How to Retrieve Keys Locked in Car Without Damaging It

Have you ever locked your keys in your car? It’s a frustrating experience that can happen to anyone. But fear not, there are ways to retrieve your keys without damaging your vehicle. In this blog post, we will explore some safe and effective methods to unlock your car and get your keys back in your hands.

1. Use a Slim Jim

One common method to retrieve keys locked in a car is by using a slim jim. A slim jim is a long, flat piece of metal that can be used to manipulate the locking mechanism of a car door. To use a slim jim, slide it between the window and the weather stripping on the door. Gently push the slim jim downward until you feel it catch on the locking mechanism. Then, carefully pull the slim jim upwards to unlock the door.

2. Call a Professional Locksmith

If you are unable to retrieve your keys using a slim jim or if you are uncomfortable attempting to unlock your car yourself, it may be best to call a professional locksmith. Locksmiths have the tools and expertise to safely unlock your car without causing any damage. While this may be a more costly option, it can provide peace of mind and prevent any accidental damage to your vehicle.

3. Use a Coat Hanger

If you don’t have access to a slim jim, you can also try using a coat hanger to retrieve your keys locked in your car. Straighten out the hanger and create a small hook at one end. Carefully slide the hanger between the window and the weather stripping, and try to hook the locking mechanism to unlock the door. This method may take some patience and finesse, but it can be effective in some situations.

4. Contact Roadside Assistance

If you have roadside assistance coverage, another option is to contact them for help with retrieving your keys locked in your car. Many roadside assistance programs offer lockout services as part of their coverage. A professional will be dispatched to your location to safely unlock your car and retrieve your keys for you. This is a convenient option that can save you time and hassle.

Writing this blog post has reminded me of a time when I accidentally locked my keys in my car while rushing to get to a meeting. I tried using a coat hanger to unlock the door, but ultimately had to call a locksmith for help. It was a valuable lesson in being more mindful of where I place my keys and having a backup plan in case of emergencies.


Locked keys in a car can be a frustrating situation, but with the right tools and techniques, you can safely retrieve them without causing any damage to your vehicle. Whether you choose to use a slim jim, call a locksmith, use a coat hanger, or contact roadside assistance, there are options available to help you get back on the road. Have you ever locked your keys in your car? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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