Check All Of Your Doors
This is another one that seems extremely obvious. That said, youre stuck on the side of the road, do you really have anything better or more helpful to do?
Just be sure to check all of the doors of your vehicle, including the trunk or back latch. A lot of vehicles have quirks that prevent one or two doors from locking at times, and theres no harm in double-checking all of the doors before you start making phone calls.
We know its a stressful situation and its happening at the worst possible time, but you might be able to answer all your problems by checking the trunk handle.
Unlocking The Door From The Outside
In some cases, it is faster and easier to make a lockout tool to unlock the door from the outside. This technique takes a little bit more finesse, and is more likely to damage the weather stripping and/or the wires inside of the door.
- Warning: This is not a recommended method for opening doors containing automatic locks and/or automatic windows. The significant increase in the amount of wiring inside of the door itself makes serious damage too much of a risk.
Here is how to use this method:
Step 1: Make a Slim Jim tool. To fashion a Slim Jim, it is best to use a coat hanger or other long, relatively thin piece of metal and straighten it out, bending a hook into one end. This is the end that will go into the door.
- Note: If this tool bends under the strain, double the hanger over and make the end that is folded over into the hook as this is much stronger.
Step 2: Insert the Slim Jim into the door. Since there are usually more wires in the drivers door, it is best to use this method on the passenger side door. Slip the tool in between the weather stripping along the bottom of the window and the window itself.
- Tip: Pulling the black weather stripping back slightly with your fingers will make this move a lot smoother and easier.
Step 3: Open the lock with the hook. The locking mechanism is located right under the locking pin, so try to use the hook to grab the inside of the locking mechanism by sliding the hook back toward the lock and pulling up once the hook grips the lock.
Stuck Insidespecialtools To The Rescue
If the top of the broken car key is flush with the lock, and you cant get any leverage with pliers, then your next best bet is to purchase a set of removal tools. These tools are flat and narrow with small hooks at the end. They are intended to slide in alongside the key so that you can work it out, or, using two at a time, apply a pincerlike pressure to pull the key out. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a lubricant, either powder or liquid, that you can spray into the lock to help get the remaining key pieces free.
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How To Get Keys Out Of Locked Car Call 911 In A Emergency Situation
Contrary to popular belief you cant just call 911 to open your car door if your keys are locked inside. After all, first responders’ primary duty is to ensure public safety. Some dispatchers use discretion when sending help for situations like this but you shouldnt rely on help from first responders. If you arent in danger then this should not be your first option.;
Of course, if you believe that the situation is unsafe you should dial 911 immediately. If your keys are locked in the car and your child is in the rear seat in the car seat this constitutes an emergency. The police or the fire station will be dispatched to come and get your car door open. Also, if you left your pet in the vehicle, especially if the car is running this is deemed to be unsafe and an emergency. Emergency responders will be dispatched to the scene to help.;;
Sometimes, first responders have to use force and cause some damage when opening a locked door if an animal or child is inside. If you have a modern vehicle that uses advanced technology, if its too difficult getting into the car they may have to break a window.;
Roadside Assistance From Your Credit Card Company
Finally, several credit cards come with roadside assistance. This is most likely the case with cards that require an annual fee, but other cards occasionally offer the perk. The most common scenario that will be covered by your credit card is when youve used your card to purchase a rental car.
Either way, it cant hurt to give that service phone number on the back of your card a call. Terms change, and sometimes perks are added. For example,;Visa Signature;is a somewhat new benefit program added to many Visa cards.
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Ways To Access A Locked Car
Locking your keys in your car is one of those bone-headed moves were all bound to make at some point. No matter how smart or careful you are, mistakes happen. Knowing how to get back into your car without calling a locksmith is an opportunity to make up for your careless error. Depending on the type of door locks your car has, and on the tools and materials you have at your disposal, there are several methods you can try to get back into your vehicle. Below we highlight three of those methods.;
Should You Break A Window
You should only consider this option as a last resort in an emergency. First, getting a new window will definitely cost more than even the most expensive locksmith and second youre much more likely to hurt yourself in the process.
If you cant unlock the car by yourself and dont have the money to pay a locksmith, try your very best to find someone to borrow the money from. If your child or pet is locked in the vehicle, call the police or the fire department and they will come immediately as this is treated as an emergency. I recommend breaking the window only in situations that are potentially life threatening like if your child or pet is locked in the car on a very hot day, or if youre locked out and its freezing cold outside.
