Solutions for Keys Locked in Car

Category Helpful Hints
When keys are left inside the car, there are ways to have an extra key close at hand or good services to help you get in. This is a page about solutions for keys locked in car.


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I needed a spare car key in case I locked mine in the car (which was happening regularly for awhile). However, the price of a programmed key was over $100. So instead, I took my key to the local hardware store and got a regular key made, put it inside a magnetic box, and hooked it under the car. Now this key will not start the car, and when used to open the locked car, the alarm will sound. But, if the keys are inside the car, I can grab them and push the button to stop the beeping, and then be on my way without waiting for road service.

By KatherineC from Reno, NV

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If you happen to accidently lock your keys in your car, just hide an extra key in your purse and use that one. Works every time!

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My Jeep Grand Cherokee has locked itself automatically with the keys in the car. I don't have a spare key (it's a long story). I heard once that a car can be opened using a cell phone. Can anyone help me please!


Carolyn from South Africa


January 14, 20121 found this helpful

I belong to AAA and they made a spare plastic key free to keep in my wallet. When I locked myself out I had the extra key in my wallet and opened the car door.

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July 15, 20141 found this helpful

Many of us have faced this problem sometimes which undoubtedly causes lots of panic and confusion. On this situation you dont have to lose your self-control but simply try some effective techniques for unlocking door without using the keys. First check whether all the doors are locked maybe one of the doors is unlocked and you can get entry inside. Also check window that is rolled down far enough to get your arm inside and open the door. If either any of these cases doesnt apply then get a locksmith. Although they will charge you a small fee but will resolve this within minutes.

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July 21, 2016

I am locked out of my 2016 Jeep Cherokee, Limited. Both fobs are in my purse in the front passenger seat.


July 25, 20161 found this helpful

Call your dealership. They should be able to help you out.

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January 3, 2018

When your keys are locked in the car, AAA will call a locksmith to help you retrieve them. Hopefully there will be no damage to your automatic window.


This is a page about using AAA when keys are locked in the car.

Man Looking at His Keys Locked In the Car

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 5, 2011

My Jeep Grand Cherokee has locked itself automatically with the keys in the car. I don't have a spare key (it's a long story). I heard once that a car can be opened using a cell phone. Can anyone help me please!

Carolyn from South Africa


Cell Phone

No problem if your car comes with a remote car opener, call home on your cell phone and have your spouse get the spare keys with the remote and by holding the your cell phone close to the door, and have your spouse just click the remote and the signal will pass thru the phone line and open the locked door.


By Charles

Editor's Note: Sadly I don't have a car with that type of lock to test whether this works. Anyone else tried this? (04/14/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

The phone thing is an urban myth. There is no truth to it. (04/14/2005)

By Wendy

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Our local radio DJ heard about this and decided to try it out on air. He had his wife, who was at home, test it while he was at work. Did it work, no! (04/14/2005)

By Cathy

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Here's someone who wrote in by email to says it works:

I was doubtful that the Locked Your Car Keys In The Car? tip on 4-14-05 would actually work. My husband and I tried it and to our amazement, it worked! Just thought I'd let you know.

By punk88

By ThriftyFun

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

After locking the keys in my car twice, I learned an expensive lesson. I invested in an inexpensive, but powerful magnetic key box, put an extra key in it and stuck it on a metal substrate underneath the car. Be sure to invest in a strong magnet box so you don't lose it on bumps. A $2 investment saves $40 to $60 in car opening charges. It's a "no-brainer."



By Marty

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

It is sad to say, but car thieves have brains too. They know about the magnetic key keeper and frequently check in the tire well for the keys. Try keeping a set at work and at the house. (05/17/2005)

By Sandy

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

I always carry an extra door key in my wallet. You can tape it to a business card and slip it in with your photos. (05/20/2005)

By Ronda

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

I would recommend that you don't use a magnetic key box. The first thing any car thief will do is look for one of these for easy entry.

