This Is What You Can Do to Get the Keys Out of Your Locked Car

If this ever happens to you, don’t be ashamed; you’re not alone and it happens to the best of us. Before you take the nearest brick and break your side window take a big breath and read this article because there are other alternatives.
Loking Your Keys Inside the Car 3 photos
Photo: Photo by Bastian Pudill on Unsplash
Smashed WindowMan Talking on the Phone
Not long ago, while talking on the phone and thinking about a million other things, I accidentally locked the doors from the inside instead of unlocking them. As I got out, I closed the front door and locked my keys in. I instantly wanted to punch the window, but I remembered it’s not that easy to break, so I took a moment and thought about my options.

The first and most obvious solution for this unlikely, yet possible, and annoying scenario is to use the spare key. Mine was at home, 200 miles (320 km) away from where I was, but for those who are not that unlucky, taking a cab home or having a friend bring you the spare can solve the problem.

If you are a member of a roadside assistance program, give them a call. They can send a team of professionals that should have the right tools to help you without breaking the window - it worked for me.

Man Talking on the Phone
Photo: Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash
Some of these tools include a long metal rod, a few plastic wedges, and a flat air bladder connected to a pump. I managed to get the key out of my car without damaging anything using these tools.

This is only possible with certain cars; employing this method on others could damage the door’s mechanism and, in those cases, a new window is a cheaper solution.

The technician who got me out of this situation assured me that he could help without destroying anything, thanks to the plastic trims on the door pillars of my ancient car.

He then proceeded to stick two plastic wedges between the door and plastic trim, creating enough space for the deflated air bladder, which he then filled with enough air to make room for the long metal rod.

In my case, the car was still running, so it was easy to push the window button with the rod, but he explained that he can unlock several types of cars even if they are not running, as long as the keys are still in the ignition.

Sadly, there might be cases where you will just have to break one of the windows. You can call the emergency number in your area and ask for assistance, or you can attempt to do so yourself.

Smashed Window
Photo: Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash
Keep in mind that this is no easy task since they are made from tempered glass and designed to withstand blunt force. You'll find that even throwing the biggest rocks at it might take some time to break it.

The easiest way is to use a sharp metal object. If you are not in an isolated area, ask someone for a claw hammer or improvise using the metal pegs from a headrest.

If your car has one, you might be tempted to break the quarter glass window, thinking that is cheaper, but in most cases, it’s not.

Side windows are usually more likely to break than the smaller quarters, so repair shops have a wide range of aftermarket options to choose from as opposed to the quarter glass, which may only be available as an expensive OEM replacement.

When you are finally ready, hit the edge of the glass until it brakes. That is its weakest point, and the whole thing will eventually shatter.

Clear the debris carefully and have the window replaced as soon as possible.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
Vlad Radu profile photo

Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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