock mechanism. The plastic piece can then be slid into this opening in an effort to reach the lock button or lever inside the car.

If you can get the plastic strip to press or pull the lock mechanism, you might be able to open the door and get your keys.

It’s important to bear in mind that this strategy might not always work, especially if the vehicle has automatic locks or a more advanced locking system. Additionally, you ought to be careful to prevent damaging the vehicle’s door, window casings, or plastic strips from getting damaged.

If you have questions about how to apply this technique or have doubts about your ability to do so safely, it is always preferable to seek expert assistance.

2.6. Contact Roadside Assistance in Case of Locked Car

If your keys accidentally lock your vehicle, you can also call roadside help. Numerous emergency assistance plans provide services like lockout assistance, which can assist you in getting back into your car.

You can typically contact the roadside assistance program’s customer service line to ask for assistance if you are a member of the service. To help you unlock your vehicle, they will send a technician to your location.

It’s essential to keep in mind that some roadside assistance plans might have restrictions on how many lockout assistance calls they will handle in a given time frame or might charge an extra fee for this service. Verify the terms and circumstances of your program to determine what is covered.

You may be able to buy a one-time service to help you unlock your vehicle. But the cost of doing this might be higher than hiring a locksmith, so you should closely consider your options.

2.7. Use of a String or Fishing Line in Manual Locks

Accidentally locking the car keys inside the vehicle is frequent and can be annoying. However, there is a quick method for using a rope or piece of fishing line to open a manual lock. Find a string or fishing line that is strong and flexible and is long enough to reach the lock from outside the vehicle.

To make a loop, tie a knot in the center of the string. Then, move the string so that the loop is around the lock after passing it through the top corner of the vehicle door. Upward and around until the circle latches onto the lock, pull the string.

When the loop is tight, pull the thread downward to release the lock. The technique has been known to work for many people, though it might take a few tries to unlock the vehicle. It’s crucial to keep in mind that this trick might not function with all lock types, so it’s always a good idea to keep a spare key on hand or to contact an expert locksmith if necessary.

2.8. Tow Truck

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

If you are unable to contact the locksmith or roadside assistance, then towing your car is also one of the solutions. Your best option might be to have your vehicle towed to a nearby auto repair facility or dealership. To find the best solution for your requirements, compare the costs and services offered by various providers.

Towing your car can be an expensive proposition. Remember that before they can tow your vehicle, towing companies frequently demand evidence of ownership, so be ready to give this information when you call.

2.9. Use of Wire Coat Hanger

If the keys are unintentionally locked inside a vehicle, a wire coat hanger can come in handy. The wire hanger must first be as straight as possible before being bent into a hook form at one end. The hanger should then be carefully inserted through the top of the car door to attempt and hook the lock mechanism.

With any hope, the hook will be able to grab hold of the lock and pull it up to unlock the door, though it might take some time and skill.

It’s crucial to be gentle and avoid using excessive force as doing so could harm the door or latch. It’s also essential to keep in mind that this technique might not work on newer vehicles with electronic locks. It may be best in these circumstances to contact a seasoned locksmith for help. A wire coat hanger can be a useful tool in a pinch to unlock a vehicle when the keys are locked inside, despite not being completely reliable.

2.10. Get Help from a Family Member or Friend

Waiting for a family member or friend to come to your aid can be an option if you’ve locked your keys in the vehicle and they’re close by and able to assist. They might be able to assist you with other ways to open the vehicle, like using a slim jim or contacting a locksmith, or bringing a spare key, depending on the situation.

The police can be communicated for backing as well.

2.11. Break Window

Still, you might suppose about breaking a window to get to your keys, If you aren’t in a safe place or don’t have access to a phone. Fixing the damage, however, can be risky and expensive; as such, this should only be done as a last resort.


It’s not a big deal if you forget your keys or lock them inside your car by accident. The door lock can be unlocked in a variety of ways. Hence, in this circumstance, do not panic. Simply maintain your composure and consider the best course of action for releasing the lock on your automobile door.

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