How To Unlock Automatic Car Door Without Key

Whether you have lost your keys or they are broken, your whole car has become a pointless waste of metal, gas, and money, unless you can drive it. No matter what, If you are locked out of your car, you’re in a sticky situation.

Maybe you don’t have the money to call a locksmith, or maybe you just have to be somewhere quick and you don’t have time.

Knowing some methods to open your car without your fob can be helpful in this situation and could even be worth learning in advance so if you’re ever in this situation you can 

A Few Things First

Firstly, you need to establish what sort of lock your car has, this could be something you already know, or can be solved with a simple Google search of your car model and what lock it has.

Horizontal locks are fairly easy to pick with certain tools but require a little jimmy around with certain tools you probably already have to hand.

Many modern cars don’t use this system anymore because they are so easy to pick, but it’s good to know when you are locked out of your own car.

If you have a different kind of lock, there might be a more specific way to pick that specific lock – essentially don’t go in blind without knowing the lock, you could easily damage it and ruin your chances otherwise.

But essentially, this is your best chance of getting back into your car: targeting its lock system. Most cars rely on automatic fobs to open the doors these days. So unless you can control magnetic force like Magneto from X Men then you’re just gonna have to do this the old fashioned way.

Moreover, before you start trying to break into your own car, if there is a security booth nearby the parking lot, or a police officer nearby, this could be your best port of call.

These public attendees do often have ‘car opening kits’ that will be able to open your car pretty quickly as long as you can prove you own it – which could be hard. If anything, this means that security at least will know you aren’t a car thief. 

Methods

  1. Use your shoelace – This is a pretty cool method that makes you look like Macgyver, but there are no points for style here. This only works where the internal locking system on the car door is a push and pull lock. These aren’t very common in modern cars, though. Once you watch someone do it, YouTube is your resource here, it’s common sense from there.

You will need a piece of string and tie a noose in it which will tighten as you pull. As the string is thin, you should be able to slide in between the car door and the car’s main body. Look for the corner that is directly above the car door handle.

You should be able to direct the noose to the locking mechanism and pull it tight around the said mechanism. Once tight, you should be able to lift it up as if you were unlocking the car from the inside and open sesame, you’re back in your car.

  1. Use a metal coat hanger – This is another Macgyver-esque move that operates similarly to the string trick. This targets the car’s internal locking system rather than the bit you pull. This relies on your car having the same horizontal lock, like the string trick, but requires a little more jimmying  around and can take longer than the string trick when unpracticed.

You need a metal coat hanger that you can unfurl so you essentially just have a malleable metal wire. If you have the type of wire already you don’t need a coat hanger. The only bit you need is the metal hook. 

Slide the hook in between the window and the weather stripping on the external side of the window. With the hook parallel, you should be able to push it down and into the car. Now you should be able to turn the hook inward so the hook part is able to manipulate the horizontal lock.

With the correct amount of jimmying, and art you can fine tune with practice, you should be able to use the hook to pull the arm mechanism that controls the lock.

You should be able to see if it’s working as the little pull mechanism on the internal side of the door should start jiggling as you go over the lock and will extend when unlocked.

  1. Use a Slim Jim – this is the movie car thief’s favorite mode of unlocking car doors, but is a genuinely useful tool to have to break you out of this sticky situation. A Slim Jim essentially works the same way that the coat hanger trick does, by manipulating the internal locking system. However, this tool has been specifically made to manipulate the locking mechanism quickly and easily. It works well on some cars and not so well on others. Although, they can be hard to find as they are used so frequently by car thieves.
  1. Use an inflatable wedge – This is your best option in terms of buying something to prepare yourself for this situation. This is a kit that works the same way as the coat hanger, and the string, and the slim jim, by manipulating an inner locking mechanism. However, this kit is designed to save you this specific situation where you have left your keys in your car.

The inflatable wedge should create enough space between the car door and the body of the car for you to use the provided tool to easily open the car from the inside. You can buy one here, and we would suggest getting one to prevent this situation happening and save you the fee of a locksmith.

Our Final Say

So, there are many ways to get into your car even if you have left your key in there. Modern car lock mechanisms can be harder to get into, and may require you to call a locksmith in the worst situation. 

It’s worth mentioning that nearly all of these methods will make you look like a car thief, so if you are in a public space you should be prepared for some funny looks and as well as people questioning what you are doing.

Just make sure there is one way you can verify you actually own your car in order to avoid an even stickier situation with the police. Just think how it looks!