Naturally, if there is someone in the car, always break the farthest window away from them. Car windows are made of protective glass and are not easy to break. If you have a tool like a hammer or a screwdriver it would make the job easier, if you dont look for a medium size rock and aim for the center of the window. Make sure you do it extremely carefully as the window will usually shatter into small pieces.
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House Door Method #5: Use Bobby Pins
And of course, you can’t talk about lock-picking without bringing up the humble bobby pin. It’s one of the most common household items that can be used to pick many different types of locks.
However, if you don’t have a female in the house, you might not have any bobby pins lying around, so you might want to try out the butter knife or paper clips method.
How To Get Out Of A Locked Car
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Should you ever happen to be stuck in a car that just won’t unlock, try the following ways to free yourself and your passengers. Always put safety before everything else and do your best to respond calmly to the situation.
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Get Back On Your Way With Minimal Hassle
The odds are youll lock your keys in the car sometime, and those odds are on the increase. The American Automobile Association reports that it gets calls from more than 4,000,000 locked-out motorists every year. Thats up from 500,000 or less just a few years ago. The culprits, according to AAA, are keyless ignition and increasingly sophisticated electronic anti-theft systems. ;
With the harried holiday shopping season upon us, you might be even more likely to lock yourself out. Heres what you can do to stay calm and get help on the way.
The Screwdriver And Rod
This is the same method as the wedge that we just detailed only you would use a Phillips head screwdriver instead of a wooden wedge. The reason we mention this is you’re probably much more likely to have access to a Phillips head screwdriver than you are to a wedge of wood at any given moment. The wedge method is better though because it’s going to cause less damage. A screwdriver has a very high likelihood of scratching your paint or causing dents in the metal. However, if it’s an emergency and you have no other option, you can do the exact same thing with the screwdriver instead of the wooden wedge.
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Other Ways To Unlock Locks Without Keys
Not trying to get inside a car or house? You can break into padlocks using a beer can shimmy, bust into suitcases using a pen, decipher combinations on Master combo locks, brute-force your way in to American combo locks, and even break into safes with a little know-how. For more information on this hacks, check out our previous guide on breaking into locks.
Image via Shutterstock
Know of any other cool methods for opening a car or house door without a key? Let us know in the comments section.
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An Old School Coat Hanger
You may have seen this in a movie before, but it does work for real if you have the right kind of car. Modern cars with electronic door locks will probably not respond very well to this method to jimmy a lock. However, if you have an older car that has the little knob that looks kind of like a golf tee on the inside of your door that you lift up to unlock and push down to lock, then a coat hanger maybe the magic wand you’re looking for.
For this to work what you need to do is straighten out the coat hanger as best you can and then form one of the ends into a small hook. You have to force the hook; down between the rubber molding that holds your window in the window frame itself and the window glass. Now you’re going fishing.;
Carefully lower the hook into the door along the window until you can hook it around the door lock button itself. Get the hook underneath it and pull up to unlock the door. It really is that simple, and that’s why old school cars were subject to being stolen with this method. It doesn’t take a lot of work if you know what you’re doing.
You can also use something called a slim jim for this method if you happen to have one handy. Of course, if you happen to have a slim jim handy but not the keys to a car, that’s a little unusual in and of itself. Just make sure the car you’re trying to unlock actually belongs to you.;
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Use A String To Open A Manual Lock
If you have one of the older cars with a manual car lock plunger, theres an easy way to open your car door. Where you can, use a string or something elastic, like a shoelace. Heres how you do it.
Tie a small slipknot in the middle, which will act as the hook. You want to pull it on opposite ends to help it tighten around the plunger itself. Youd want to shimmy it in between the gap of your car door near the top corner and move it down.
Once you line up the hoop around the lock, give it a nice tug and you should be good to go.
How To Get Keys Out Of Locked Car Unlocking A Manual Door
Along with the hanger trick, there are several other methods you can use to unlock a door with manual locks. One great method thats quick and doesnt require a lot of extra tools is your shoelaces. Any other sturdy string will also suffice but if youre stuck outside of the grocery store you probably dont have much on you.;
How To Get Keys Out of Locked Car Using the Shoelace Method
For the shoelace method, you can take the laces right out of your sneakers. Tie a knot in the middle of the string, but dont make it super tight because you will need to tighten the lace by pulling on the string ends.
