how does locksmith unlock car door

How Does a Locksmith Unlock a Car Door?

It’s hard to unlock a car door without your keys. Locking your keys in your car can be pretty annoying. It becomes worse when you don’t have a spare key for the vehicle. Your pattern and plans for your day will change if you lock your keys in the car or misplace them.

Locking yourself out of your car doesn’t make you an unserious person. It can happen to anybody and at any time. So, what you should focus on is the solution instead of how you got into the situation. Primarily, the best solution, in this case, is hiring a locksmith to help with your car lock.

A car key locksmith is the quickest way to unlock your car door. What’s more, a locksmith offers professional services that’ll open your car door safely without causing damage to your locks.

But, how does it happen? Here’s a comprehensive description of how a locksmith unlocks car doors.

What Should You Do When You Lock Your Keys?

There are several ways you can try to unlock a car lock even before you call a locksmith. You can try a hanger (wire coat) or a doorstop. It all depends heavily on the key lock structure of your car. If your vehicle has old-style locks, a coat hanger will work perfectly.

However, modern car door locks require professional locksmith services. However, before you try to unlock your car, you should consider the following:

Your expertise

Unlocking a car by yourself may help you out of a desperate situation. However, if you don’t have the requisite technical skills, you shouldn’t attempt to unlock your car by yourself.

Type of car lock

In the same way there are many types of cars available, there are different types of car doors. The way you unlock car door A will differ from car lock B. As a result, you need to consider your car door’s mechanism before you try unlocking it.


You can use a wire hanger to unlock some car doors. In some cases, a knife can also be useful in opening your car door.  If you don’t have the necessary equipment, you won’t be able to unlock your car door.

Related Article: Simple Tips on How to Find Your Lost Car Keys

What Do Locksmiths Use to Unlock Car Doors?

The job of a locksmith may sound unimportant until you need them to unlock your car door. There are two types of locksmiths; residential locksmith and auto locksmith. As the name implies, a residential locksmith focuses on residential door locks.

The auto locksmith, on the other hand, focuses on car doors. An auto locksmith can provide other services aside from helping to unlock a car door.

A locksmith can help remove a broken key from a car door lock. Also, they can create a new key that fits perfectly with your existing lock. Sometimes, the work of a locksmith expands to creating new ignition locks. Let’s take a look at the methods a locksmith uses to open a vehicle.


The wedge method

Depending on the kind of car lock, the locksmith may decide to use the wedge method. Of course, the primary tool they’ll need for this method is the wedge. If you don’t know what a wedge looks like, you can liken it to a doorstop.

Mostly, the material for the wedge can be plastic or metal, but it has a slim shape. There are some other types of inflatable wedges that a locksmith can use to unlock a car door. The choice of wedge depends on the locksmith’s level of expertise and door type.

The locksmith will put the wedge into the window from the top. If it’s the right wedge, it will get into the window in no time. When the wedge gets into the window, the window opens up. This space is good enough to unlock the car door.

It may sound simple, but it requires a high level of expertise. For the inflatable wedge, it follows the same process. When the wedge is in the glass, the locksmith will start to pump the wedge. As the wedge gets bigger, there’s more space to access the unlock button of your car.

Slim Jim Method

The slim jim method is a standard method that every professional locksmith must have in their repertoire. If you’ve seen how professional locksmiths work, you may be familiar with the slim jim method. As the name implies, the slim jim method will require the locksmith to use a slim jim.

A quick Google search for slim Jim on the internet will reveal a meat snack. But the slim jim in this context is nothing close to a snack. A slim Jim tool is a metallic strip that’s always a bit long. The sole purpose of slim jims for auto locksmiths is to unlock a car door.

The good thing about the slim jim method is it never affects any other part of your car. Like the wedge method, the locksmith puts the slim jim between the glass and the window. This time, however, the aim is to unlock the car without a key. Some burglars even use the slim jim tool to unlock cars illegally.

J and L method

If your car has its unlock button beside the door, a locksmith may use the J or L method. These methods may be similar, but you can either use the J or L tool. The J tool works perfectly for older cars. As usual, the auto locksmith unlocks the car door by passing the J tool through the window.

The L method isn’t that different from the J method. In fact, the only difference is the tool. The L tool looks like the J tool but with a slight shape difference. It’s best to use the L method for newer car models.

Immobilizer flashing method

To reduce car theft, some vehicles have a component known as an immobilizer. This component will hinder your car from moving if the car starts illegally. The immobilizer works when anyone unlocks the car door illegally.

While it seems beneficial, the immobilizer can work against you if you don’t have your car keys. You may be able to open the car door without your key, but the immobilizer will detect illegal activity.

The only way is to reconfigure the immobilizer. This is a complex process that not many locksmiths know. So, you shouldn’t even think of trying it out yourself. The best option is to find a great locksmith that understands how to disable an immobilizer.

Reprogramming method

The latest cars don’t use keys. Instead, there’s a fob for unlocking the car doors and starting the car. If you lose your car key fobs, you’ll have to reprogram the car.

It’s best to hire a locksmith who’s had a similar experience with reprogramming. If you make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced locksmith, you may scatter the car settings.

Jiggler method

If a locksmith can’t unlock your car door with the above methods, you may need the jiggler method. However, you need to be very picky when choosing the locksmith for this method. The jiggler method requires expertise and experience.

First, the locksmith will have to try a variety of keys with your vehicle. Then, when they get a key close to opening the car, their skill comes into play. That key is the jiggler key, and the locksmith will use force to jiggle and open the lock.

Related Article: Car Dealerships vs Locksmith: Which is the Best Option for Car Key Replacement


If you need to unlock a car door urgently, there’s a high chance that you’re already under a great deal of stress. You need to be calm enough to hire a locksmith with the right skills. This article already explains how locksmiths unlock car doors. So depending on your car type, you can choose the method and locksmith carefully.

If you make a mistake with the locksmith, you may have a bigger problem at hand. Speaking of locksmiths, why not try Car Key Replacement CA — a company with vast locksmith experience. Contact us today for fast, same-day car key replacement services.