Have a few copies made and leave one at work, one in your home, and another with a nearby relative or trusted neighbor. It is much safer in the long run. (05/23/2005)


By Claudia

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Have an extra key made and put on the bolt behind your license plate. If you get locked out of your car you can use a fingernail file or coin to remove the bolt and get your key. (06/19/2005)

By Dottie

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

If you're a women you do not carry a wallet on yourself; so I put a house key and car key on a decorative and inexpensive chain and wear it. I tuck it under my shirt. I started doing this since the birth of my daughter. (06/21/2005)


Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

I locked the keys in the car last week and we finally managed to get the door open using a bit of hard plastic tape (the kind that you might find around a crate) and some superglue. Fold the tape in half and put a bit of super glue in the folded end. Pry the door open slightly using anything hard that works, then slide the folded tape through the crack. Maneuver the tape down so that it hooks over the button. Hold it there for about a minute so that the glue has a bit of time to set then pull hard towards you and up. This only works for old cars I guess (ours is an 89 Toyota Corolla) and you have to not mind having a bit of dried glue on your button! We did try it without the glue first, but the tape kept slipping off. (06/29/2007)

By Anna

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Hi all, my husband and I locked our keys (and my purse and all our luggage) in our car when visiting out of town last weekend. We pay about $5.00 extra a month to have roadside assistance added to our car insurance with USAA, but I think many insurance companies off her this. It took about a half an hour to get a tow company out to the house, about 30 seconds to get the keys out and another 10 minutes for the paperwork.

I've used this service when my battery has died (dome light left on) and once when I ran out of gas. Everytime it has been painless. We got this service after a run of bad luck right after we got married. My husband locked our car with the keys in the ignition on New Year's Eve. I had lost my keys a couple of days before and hadn't gotten the spare key made. We called the locksmith and paid up the $35.00. Then, the next day (New Year's Day), he did it again! Of course, we hadn't gotten the spare made yet because of the holiday. After paying the next $35.00 bill, I drove directly over to get the spare key made. Good thing too, I got a call the very next day that he had done it again at work. He hasn't lived this down yet and we have had some sort of roadside assistance ever since.


By Jess (TF Editor)

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Call a locksmith. (11/19/2007)

By Noam

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Use a stiff metal pry object such as a tire iron between the rubber seal at the top of your door. Have a wire coat hanger stretched out, you will either have to bend the end into a hook to hook the lock (if its an old fashioned mechanical lock, or you can just leave it straight at the end to push a power lock. Pry the door with the metal pry object far enough to slip your metal hook or poking object into the car. I've used this on a Ford Taurus, Pontiac Sunfire, and a Ford Escort (bad history of locking keys in my car). Just try and be gentle while slipping the pry bar into the door so you don't rip the rubber seal. Keep in mind the mechanics of the door and keep the pry bar as high and far from the door hinges as possible so you have the most play in the door while you pry it. If you have a difficult lock to reach, you can use some objects to keep the door wedged open and be able to set down your pry bar and use your other hand on the door. With the design of some doors, they can be pried far enough that you can slip your hand through and just use your fingers to open it. Good luck. (12/04/2007)

By Jack

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Rare earth magnets taped to a coat hanger will pick up your keys if they're on the seat.You will need a second coat hanger to get the keys out of the seal. We used a screwdriver to jack the door open. (12/06/2007)

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

Using the remote works for unlocking door, but not cell phone to cell phone. Use a cordless phone to a cell phone on speaker phone. That works because my son and I just did it twice. I'll try it next time I am out of state. (01/16/2008)

By Alex

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

I have a 2005 minivan and I am always locking my keys in the car. Yes, I have bought extras and lost them.
I am classic ADHD. I'm a total spaz. I drive my teenagers crazy.
I also wore out my welcome with my roadside service so I had to figure out how to do it myself.

I had seen something like this from one of the roadside assistants that came once to help me, so I designed my own version. I made myself a door opener with a long piece of thin plastic (I took an old plastic notebook and cut the cover) about 12 inches long and punched four holes in one end, 2 on both sides about 5/8ths of an inch apart. I looped heavy thread through 2 of the holes. Then I wedged open the car door with a tire iron and a screw driver and shimmied the plastic in, looped the thread around the car lock, tightened and pulled. Viola'! I was in! I was so proud of myself!
It takes a little patience, but it works very nicely. I also had to stand on something to do this since I'm short too.


By Maggie

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

We called the dealership with the vin number and they made us a key for 5 dollars. (07/16/2008)

By Susan

Locked Your Car Keys In The Car?

When I locked my keys in, I called a locksmith. Instead of the expected slim-jim, he used a blood pressure cuff. He made sure it was perfectly flat then slid it into the door seal and pumped it up. He then used a thin rod to pop the door lock. Cost me $45.00, but was worth it for the tip! (07/30/2008)

By Kerry

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