Holding one end of the lace, place the other end at the top right of the corner in the door. Now youll have to wiggle the lace down towards the lock. Once you reach the lock you should be able to pull the side of the lace that you have in your hand to tighten the knot around the lock and pull it up. The shoelace method wont work on a car that has its locking mechanisms on the side of the door.;
How To Get Keys Out of LockedCar Using A Slim Jim
A slim jim is perhaps the most popular way to pop a lock. How do you unlock A slim jim is a long strip of metal. The end of the slim jim is molded into a weird shape. The slim jim is considered an official lockout tool.;
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Try A Rod Or Wire Clothes Hanger
You can also use a rod or a straightened wire clothes hanger to save the day during a lockout. This method works best on cars that have power door locks and their lock buttons located on the armrest.
Use a doorstop or a thin piece of wood to gently pry open a space between the top of one of the car’s front-door window frames and its body. Proceed slowly and be gentle to avoid damaging the vehicle.
Slide the rod or straightened clothes hanger into the opening you’ve created.
Use the rod or clothes hanger to slide or depress the car’s door-lock flipper or button, and open the car door.
Remember, jockeying a string or a wire hanger into position in such a constricted space is extremely difficult. It can take quite a bit of time and many tries to maneuver these makeshift tools into place, but it can be done . Be patient and don’t give up! One of these methods may well help you to unlock your car’s doors when you’re locked out.
When All Else Fails Call Someone
If youve tried all of the methods we mentioned above and you still cant get the key out, then its time to admit defeat and call someone. You can either call a mechanic or a locksmith to help you and they will get your key out for you. We also recommend you calling them if you dont feel comfortable removing it on your own in the first place.
A key removal typically costs around $100 $150, but it can easily be cheaper or more expensive depending on the severity of the damage.
Roadside Assistance From Automotive Clubs
Three top-rated companies offer roadside assistance independent of other companies, like your insurance provider or car maker. A significant advantage of using an independent company is that you dont have to switch coverage if you switch car insurance companies;or buy a different car.
Three of the most popular groups include;AAA,;National General, and;Better World Club.
AAA;is one of the most comprehensive roadside assistance services around.;While its annual dues are more expensive than what youd pay through your insurance company, AAA offers longer tow distances and more services.;Plus, with your membership, youll receive discounts and perks on automotive and travel needs. For example, restaurants, hotels, and many attractions will offer a AAA discount, especially in touristed areas.
National General is less expensive than AAA and offers roadside services, discount programs, and other benefits. The company will also help you plan road trips and even send you the maps youll need for them. Hows that for service?
Better World Club;is Americas only eco-friendly auto club and positions itself as an ethical alternative to other motor clubs. Not only does the company offer roadside assistance to drivers, but it also provides the only bicyclist assistance program in the countryan excellent option for eco-minded people and adventure seekers.
Unlock A Car Door Without A Key In 6 Simple Ways
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1. The Clothes Hanger Trick for Keys Locked in the Car.
If you have an older car with button locks, you can use a wire clothes hanger to get at keys locked in the car. First, straighten the hanger, then bend it to make a small hook at one end. Next, slide the hook into the narrow space between the window and the rubber molding. You should be able to hook it around the button and pull it up to release the lock. Of course, this method will only work to unlock a car door if you have access to a clothes hanger! If youre at home or near a dry cleaner, youll have more luck with this method of getting at the locked keys in your car.
2. The Second Clothes Hanger Trick for Keys Locked in the Car.
This trick is useful if youre trying to figure out how to unlock a car door by lifting the handle inside. The first step of how to unlock a car without keys is to straighten a wire hanger. Next, bend one end of the wire and make a loop thats about as long as your longest finger. Secure the loop by wrapping the wire and stick the wire down into the car via one corner of a door.
3. How to Open a Locked Car Door with a Windshield Wiper.
Did you know that a windshield wiper can help you get to keys locked in a car? Well, if your drivers side window is open a few inches, this method can prove helpful. Detach one of the windshield wipers from your car. Take the windshield wiper, move it through the window opening until you can reach the lock on the door panel, and press it.