Getting locked out of the car is a stressful and expensive ordeal, in most cases. You’re stuck without your car, and you probably have places to be. And, like anything unknown, getting yourself locked out of the car makes it hard to know what to do. This post will help you to get back inside your car, and on the road.
You will hear stories about people having locked keys in cars in any garage you visit. When it comes to older cars, you’re in luck. Most cars pre-2007, and some after, use simple locking mechanisms. These locks can be manipulated from outside the vehicle if you know exactly what to do. Obviously, doing anything like this yourself comes with certain risks, even if you’re experienced. Be careful not to damage the lock in the process of getting it open. Otherwise, you could get yourself locked out until the lock is changed. In emergency situations, like having a child or pet trapped in the car on a hot day, go ahead and just break a window. It’s not worth spending time if lives are at risk.
If your car window is open even slightly, and you can see the key, this could make the whole thing much easier. Instead of trying to force the car open, you can try to get the key. Find a wire coat hanger or other rigid wire, and a pair of pliers. Straighten out the wire, and make a small hook on the end. Now, use the wire and hook to try and fish the key out of the car. Obviously, this method has mixed results, and won’t work at all sometimes. Some cars, though, have exposed lock pins or unlock buttons that you can use. Using the same coat hanger device you created, attempt to put the unlock button or pull up a pin. The type of car will dictate exactly how you create your hook. So, be creative and try multiple designs if you need to.
You could be unlucky, though, and your window could be closed. In this case, you need to manipulate the lock from inside the door. To do this, make a wire hook, just like before. This time, make the hook into an S shape, though. With the top section of the S being quite small, and the hook section much larger. This will help to prevent damage to the lock. Now, pull back some of the seal around the bottom of one of the car windows. This will expose a gap for you to slip the hook into. Aim the hook so that it is above the center of the door handle, and push it down until the hook is below the keyhole. Turn the hook away from you, and then gently pull it back up. With any luck, you’ll catch the lock, and the door will pop open.
In any situation like this, research is key. If your car has an alarm, trying to force the door open will set it off. If your car has an immobilizer, the car may not start once you’ve broken into it. Be careful and be aware of your car’s design.