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How to Get Keys Out of Locked Car with Automatic Locks

How to Get Keys Out of Locked Car with Automatic Locks

Locking your keys inside your car is a frustrating experience that can happen to anyone. With the prevalence of automatic locks in modern vehicles, this situation has become even more common. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various methods to retrieve your keys from a locked car with automatic locks, and highlight when it’s time to call in professional help from experts like DB Car Keys, serving Devon, Dorset, and Somerset.

Understanding Automatic Locks

Before diving into solutions, it’s important to understand how automatic locks work in modern vehicles.

How Automatic Locks Function

Automatic locks in cars typically operate through an electronic system controlled by the car’s computer. They can be activated by:

  1. Pressing a button on the key fob
  2. Pushing a switch inside the car
  3. The car’s speed sensor (in some models)
  4. Shifting out of park (in some automatic transmission vehicles)

Why Automatic Locks Can Complicate Key Retrieval

  1. They often lock all doors simultaneously
  2. Some systems automatically lock when the key fob is outside the car
  3. Many don’t allow manual unlocking without the key or fob

Assessing the Situation

Before attempting any retrieval method, take a moment to assess your situation:

1. Check All Doors

Sometimes, not all doors may have locked. Check each door, including the trunk, to see if any are unlocked.

2. Look for Open Windows

Even a slightly cracked window can provide an opportunity for retrieval.

3. Determine Key Location

Knowing exactly where the keys are inside the car can help you choose the best retrieval method.

4. Consider Your Location

Are you in a safe area? Is help readily available if needed?

DIY Methods to Retrieve Keys

Here are several methods you can try to retrieve your keys from a locked car with automatic locks:

Method 1: Use a Spare Key

If you have a spare key accessible:

  1. Call someone who can bring it to you
  2. Use a hidden spare key if you’ve placed one on the vehicle

Method 2: Unlock with Your Phone

Some newer cars offer app-based unlocking:

  1. Download your car manufacturer’s app
  2. Set up an account (if not already done)
  3. Use the app to unlock your car remotely

Method 3: Shoelace Method (for cars with upright locking mechanisms)

This method requires patience and dexterity:

  1. Remove a shoelace from your shoe
  2. Tie a small loop in the middle of the lace
  3. Slip the lace through the corner of the car door
  4. Maneuver the loop around the lock
  5. Pull up to engage the lock mechanism

Method 4: Coat Hanger Method

This classic method can work for some car models:

  1. Straighten out a wire coat hanger, leaving a hook at one end
  2. Insert the straight end between the window and weather stripping
  3. Feel for the locking mechanism or door handle
  4. Use the hook to pull up the lock or engage the handle

Caution: This method risks damaging your car’s paint or weather stripping.

Method 5: Inflatable Wedge and Rod Method

This method requires specific tools but is less likely to damage your car:

  1. Insert an inflatable wedge between the door and frame
  2. Pump the wedge to create a gap
  3. Use a long, sturdy rod to reach the unlock button or handle
  4. Press the button or pull the handle to unlock

When DIY Methods Fail: Professional Solutions

If the above methods don’t work or you’re uncomfortable attempting them, it’s time to call in professional help. This is where services like DB Car Keys come in handy.

Why Choose Professional Auto Locksmiths

Professional auto locksmiths like DB Car Keys offer several advantages:

  1. Expertise with a wide range of vehicle makes and models
  2. Specialized tools for non-damaging entry
  3. Quick response times
  4. 24/7 availability for emergencies
  5. Additional services beyond just unlocking (key cutting, programming, etc.)

Services Offered by DB Car Keys

DB Car Keys, serving Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, provides comprehensive auto locksmith services:

  1. Emergency car unlocking
  2. Key cutting and programming
  3. Transponder key services
  4. Key fob repair and replacement
  5. Ignition repair and replacement

Their team of experienced professionals can quickly and safely retrieve your keys from your locked car, regardless of the automatic lock system in place.

The Professional Auto Locksmith Process

When you call a professional service like DB Car Keys, here’s what you can expect:

1. Initial Assessment

The locksmith will ask for details about your car’s make, model, and year, as well as your location.

2. Arrival and Verification

Upon arrival, the locksmith will verify your ownership of the vehicle to ensure security.

3. Non-Destructive Entry

Using specialized tools, the locksmith will gain entry to your vehicle without causing damage.

4. Key Retrieval

Once the car is unlocked, you’ll be able to retrieve your keys.

5. Additional Services

If needed, the locksmith can provide additional services like key duplication or repair.

Preventing Future Lockouts

After experiencing a lockout, it’s wise to take steps to prevent future occurrences:

1. Always Double-Check

Make it a habit to check for your keys before locking and exiting your car.

2. Keep Spare Keys

Have spare keys made and keep them in accessible locations:

  • With a trusted friend or family member
  • In a secure location at work
  • In a magnetic key box hidden on the car’s exterior

3. Use Key Finders

Attach a Bluetooth tracker to your keys to help locate them quickly.

4. Utilize Smart Lock Features

If your car has smart lock features, set them up to prevent accidental lockouts.

