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How to Open a Locked Car Door When Your Keys are Stuck Inside

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Having your car door locked with keys stuck inside could be very frustrating and unpleasant. You might even get towed if you were wrongly parked at the time of occurrence.

Luckily, with a little patience and a bit of technical work, getting your keys out of a locked vehicle is possible so that you won’t have to visit an auto body shop afterward to replace your window.

In this article, I will teach you some simple methods to open a locked car door when your keys are stuck inside.

How to Open a Locked Car Door When Your Keys are Stuck Inside

Finding out the best method for opening your locked car door depends on the tools you have at your disposal and the type of locks installed in your car.

Make sure you are very familiar with your car’s unlock mechanism, as it will be beneficial to know which of the methods is best for your vehicle.

1. Try the spare keys

Spare keys are always given to you when you purchase a new vehicle. After locking your car with your keys inside, the first attempt is to find the spare. However, this might be possible only if you are at home or near the spare.

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2. Use of Shoelace

Sounds impossible, right? Yes, but you can unlock your car door in splits of seconds with nothing more than your shoelaces. All you need to do is remove the lace from your shoe, then tie a slipknot in the middle, which can tighten when you pull on the string’s ends.

Hold each end on each hand and slide it through the corner of the car door, then make a back-and-forth motion so it gets down far enough that the knot can slide over the doorknob.

Once you notice it is in place, pull the string to tighten it, then pull it up to unlock it.

Note: This method does not work in cars with locking mechanisms on the side of the door.

3. The Use of a Coat Hanger/Slim Jim

This method is one of the most common methods to unlock a car door. This method is best used on manual locking doors.

  1. To do this, unravel the coat hanger so that you have a straight side and the hooked side using the help of pliers.
  2. Then slide the hanger down between the window of the car and the weather stripping until the hook gets to about 2 inches below the spot where the window and the car door meet, which is close to the interior door handle and where the control arm is located.
  3. Rotate the hanger to hook onto the control arm, and once that is done, pull it up, and the car door will be opened.
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4. The use of the manufacturer’s mobile App

Most new cars can be unlocked remotely using the auto manufacturer’s mobile App. All you need to do is sign up and pair the vehicle to your account before lockout or even when you purchase the car to avoid being locked out. I will give you a list of popular vehicle mobile apps.

1. MyChevrolet – This App allows you to lock or unlock your GM cars; you can also use it to start or stop its engine, sound the horn, or locate your vehicle amid other cars.

2. Toyota App – This App allows you to lock and unlock the doors, find your Toyota amidst other cars, and get access to maintenance information in your Toyota car.

3. Hyundai Blue Link® – This App allows you to lock and unlock your vehicle, start and stop on the headlights, and sound the horn in Hyundai vehicles.

4. NissanConnect® – This enables you to lock and unlock, know your vehicle’s Health Reports, and connect to Alexa and Google Assistant in Nissan vehicles.

5. Call a Locksmith

After exhausting your options, you still couldn’t open the car door, so maybe you should try calling the locksmith. They are professionals and have specialized lockout tool kits to get the job done.



How do you force a lock open?

The easiest way to get this done is by inserting two fingers into the shackle loop and using them to force away the shackle from the top of the lock. Doing this allows the locking pins inside the lock to be adjusted to the correct position for a quick crack job. Eliminate the excess slack from the shackle.

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Can all key locks be picked?

No, not all locks can be picked. This is because a lock must be in operating condition before you can pick it up. This and others are reasons you might fail to pick some car locks even if you are a top-notch technician.

Is it that easy to pick a lock?

Picking a lock is not much of a big deal. It is easy to learn and apply and doesn’t take too long. Although some locks are more challenging to pick, you can choose most of the locks used by these babies with a fundamental understanding of lock picking.


Getting a car door unlocked without the keys requires more techniques than it looks like. You need to know the suitable methods how to open a locked car door that is suitable for your car before attempting it. I have provided you with these guides, so all you need to do is read each of the methods thoroughly, as it would be helpful in successfully unlocking your car door.

Please do not attempt using any of the above-listed methods to break into people’s vehicles, as it is considered a crime in most countries, and you can be sent to jail for it.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.