Revolar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Open a Locked Car Door Without a Key? – 5 Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a locked car door without a key

Getting locked out of the car with the key inside is stressful. Before you smash the window, let me first teach you how to open a locked car door without a key, so you do not have to spend hours standing next to your car trying to guess how to open it.

In this article, I will teach you some hacks to open a car when keys are inside. Make sure you have some of the tools I have listed, and you are well on your way to opening your locked car.


How to Unlock a Car Door Without a Key


Method 1: Use a String

You can unlock car door without keyusing a string to pull the lock.

  • Get a rope and cut it to at least one meter. It is better to have it longer to around two or three for allowance.
  • Tie it and make a knot with a loop the size of the index finger.
  • Try to pry the door with a screwdriver and gently insert the string. We are trying to put the string diagonally into the car with the loop in the middle.
  • Move the line back and forth until the loop of the string hooks the lock. You should tighten the loop while maneuvering it.
  • Now that the circle of the string is attached to the safety, pull it upwards, and there you have it.

Method 2: Without key using mobile apps

Make sure that you register your car with the dealer upon purchase. They will pair your account to the registered vehicle for security purposes.

Note that some apps vary in features, but most new models have an unlock innovation from the app. For instance, the Toyota car app enables you to lock and unlock.

Other more advanced apps allow users to immobilize stolen cars, produce vehicle health reports, and start or stop the engine. Other more complicated models use sophisticated locking technology like the Hyundai i10 car.

This car has an auto-lock feature, so disabling it by holding the lock button for 5 seconds would save you the trouble of getting your locked keys in the car.

Here are some apps for different car makers

  • BlueLink app – This app is for Hyundai. Open the app, and you will see the unlock button. Tap it to provide the pin, and you are all set.
  • myChevrolet app – This app is not limited to only locking and unlocking. You can also use this to start, stop, and even horn the car. You can also use this if your carmaker is GM.
  • NissanConnect – The NissanConnect app is for Nissan cars, as the name suggests. The NissanConnect is a standout because it diagnoses your vehicle and gives you health reports.
  • Toyota app- Recently, the company has also added the smartwatch feature so you can lock and unlock the car through your wrist.
  • HondaLink – This app works like the other apps and lets your Amazon packages be sent to your car.
  • FordPassTM – The app also allows you to pay your monthly lease aside from unlocking your car.

Method 3: With a Screwdriver

The screwdriver is a staple in unlocking a locked car door.

  • Find the unlock button of the car.
  • Carefully insert the screwdriver between the door and the lock. Using a flathead screwdriver and older car models, you can easily reach the lock button and pull it. If not, follow the next step.
  • Now there is a slight gap between the door and the frame. Insert the coat hanger or any rod with a hook to reach the lock, then pull it.
  • Carefully remove the coat hanger or the rod from the car, followed by the screwdriver. You have to follow this sequence to avoid any damage.

Method 4: Use a Tennis Ball and a drill/screwdriver

Without tools, the tennis ball can be of good use if you have the skill. The tennis ball technique is a long debated method of unlocking the car. However, some have claimed it worked, while others need more practice.

  • Create a hole in the tennis ball with a drill or a screwdriver.
  • Place the tennis ball hole in front of the key. We will try to pull the discs inside the keyhole through the pressure applied by the tennis ball.
  • Pump the tennis ball repeatedly until you hear a slight clicking sound.

Method 5: Call Someone

If the hacks mentioned above did not work, calling someone can be your last resort. First, check if there are any local locksmiths available in the area.

If there is none, some locksmiths specialize in how to get into a locked car like the Pop-a-lock. They would look into your vehicle lock and make the key in less than 10 minutes. It would also be better if you knew your lock type to help them make the key faster.

For their service, prepare to shell out $4 to $10 for older models of cars. However, prices can skyrocket for luxury models between $250 and $450. This guide will let you know how much you will be charged for this Pop-a-lock service.

If you do not want to foot the bill and wonder, ‘who do I call for free?’ You can call 911 to alert the police or the fire department.

Calling them is extremely helpful, especially in an emergency when a locked child or a pet is inside the car. However, they might smash your window car in some extreme emergencies if their lock-picking tool cannot handle the situation swiftly.

Other methods you can try:



How do you open the car when the key is locked inside?

With a knife, you should push the latch in the space between the doorframe and the door’s crack.

As you insert the knife, you should feel a springy metal. The metal is the latch; you should keep fidgeting with a knife until you hear a slight click.

How do you unlock a car door by yourself?

Another trick is to roll down the windows by pushing the button. As easy as it may sound, it can be tricky if you leave your car with windows up.

Like the string technique, pry the door with a screwdriver or other sturdy metal. Make sure to leave a space sufficient for the rod.

Insert the rod down until it can reach the windows button. Press it, and your window should roll down. Now, you can get the keys out of the locked car.

How to unlock a truck door?

Like opening a sedan car, you need to pry the truck door and get a preferably long rod since it is bigger, with a hook at the end.

Pull it upwards, and you can now open the truck.

My Santro car door lock won’t open. Why is that?

Some Santro car door lock has a central locking system while others do not. You may try the abovementioned methods for vehicles without a locking system.

However, some Santro with a central locking system might automatically lock or unlock, even with keys inside. There are numerous causes for this. There might be a blown fuse, wiring issue, or a dead battery.

It is better to bring your Santro car to the Hyundai maker for them to diagnose the problem or reset the central locking system.


You need patience when opening a locked car because some methods I have mentioned might require numerous attempts. However, the easiest would be to register your car to the app, so you don’t have to spend grueling hours opening your car.

Furthermore, calling a locksmith might be expensive for some and might risk your security, but it is worth the try. Just be resourceful with your tools since there are more methods on how to open a locked car door without a key.

I hope you find this article helpful and stay tuned for more tips!

5/5 - (2 votes)