After a long day out and about, the only thing on your mind is going home to relax and recuperate. But when you get back to your car, you come to a horrible realization: your key fob is locked inside your car, and you have no way to get inside. Don’t panic! There are several things you might not have known about your key fob that can prevent this from happening in the future, as well as things you can do in the interim to regain access to your car. Read on to learn how to unlock a car with the key fob inside. 

Why Your Key Fob Might be Locked Inside Your Car

Woman locked keys in car

Believe it or not, your key fob might have special safety features to prevent it from getting locked inside your car. It is important to remember these precautions may not always work, especially when you find that your key fob is locked inside your car before you know it. 

1. Sensor Range

Key fobs have a keyless proximity sensor, meaning if you get too far from your fob, the proximity sensors won’t work. For example, if you have gotten into your car and pushed the ignition button, you may have gotten a signal that says “No Key Detected,” which means with no key detected, the car can lock. If your key fob is not in range, none of the failsafes will work to prevent the car from locking. Keep in mind all sensor ranges vary depending on the vehicle. If you have locked your key fob inside your car, you may be able to hook the fob and pull it closer to unlock it.

2. Damaged Lock

Damaged locks are one of several things that can go wrong with your car, and worse yet, this can cause a locked key fob in your car. Malfunctions that can cause this include your door getting stuck in a locked position, the car lock freezing, or a sticky door lock. Luckily, there is a plus side to solving this problem. Just because one door might be locked does not mean the other doors are. Additionally, a lubricant can be used to open the door if you are dealing with a sticky door lock. 

Whether you manage to resolve the issue on the spot, keep in mind this could be an ongoing issue, and it will need to be resolved professionally at some point. 

3. Damaged Key

You might think having a non-working key shouldn’t prevent you from being able to get into your car or use your key fob, but this could mean you need a key fob replacement. When a key is damaged, your vehicle may have difficulty responding to it. This could be an issue of fixing the battery in your key fob, but you might have to contact a locksmith to make you a new key. 

How to Unlock a Car With the Key Fob Inside

Even if your key fob is locked inside your car, there are still things you can attempt to regain entry. 

1. Reeling In

You can slip it into the vehicle with a long, thin object and attempt to reel in the key fob. This object can be a coat hanger or something else long and thin enough to not only fit inside the car but also hook the key fob. If you can’t open the door, something thick can be used to create a wedge. Once you have the key hooked, pull it closer and closer to the door while checking to see if the door has unlocked in that time. 

Man reeling in locked keys in car

2. Lock Manipulation

As it sounds, lock manipulation refers to manipulating or moving the lock switches and buttons in the car’s interior. Like the method of reeling in your key fob, you will also need a door wedge and a long tool with enough reach. The reach tool will need to be used to attempt to unlock the interior door lock. Keep in mind this method is risky as you do not want to set off the deadlock, which is a feature that keeps all locks dormant until the proper key is turned in the exterior door lock. 

3. Call a Locksmith

Many of these methods are risky, especially if you have no experience or are worried about damaging your vehicle. Contact a locksmith to properly unlock a car with the key fob inside. Locksmiths are available for emergency lockout situations and have the skills and tools readily available to help you when you’re in a bind.

24/7 Emergency Lockout Service

It’s an understatement to say getting locked outside your car is frustrating. When it happens, you were likely already on your way somewhere. Make the right decision in the moment and give us a call at ASAP Locksmith in Des Moines or visit us online. We can handle any situation and save you precious time.