How to Unlock a Car Door With Power Windows and Locks

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Spare set of keys
Cell phone
Coat hanger

When you own a car that has power windows and locks, you are faced with a unique situation if you happen to leave your keys inside the vehicle. If you're not part of an auto club or do not subscribe to verbal roadside assistance, then you will have to resort to other solutions. However, this sort of thing happens all of the time so it is nothing to be embarrassed about. The information below will share with you a few steps that can help you get back inside to retrieve your keys.

Tip: Keep in mind that cars with power windows and locks will not stay locked if the keys are in the ignition; this is a sort of theft protection.

Step 1 - Check the Doors

Before attempting to circumvent the power windows and locks, you should always check every door. There are several options with your car's controls that can mean all the doors aren't necessarily locked. Also, if you have a passenger with you and they happen to open the door as you're locking the car or after, there's a distinct possibility their door wasn't locked. That being said, checking all the doors before resorting to other solutions can save you a lot of trouble.

Step 2 - Try a Remote

You will often be given a spare key as well as a key fob, or remote opener, when you purchase a car that has power windows and locks. Most people do not keep their spare on their person, opting to leave it at home. The obvious solution is to have someone bring your spare key, but this is not always possible.

However, sometimes you will be given a spare key remote as well, and fortunately, these fobs use radio waves to open the locks much like a garage door opener. If you have a cell phone on you, place a call to someone that can access your home and the spare key. Put your cell phone up close to the lock of the car and have them press the unlock button. The door on the car will be unlocked as the cell phone, being digital, may be able to transmit the signal from the electronic key.

Step 3 - Thread a Coat Hanger Inside

If the previous step didn't help, then you can use an old-fashioned, wire coat hanger to open the door or windows. Start by twisting the hanger near the top hook to straighten it out; keep the hook on the end bent, but decrease size so that it is smaller and firmer. At the far left upper corner of the window on the driver’s side thread the end of the hanger between the rubber seal and the window. Push down on it until you see the wire inside the car.

Maneuver the hook to the console that houses the controls for the power windows and locks. Use the hook to press down on either the unlock button or the window's down button, whichever is within reach. The window down button will not work for all cars as most require the key be in the on position for windows to operate. Either control will work for you to get inside.

Step 4 - Call a Locksmith

When you have none of these things handy, it is best to simply call a locksmith. Trying to manually push your window down or maneuver it can break the mechanisms in your door permanently, which will cost much more to repair than just getting the pros to unlock the door.