How to unlock a car door without a key — explained
Driving is fun and relaxing in most cases unless you are in a hurry or late to your destination. At this point, it all becomes a hustle of getting there as fast as possible, and you might forget a thing or two along the way. Well, one of the worst things that could happen is if you lock your car keys in the vehicle.
At this point, you might be wondering about how to unlock a car door without a key. You can open a car door without a key by using a spare key, relying on roadside assistance, or using DIY unlocking methods. Luckily, this guide will cover the main ways of getting your car door open so you can get your key and get back on the road as soon as possible.
Hiding the spare key where only you know the location
If locking your key inside the car never happened to you before, you should know that it’s not as rare of an occurrence as it might seem. In these situations, you might be tempted to use specific methods of unlocking the car door without a key. However, it’s best to prevent doing this by hiding a spare key somewhere only you can think of.
Whether it’s somewhere around your house or within your bag, it might be inaccessible in some situations when you aren’t near your home. So, many drivers decide to go with magnetic safe boxes that can be mounted beneath the car’s floor.
This way, you can use the code only you know to open the safe and get the spare key in case you lock the original one inside your vehicle. It’s also a useful option in case of a broken key fob that could make the alarm keep going off or prevent you from unlocking the door in case your keys get locked inside.
Another option you might want to try before relying on specific tips on unlocking your car door without a key is to call the police. Still, unless you’ve locked a pet or a child inside the car, it’s not as urgent of a matter to involve law enforcement officers.
That’s why it’s a good thing that you can rely on other methods of opening your car’s door on the spot even if you can’t access the spare key.
Ways of unlocking your car door without a key
So, if you don’t have a spare key nearby and you don’t wish to involve the police, there are a few other things you can try to unlock your car door. Here’s a full list of the easiest DIY methods of getting your door open and retrieving your keys from within the car:
- Call the roadside assistance
- Use a shoelace or a string
- Wire hanger or other wires
- Using a wedge tool or inflatable bag
Before you start doing any of these actions, make sure that you can confirm it’s your vehicle that you are trying to unlock just in case. We know this may sound silly, but weirder situations happened before, and knowing the options your car was ordered with can help identify your vehicle. The best scenario is if you own a modern vehicle that can be remotely locked and unlocked. In this case, even if the car has been locked out and the key is inside, you might be able to easily unlock the door.
You can simply use the manufacturer app and use your account to verify your vehicle identification and unlock the car via the app. Numerous brands let you use remote unlocking via the app as a key fob including Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, and Hyundai.
Call the roadside assistance service
If you don’t want to take any chances and risk it by using methods of unlocking your car without a key, you can simply call roadside assistance. Services like the AAA will help you in case of a lockout and give you the chance to retrieve your keys without tampering with the windows and doors.
The downside is that you’ll likely have to wait for some time, and you’ll have to pay for the service. Using the services of a professional locksmith can significantly reduce the time needed to get the door unlocked.
If you are an AAA member, you can get one free lockout trouble solving for free, so that’s a relief and an option to keep an eye out for to reduce the service cost. Either way, this is the most professional way of dealing with a locked door with the key inside your car, since you’ll be leaving it to professionals.
Use a shoelace or a string
One of the first methods that come to mind for unlocking the door of your car on the spot is by using a shoelace or another type of string. This only works if there’s a vertical knob on the door panel, and you should start by taking one of your shoelaces off.
Make sure to fit the lace or a string diagonally, starting from the corner where the door meets the B-pillar of your car. You might use a firm object like a pencil or anything else that you have on you that is thin enough to guide the string through the rubber molding.
Once you get the string inside of the car, try to move it to the side and tie a slip knot. This will help you use the knot and the loop to access the vertical door knob. If you can fit it over the knob, you can simply tighten the knot by pulling the two shoelace ends apart. By simply pulling up, you can raise the knob and regularly enter your vehicle.
Use a wire hanger or another type of wire
If you have a metal wire at your disposal, you can use it to unlock the car without a key. If you lock the key in the car near your home, you can use a wire hanger the unlock the door. The first step would be to straighten the wire out, and use pull it inside the door between the window and the weatherstripping.
By doing so, you can access the door latch or the rod mechanism itself and pull it up. In this case, you might also have to remove the weatherstripping to get a better visual of your actions.
Use a wedge tool or inflatable bag
Using a wedge tool or inflatable bag as a part of the auto-unlocking set could be the answer to your worries. It comes in handy to have these sets at hand in case such situations occur, and you can use the inflatable bag to create a space between the door and the mechanism.
At this point, you could use a tool or rod to access the lock mechanism and lift it to release the lock. This way you can unlock your car’s door without having to tamper with the weatherstripping or window, or damage the paint of your car along the way.
If you find yourself in a situation where your key is locked in the car, you’ll inevitably wonder “how to unlock a car without a key”. In this case, we hope that this guide can shed some light on harmless methods of unlocking the door without damaging your car.
Of course, you shouldn’t attempt any of them before making sure you have the documents that confirm you are the owner of the car. Either way, it’s still best to call roadside assistance and leave it to professionals with the right tools.
How can I unlock my car door myself?
You can unlock your car door yourself by using a shoelace, wedge tool, or a wire to reach the locking mechanism within the door, or lift the vertical knob from the inside with the lace to open the door.
How do you unlock a car that has keys inside?
You can unlock the car that has keys inside by inserting an object within the latch mechanism or the rod that’s used as part of the system to lock the door and lift it to unlock the door.