Coat Hanger

Unlocking a car door with a coat hanger – does it work?

The first thing that goes through many people’s minds when locking their keys in their car is “where can I find a coat hanger”.  It’s been passed on from generation to generation that car doors can be unlocked using just a coat hanger, but do the stories still hold up in this day and age – and at what cost?

The fact is, many car doors still CAN be opened using a coat hanger.  The method remains the same – you slide a straightened coat hanger between the weather stripping and the top part of the window and hit the unlock button.  The trickier method involves sliding the coat hanger between the weather stripping and bottom part of the window and trying to find the pin in the inner-workings of the car that you can lift up to unlock the car.

With two tried and true methods being used for unlocking your car, what’s to stop anyone from trying one of these? 

First of all, cars are a lot trickier than they used to be.  Automatic locks, automatic windows, etc… have increased the number of parts and wired in the inner-workings of a car.  It is a lot easier to do greater damage to a vehicle now than in the 90’s, and instead of a $80 locksmith bill, you could be looking at a $500+ bill to fix all your damage at the dealer. 

Secondly, most people only try using a coat hanger when they HAVE to, and therefore aren’t very experienced.  They are just as likely to damage the weather stripping, chip the paint, or scratch the car glass as they are to unlock the vehicle.

With all of the negatives surrounding trying to use a coat hanger to unlock your car, why do people still try it?  I think the most obvious answer is cost.  Coat hangers are cheap, plentiful, and can be easily replaced.  A call to a locksmith or AAA is going to take time, and cost up to $100 dollars.  If people don’t have money just lying around they are going to be tempted to risk damaging their cards to save a few dollars.

With that said, what are some other options people have instead of using a coat hanger?  If you’re looking for a way to unlock your car for FREE, you could always attempt to call your local police station.  Depending of the area you live in, many police officers will come to unlock your car free of charge.  There are also plenty of sites out there such as Keys Locked in Car that give advice on locksmiths, emergency services, etc…

To summarize, using a coat hanger to unlock your car is definitely still a viable option for many.  However, be sure you are weighing the appropriate pros and cons, and not giving away dollars for pennies.

What ways have others used to unlock their cars?  Are there any other free options that come to mind?

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