Auto Service World
News   November 25, 2022   by Auto Service World Staff

What To Do When You’re Locked Out Of Your Car

Did you know that millions of drivers get locked out of their cars every year? Whether you forgot to take the keys with you after shutting the car door and realized it right away or thought you’ve lost your keys only to find them sitting in your car’s cup holder, getting locked out of your car can be frustrating.

What do you do now? This article shares several ways to help get in of your locked car—from trying out DIY methods to letting the experts take over. Keep reading!

1. Get Professional Help

Perhaps the best way to get in your locked-out car is to ask for professional help. Whether you don’t have time or energy to try out DIY methods or your DIY attempts simply aren’t working out, calling professionals is your best option.  

Generally, you have two options:

  • Roadside Assistance: This insurance coverage can quickly help with your car lock situation and other distressing driving situations, such as getting a flat tire or running out of gasoline. If you don’t subscribe to such a service, you should ask about your auto insurance policy and if they have this coverage. 
  • Locksmith: If you don’t have access to a roadside assistance service, you should contact a reputable car locksmith to help with your problem. Locksmith Plus Inc. in Seattle Washington and other locksmith companies in your area can help open your car without causing any damage. They can also help fix any broken locks that may have caused this situation. A trusted locksmith can also make you new keys if yours have been broken or lost.

Although there are numerous ways you can try to unlock your car, calling and getting professional help is the safest and most convenient method of getting back into your locked car. So, consider contacting these professionals if you lock yourself out.  

2. Use Your Car’s App

If you have a newer car model, you might not have to experience being locked out for hours. Depending on your car’s model and brand, you may be able to unlock your car using its mobile app. 

Ideally, you should already have an account and already have it paired with your car when you first bought it. If you do, you can simply open the app and use it as a remote key fob to unlock or lock your car. Aside from acting as a remote key fob, most apps provide numerous features, including sounding the horn, locating your vehicle, and vehicle health reports.  

3. Try Do-It-Yourself Methods

When trying to get inside your locked-out car, DIY methods and tools are plenty. Here are just some of the common DIY methods that both experts and regular drivers recommend. Take note that most of these options will require a lot of patience.

  • Shoelace: If you have a car with post locks, a shoelace may help you open your car. To do this, fashion a loop in the middle of the shoestring and work it into your door’s opening. Then, hook the loop onto the door’s locking mechanism and pull it up to unlock. If you’re wearing sandals or slip-on shoes and don’t have shoelaces, you can also use twine, fishing line, or any string you have. 
  • Plastic: You can also use makeshift door wedges out of spare plastic strips. You can use this to slide through the cracks of the car door, triggering most manual car locks.
  • Wire Clothes Hanger: While Hollywood movies make this method looks easy, it’s actually the most frustrating method of unlocking a car. A metal wire hanger can unlock a car door through its power lock/unlock button. Simply straighten out a hanger and insert it into the door frame’s seal above the unlock button. Fiddle with it until the hander slide in and guide it to the unlock button.

These are some of the effective ways to unlock your car. However, remember to be cautious and consider using these methods for emergencies only. This is to avoid damaging your car door, which may be costly.

4. Call A Family Member Or Friend

It’s easy to feel frustrated when you find yourself locked out of your car. If you don’t know what to do, call your family members or friends for help. Refrain from asking a stranger to give you a hand, especially if you’re in a high-risk area or it happens at night. 

In a best-case scenario, your family member may have a spare key to unlock your car and take it to you. And even if they don’t have the spare key, they can help bring some supplies, like the ones previously mentioned, to unlock the door manually.  


As you can see, getting inside your locked-out car is entirely possible, especially if you have newer car models and insurance coverage, such as roadside assistance. If you’ve left your keys and trying to figure out how to get into a locked car, consider any of the above steps. Just make sure to avoid dangerous options, such as breaking your car window, unless it’s a real emergency.

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