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How to Unlock a Car Door Without a Key

unlock a car door without a key

How To Unlock A Car Door Without A Key


According to the 2020 data, AAA Insurance has averaged around 4 million instances of car lockout assistance in the last few years. Taking into account that most people don’t turn to AAA to handle a car lockout, we can freely estimate that the actual number of lockouts is much higher.

In other words, if you’re a car owner, chances are you’re going to experience a car lockout at least once in your life. And, as fate would have it someday, it will probably be a rather inconvenient time, requiring an urgent solution like knowing how to unlock a car door without a key.


This is why having a rudimentary knowledge of how to unlock a car door without a key is a necessity for any car owner. 


5 Ways to Unlock A Car Door Without a Key

1. A hanger

A wire coat hanger is one of the most popular DIY unlockers (at least when it comes to horizontal locks) out there as people seem to have the most success with it (it sure is used in movies often enough). If your lockout occurred at home and your car has a horizontal lock, the hanger might be your best bet to unlock a car door without a key. 


Here’s how to unlock a car door without a key using a hanger: untwist one side of the hanger (use pliers if available). You need one end of it to form a hook. Then you’ll slide that hook between the weather stripping and the window. Once successfully below the window, you’ll need to find and hook the control arm. If you’re able to grab it, all you need is to pull – and the door will open.


2.  A screwdriver and a rod

Again, not something many would have access to right off the bat unless the lockout occurred close to home, but if it did – could be worth a try to unlock a car door without a key using this method. 

Here’s how to unlock a car door without a key using a screwdriver and a rod: the principle is the same as with the coat hanger, however, the screwdriver-rod combo is likely going to be more sturdy than a hanger. Again, this method will only work with horizontal keys.


3.  A string (or a shoelace)

If you’ve heard of a DIY car opener aside from the coat hanger trick to unlock a car door without a key, it’s probably this one. On the bright side, a shoelace or a string is easier to get ahold of even if the lockout occurs farther from home. On the less bright side, this method will only work on locking mechanisms that operate on a pulling-up system, and it will take a while even in the best-case scenario.

Here’s how to unlock a car door without a key using a string (or something similar): tie a small loop at the top (about the width of your index finger), so that you’re left with two “handles”. Slip the string into the corner of the driver’s window, so that the loop is posited as close to the lock as possible. Stir the string gently to lower the loop without tightening it in the process. Once the lock is in the loop tag at the “handles” to “catch the lock”, tighten the loop, and pull.


4. A wedge (sturdy metal object or inflatable)

A wedge is another popular method when it comes to DIY car unlock, though opinions seem to differ whether a sturdy wedge or an air wedge works best. Both have their uses, supposedly, though an inflatable wedge does have the disadvantage of being a specific tool you need to purchase in advance, while a regular wedge can be replaced by most sturdy thin objects – like a spatula for example.

Here’s how to unlock a car door without a key using a wedge: if using a spatula make sure it’s a sturdy one that won’t bend easily. You’ll need to place inside the door crack and wedge the door open until you’re able to get to the lock with the lever and push it up.

The air wedge method somewhat resembles a screwdriver-rod method. You place the deflated wedge between the door and the weather stripping and start pumping. Once the pressure creates a large enough wedge, you’ll need to slip a rod or something similar through it to tag on the lock and open the door.


5. A mobile locksmith

Important: do remember that using a DIY car unlock method you’re running a significant risk of damaging the lock. 

While the abovementioned methods are probably the most tried and tested among the “DIY car openers”, if you’ve never tested either and don’t know what it is you’re doing exactly, all you’ve got on your side are luck and a hail Mary.

Calling a mobile locksmith for assistance would be a much easier and less costly way (if we account for potential damage to the car) to handle a lockout. The mobile auto locksmith would be able to provide the advantage of both expertise and professional equipment that would let you into your car with far lower risks of damage done to the car itself.


How much would a mobile locksmith assistance cost for a car lockout?

Depending on the circumstances, costs for pop-a-lock services vary between $50 and $120, on average. 

You can get more concrete information if you get in touch with the potential provider and discuss the service details. The operator would account for your specific circumstances and provide a more accurate estimate for free.


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