5. Consider a Keyless Entry System

For older cars, consider installing an aftermarket keyless entry system.

The Role of Technology in Modern Car Security

As car technology evolves, so do the methods for dealing with lockouts:

Smart Key Systems

Many modern cars use smart key systems that can prevent you from locking your keys inside. However, these systems can have their own issues:

  1. Battery failure in the key fob
  2. System malfunctions
  3. Accidental deactivation of anti-lockout features

Mobile Apps

Some car manufacturers offer mobile apps that can unlock your car remotely:

  1. Download your car’s official app
  2. Set up an account and link it to your vehicle
  3. Use the app to unlock your car in emergencies

Keyless Entry Systems

These systems allow you to unlock your car without a physical key:

  1. Keypad entry
  2. Proximity sensors that unlock when you approach with the key fob
  3. Biometric systems (fingerprint or facial recognition)

When to Call the Authorities

In some situations, it may be necessary to involve the police:

  1. If a child or pet is locked inside the car
  2. If you’re in an unsafe area and feel threatened
  3. If there’s a risk of heat stroke or hypothermia due to extreme weather

The police can either assist in unlocking the car or help you contact a reputable locksmith like DB Car Keys.

The Importance of a Trusted Auto Locksmith

Having the contact information for a reliable auto locksmith like DB Car Keys saved in your phone can be invaluable in lockout situations. Here’s why:

1. 24/7 Availability

Lockouts can happen at any time. DB Car Keys offers round-the-clock service in Devon, Dorset, and Somerset.

2. Quick Response Times

Professional locksmiths understand the urgency of lockout situations and prioritize quick response times.

3. Comprehensive Services

Beyond just unlocking your car, companies like DB Car Keys can address a range of auto lock and key issues on the spot.

4. Expertise with Various Vehicle Types

Professional auto locksmiths are trained to work with a wide range of vehicle makes and models, including those with advanced locking systems.

5. Non-Destructive Methods

Reputable locksmiths use specialized tools and techniques to unlock your car without causing damage.

Legal and Insurance Considerations

When dealing with a car lockout, there are some legal and insurance aspects to keep in mind:

Proof of Ownership

Auto locksmiths like DB Car Keys will require proof that you own the vehicle before unlocking it. This is a security measure to prevent unauthorized access.

Insurance Coverage

Some car insurance policies cover lockout services:

  1. Check your policy for lockout coverage
  2. If covered, contact your insurance provider for approved locksmiths
  3. Keep receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses for potential reimbursement

Damage Liability

If you attempt DIY methods and damage your car, your insurance may not cover the repairs. Professional locksmiths typically carry insurance to cover any accidental damage.

Environmental Factors to Consider

When you’re locked out of your car, environmental factors can play a significant role:

Extreme Heat

In hot weather:

  1. If a child or pet is inside, call emergency services immediately
  2. Try to create shade for the car if possible
  3. Act quickly to prevent heat-related emergencies

Cold Weather

In freezing conditions:

  1. Seek shelter if possible while waiting for help
  2. Be cautious of icy surfaces around the car
  3. Consider the risk of hypothermia if locked out for an extended period

Rain or Snow

Wet conditions can complicate lockout situations:

  1. Try to stay dry to avoid health risks
  2. Be aware that moisture can affect electronic key fobs
  3. Wet surfaces may make some retrieval methods more difficult or dangerous

The Cost Factor: DIY vs. Professional Help

When considering whether to attempt DIY methods or call a professional like DB Car Keys, cost is often a factor:

DIY Methods


  • Potentially free if you have the necessary tools
  • Immediate solution if successful


  • Risk of damage to your vehicle
  • May not work for all car models
  • Can be time-consuming and frustrating

Professional Auto Locksmith Services


  • Guaranteed solution
  • No risk of damage to your vehicle
  • Often quicker than DIY attempts
  • Additional services available if needed


  • Service fee (though often less than dealership charges)

While DIY methods might seem more cost-effective initially, the potential for damage and the value of your time should be considered. Professional services like those offered by DB Car Keys provide peace of mind and efficient solutions.

Conclusion: Be Prepared, Stay Calm, Know Who to Call

Getting locked out of your car can be a stressful experience, especially with the complexities of automatic locking systems. While there are several DIY methods you can attempt, it’s crucial to proceed with caution to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Remember these key points:

  1. Assess the situation carefully before attempting any retrieval method
  2. Consider the safety and legal implications of your actions
  3. Have a plan in place before a lockout occurs
  4. Keep the contact information for a trusted auto locksmith like DB Car Keys handy

By being prepared and knowing your options, you can turn a potentially disastrous situation into a minor inconvenience. Whether you successfully retrieve your keys on your own or require professional assistance, the most important thing is to stay calm and make informed decisions.

If you find yourself locked out of your car in Devon, Dorset, or Somerset, remember that DB Car Keys is just a phone call away, ready to provide expert assistance with their range of auto locksmith services. Their professional team can quickly and safely get you back into your car and on your way, no matter the complexity of your vehicle’s locking system.