10 Ways to Retrieve Keys Locked in Car

As a professional journalist and content writer, I have compiled a list of 10 effective ways to retrieve keys locked in a car. This unfortunate situation can happen to anyone, but there are several methods you can try to regain access to your keys without damaging your vehicle.

1. Call a Professional Locksmith

If you find yourself locked out of your car, the first step you should take is to contact a professional locksmith. They have the expertise and tools to safely unlock your car without causing any damage. Make sure to choose a reputable locksmith with good reviews to ensure a quality service.

2. Use a Slim Jim Tool

A slim jim tool is a thin, flat strip of metal that can be used to unlock car doors. This tool is inserted between the window and the weather stripping to reach the locking mechanism. It requires skill and precision to use, so be cautious and consider calling a professional if you are unsure.

3. Use a Coat Hanger

If you don’t have a slim jim tool on hand, a coat hanger can also be used to unlock a car door. Straighten the hanger and bend one end into a hook shape. Carefully insert the hook into the door frame and try to catch the lock mechanism to unlock the door. This method may take some patience and practice.

4. Call Roadside Assistance

If you have a roadside assistance membership, such as AAA, you can call for help in unlocking your car. Many roadside assistance programs include locksmith services as part of their coverage, so be sure to take advantage of this service if you are a member.

5. Use a Shoelace

An unconventional method to unlock a car door is using a shoelace. Tie a small loop in the middle of the shoelace and insert it through the top corner of the car door. Maneuver the loop around the lock and pull to unlock the door. This method may require some dexterity and patience.

6. Contact the Car Manufacturer

If you own a newer model car, the manufacturer may be able to provide you with a unique code to unlock your car remotely. Contact the customer service line of your car’s manufacturer and provide them with your VIN number to see if they can assist you in unlocking your car.

7. Try the Tennis Ball Method

The tennis ball method is a popular DIY solution to unlock a car door. Simply cut a small hole in the tennis ball and press it against the lock on the car door. Squeeze the ball while pressing it against the lock to create pressure that may unlock the door. This method may not work for all car models.

8. Check for Spare Key

If you have a spare key stored in a hidden location, such as a magnetic box under the car or with a trusted friend or family member, now is the time to retrieve it. Having a spare key can save you from the hassle of being locked out of your car.

9. Use a Inflatable Wedge

An inflatable wedge is a tool used by professionals to create a gap between the car door and the frame. This gap allows for easy access to the locking mechanism without causing damage to the vehicle. Insert the wedge into the door frame and inflate it to create space to unlock the door.

10. Remain Calm and Assess the Situation

In a stressful situation like being locked out of your car, it’s important to remain calm and think clearly. Assess the situation and determine the best course of action to retrieve your keys. Remember that there are always solutions available, so don’t panic.


Being locked out of your car can be a frustrating experience, but there are several ways to retrieve your keys without causing damage to your vehicle. Whether you choose to call a professional locksmith, use a DIY method, or rely on your roadside assistance membership, there are options available to help you regain access to your car. Have you ever been locked out of your car? Share your experience and tips in the comments below!

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