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How to Unlock a Car With the Key Fob Inside? – 9 Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to unlock a car with the key fob inside

Accessing your card with a key fob has never been easier and more convenient. Ranging from car-finding buttons to keyless locking and unlocking, these wireless remotes work wonders in your out-of-town trips and errands.

Indeed, many of us have faced situations where we find ourselves locked out at the urgent moment yet no information on how to unlock a car with the key fob inside.

Fret not, read further to know methods to gain access to your car again.

Ways to Unlock a Car With the Key Fob Inside

Depending on the situation and the materials that are available to you, there are multiple ways to open a car with keys inside.

The following are the ways to get car unlocked with keys inside:

1. Unlock your car with a lockout kit.


Lockout kits are usually used by locksmiths to unlock car with keys inside. So, if you have one, you can get into your vehicle by opening it yourself.

To use the lockout kit, insert the inflatable bag on the side of your locked door. Next, you have to inflate the bag by pressing on the inflator.

After inflation, the door will pry open a bit and will create a small space. The last step is to insert the hook included in your kit to reach the unlock button of your car door, or get your key fob inside your car if you can.

A lockout kit can cost $20 to $90 dollars, depending on the brand, the make, and the number of tools per kit.

2. Unlock your car with spare keys.


Usually, when you buy a new car, the manufacturer might offer you spare keys for the vehicle. If you think you might have one, try to find it inside your house to unlock a keyless car door.

Note: If you have spare keys, leave the spare keys somewhere accessible and remember where you keep them so that you won’t get locked out the next time.

3. Unlock your car with a fishing line or string.


If your car door lock has a knob instead of a lock/unlock button, you can unlock your car without keys using a fishing line or string.

What you are going to do is to slide the string that is looped in the middle inside the car by sliding it through the top of the car door or window if either is slightly open.

Slowly slide the loop on top of the lock knob and pull it upwards to unlock the car door.

4. Call AAA

I’m locked out of my car, who do I call for free assistance? Well, if you are a member of the American Automobile Association and have availed of their insurance, you can use their free roadside assistance locked keys in car.

An AAA membership can cost around $60 per year for the cheapest tier while the most expensive one can cost $120 per year.

5. Unlock your car with a phone app

Modern cars can now be unlocked using their respective applications with phone. However, you need to sign up first and link your car with your account before you are locked out.

For example, if you have a newer Toyota car, you can lock or unlock your car door, find your vehicle, and receive manufacturer alerts from the Toyota application.

6. Unlock your car with a wire hanger


If you have a key fob locked in car and a lock/unlock button for your car door, a wire hanger might be your best bet.

All you have to do is straighten your wire hanger to make it sturdy and long enough to reach the inside of your vehicle.

Next, you can pry a small space on your car window or car door to insert the wire hanger and push the unlock button on the door.

7. Call a locksmith


If you do not know how to unlock a BMW with keys locked inside, or any vehicle, really, you can call a locksmith to open your car door and retrieve your key fob.

The cost of having your locksmith open your door can range from $75 to $150 dollars. If you opt to rekey your car, especially when you lost your fob, expect to pay $50 to $300.

8. Unlock your car with a plastic strip.

Opening your car without tools when you are locked out is difficult. But if you have a sturdy plastic strip and your car door has a knob for the lock, you might be in luck.

Like the fishing line or string method, make a loop at the end of your plastic strip, as this will serve to hook onto the knob. Next, insert the plastic strip inside the car window or door and pull the door knob with the loop.

9. Call the police.


If you can’t access your car by following the steps above and you don’t know what to do anymore, you might want to call the police and tell them you left keys in car. Some police bring slim jims that can open locked car doors.

Reasons Why Key Fob Might Be Locked Inside a Car

Key fobs are designed to prevent you from misplacing them inside your car. However, the following are some of the reasons why this problem happens:

  1. Your keyless proximity sensors cannot detect your key fob. Because of this, the car might lock even when your key fob is inside your car.
  2. You have a problem with your key fob. Due to drained battery or wear-and-tear, your key fob might be losing the signal strength it had, which leads to the door locking when it’s not supposed to.
  3. Your door lock is damaged.

If your door lock is damaged, it might not open even if you have spare keys. Be it because of the weather or lack of lubrication, a faulty car lock might lead to having a car with smart key locked inside.

Will the Police Open Your Car for Free?

The police will not unlock your car for free or without reasons. Only in certain emergencies, such as a locked baby or pet inside the vehicle or your car is burning and someone is stuck there, are they required to open your car.


Let’s face it, accidents happen. And when they do, they throw us off, make us anxious or worried, and ruin our day that we strive to make productive.

Knowing how to unlock a car with the key fob inside is a trick that everyone with a car should know. However, the next time you leave your car, make sure you have everything you need so that you won’t get locked out again.

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