What to do if the keys are shut inside the car

If the keys were shut inside the car you will need: a long stiff wire with a hook or a solid elastic thread with a loop. The hooks are applied to the handles that are opened by pulling, while the loops are to latches moving upwards.

To use the hook, first you have to lower the side window glass at least a few millimeters, by pressing your palms against the glass and pushing it down full-force (you can get a tiny gap this way nearly every time you try). The wire is then shoved inside this gap and the hook at the end of it is used to grapple either the opposite door handle, if it can be opened from the inside, or the latch. Sometimes you’re able to pull the key itself if it is inserted in the ignition lock. While the threaded loop is thrown over all sorts of buttons, latches and grips that move up to open the lock.

If you can’t create a gap to get inside the vehicle, you can try a more complicated method: Put a 30 cm ruler under the weather strip along the glass poke it down randomly, trying to push a metal pull-rod connecting the lock and a latch pin (a handle that arrests the lock from the inside). When the pull-rod is found, this opens the lock. Sometimes a latch does not open even when you push in the right spot. This means that the pull-rod should be hooked up rather than pushed.

If all of the above doesn’t help, well, unfortunately the only remaining way is to break the lock, for which you stick a thin steel screwdriver into a lock cylinder and crank it breaking off all kinds of latches For such cases car thieves have a metal rod to which a well-tempered feather blade is welded at the right angle. The blade is driven into the keyhole, and the rod allows you to apply a serious pressure at that spot. To apply similar pressure a law abiding citizen would need an adjustable or pipe wrench with an additional pipe attached to increase the lever.

If you are about to break the lock, think about the consequences and options. In particular, that you can sneak inside the car out of the trunk, lifting up the backrest of the back seat. Vast majority of car brands have it that the backrest of their back seat is easily detached by jerking upwards, whereafter the trunk and the interior become an integrated space. Take your time to check if that’s possible with your car, it may save you of the headache in the future.

The prospect of having a broken trunk lock, which nonetheless can be strung closed from the inside, still feels better than having a permanently open car (though having the central lock may reverse the situation completely). You should keep the detachable back seat backrest in mind, especially when you shut the keys inside but the trunk is open or vice versa left the key in the trunk while the vehicle is open.

If you want to spare the lock – you can break the glass. Choose the cheapest, but yet the one allowing you to get inside. Don’t forget that those little unspectacular looking side windows are often much more expensive due to the poor demand, than those large shiny windshields, that are aplenty in stock at every company warehouse. In general, it makes sense to call your favorite store if you do have one, and discuss glass prices.

In conclusion of this keys discussion – two more important nuances. Remember, we are talking about a trouble occurring away from civilization. If that happens in town, a trip home for the extra set of keys, or a call to a “get inside a locked car” artist may just be the cure. Above all, do not panic and do not perform irreparable, expensive but unnecessary acts.

What to do if your car lock is frozen
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