Unlock a Locked Car Door Using an Air Wedge

The fastest and easiest way to unlock a locked car door is to use an air wedge. Air wedges are typically composed of rubber, vinyl, or nylon. The best wedges contain a hard plastic insert which you slip between the car door and the door frame.

Air Wedge

A generic air wedge

How to Use an Air Wedge

  1. Slip the uninflated air wedge in between the car door and door frame, typically in the top corner closest to the rear of the vehicle. A good air wedge will be easy to slip in, while others will require lubricant or a prying device to get you past the weather strip.
  2. Inflate the air wedge to create a space just large enough to slip a coat hanger into the car. If you need to move the air wedge to another spot to create more room, it sometimes helps to use a thin wooden block as a place-holder.
  3. Use a long, thin rod or deconstructed metal coat hanger to reach the unlock button on the opposite door. It helps to have a bit of rubber on the one end of your rod to allow for a better grip if needed. Additionally, some cars unlock simply by pulling the inside door handle. If none of the other options work, this is certainly worth a shot.

You may have to use your imagination to figure out the best way of opening the car from the inside. Maybe you can roll down the window or retrieve the keys if they’re not in the ignition. Whatever the case, you’ll definitely need an air wedge to get the ball rolling. Good luck!