You know that sinking feeling when you try to get in the car and realize you don’t have your keys? We hope you don’t have previous experience with that emotion, but if you do, then you know how it can totally mess up your day’s schedule. Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods that can help you get into your car if you’ve locked yourself out. Take a look at some of these tips so you’ll know how to unlock a car door next time you’re in trouble.
Use A Spare Key
It’s worth asking if your partner hid an extra key, either under the car in a magnetic box or even wired on to the frame. It’s possible they also carry a spare key on their key ring and they can come to unlock the car for you.
It’s always after you get out of a predicament that you think of backup plans like these. When you’ve used one of the methods below to get into the car, have a car key replacement made so that you can give a copy to your spouse or a trusted friend. You could even have two made so you can hide one on the car somewhere.
How to Unlock a Car Door with a String
This method only works on cars with locks that have hooks and pull up to unlock. If that’s not your vehicle, this is a method to save for another day. You never know when it might come in handy.
Tie a slipknot at the end of a string. If you don’t have one laying around, take the shoelace out of your shoe (or ask a friend who’s wearing tennis shoes). From there, it only takes a short time to slip the string through the weather stripping and lasso the lock.
Pull tight, and then continue pulling to lift the lock.
Try a Wedge or Pry Bar
There are inflatable wedges that help you keep a small crack in your door if you pry it open. First, insert the deflated wedge between the door and the car. Then inflate it, and the door will lift away from the car, allowing you to break in.
Be careful when you attempt to pry open the door. Too much torque and you could damage the vehicle. You can also use a pry bar to help hold the door open enough to get a tool (like a slim jim) inside.
Using a metal coat hanger you’ve bent into a hook can help you undo the lock. You can also try using a rod to push the unlock button if you can angle it the right way through the gap in the door you created.
On the Road Again
With these tips for how to unlock a car door, you can get back on the road in no time. Skills for improvising in inconvenient situations will serve you well if you ever need to rescue a friend, too.
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