We have all done it: you exit the car and shut the door, only to realize you’ve left the key fob inside the car and locked yourself out. Thankfully, Pop-A-Lock in Houston is your go-to locksmith. We are professional locksmiths and we have written a step-by-step guide to help you unlock your car when the key fob is inside. 

Our experience has shown us that locking your key fob inside your car is a common problem that can happen to anyone. With many modern vehicles relying on keyless entry systems, these mishaps have become more common and it’s a significant concern for drivers in Houston, TX. To add to the frustration, this usually happens when you most need your car to go to work or run errands. 

Has this happened to you? Then, read on: this article provides you with tips ranging from technological solutions and professional services to practical DIY methods. 




Main Reasons Behind a Car Locked with the Key Fob Inside

You might think it’s almost impossible to get locked out of your car with the key fob inside, but there are so many ways this can happen: 

  • It’s common to accidentally press the lock button while exiting the vehicle with the key fob still inside.
  • Leaving the key fob in the car after using it to start the engine, then inadvertently locking the doors.
  • You’re in a hurry and forget to take the key fob with you before locking up.
  • Technical glitches in keyless entry systems cause doors to lock unexpectedly with the fob inside the vehicle.
  • Sometimes, the car key fob may get out of sync with the vehicle’s locking system, which prevents it from functioning properly. Re-synchronize the fob, often through a specific sequence of button presses, to solve this issue.
  • A dead car battery can also cause the car to lock with the key fob inside, as it may be unable to power the electronic locking system. 
  • If the key fob battery is dead, it won’t be able to communicate with the car to open the door. You can keep spare batteries on hand and replace them when necessary to fix this issue — but how many of us are that prepared? 
  • The car’s electronic locking system might malfunction and lead to unintended lockouts.

Key fob locked in a car, with a professional from Pop-A-Lock in Houston assisting to unlock the vehicle.

Immediate Steps to Unlock a Car With the Key Fob Inside

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

We’ll say it even though it’s normal to panic: keep calm and stay level-headed. If you stay focused, you can think clearly and make rational decisions to get you out of any emergency. 

Check for Spare Key: Look for a Spare Key if Available

Before moving to more complicated and drastic solutions, check if you are able to get a spare key. Sometimes, spare keys are kept in easily accessible places like a wallet, a keychain, or at home. Some people give a spare key to friends and relatives for safekeeping, so now is the time to check with them. 

Check All Doors and Windows

Next, check your vehicle. Are all the doors and windows locked? Sometimes one door or window might be slightly open, giving you an easy way to get the key fob without further assistance.

Contact Someone for Help

If you can’t find a spare key and all doors and windows are securely locked, contact a professional locksmith in Houston, TX. When you choose Pop-A-Lock, you can be confident that your car lockout situation will be resolved quickly and professionally and you will be back on the road in no time at all.




Methods to Unlock Your Car

Many modern car manufacturers offer smartphone apps that let you unlock your car remotely. Common apps include Tesla’s mobile app, MyHyundai, myChevrolet, FordPass, Mercedes ME, and many more from car manufacturers. These apps connect to your new car’s system and offer a range of functionalities, including remote unlocking. 

To use the app to unlock the car you should have already downloaded and installed the App from the App Store or Google Play Store. You will also need to have registered and set up your account, which typically requires your car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and other relevant details. Finally, you must have paired your smartphone with your car, which often requires Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, and sometimes to physically connect the phone to the car.

If you have done all that and the phone is paired to the car, navigate to the ‘unlock’ feature in the app. This may be under a section called ‘remote control’ or ‘vehicle access.’ Tap the ‘unlock’ button in the app and your car doors should unlock within moments.

Find a Reputable Locksmith

Not all locksmiths are the same, so be sure to choose the right one to take care of the situation. First, check their reviews and ratings. Look for locksmiths with positive reviews and high ratings on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Angie’s List.

Also check that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. This adds a level of assurance that they are qualified and reputable.

Finally, request a quote for the service before the locksmith arrives to avoid unexpected charges.

DIY Unlocking Methods (Use with Caution)

If you feel you can unlock the car yourself, get a long, thin tool, like a coat hanger or a slim jim. If you use a coat hanger, straighten it out and bend one end into a small hook. Carefully insert the tool between the window and the weather stripping of the car door. Maneuver the tool to find the locking mechanism inside the door. Gently pull or push the tool to engage the lock mechanism and unlock the door.

While DIY methods can sometimes be effective, they come with risks. For example, you can damage the weather stripping, which can lead to leaks and increased road noise coming into the car cabin. You may also scratch the paint, dent the door, or damage the lock, which means more expensive repairs.

Because of these risks, we think it’s safer and more effective to use professional services.

Preventive Measures

The best way to prevent a car lockout is to be prepared. Here is a short list of preventative measures so you make it less possible to lock yourself out of the car:

  • Develop a routine, such as patting your pockets, to ensure you always have your key fob with you before locking the car.
  • Regularly check and maintain your key fob batteries.
  • Keep your car’s systems updated.
  • Download and install an app that lets you unlock the car remotely.
  • Install a car tracking device for additional security and remote access options.

Call a Professional Automotive Locksmith in Houston, TX

If you are in Houston and your car is locked with the key fob, give us a call at (713) 722-0060! We are professional Houston locksmiths and are ready to help you with any car lock issues. If you have any questions or need further advice, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to help!


What should I do first if I realize my key fob is locked inside my car?

Stay calm and assess the situation. Check for a spare key and inspect all doors and windows in case one of them is unlocked. If you have downloaded and installed an app, use it to unlock the door. If you need professional assistance, reach out to a professional locksmith.

What if I don’t have access to a spare key or a smartphone app?

If you don’t have access to a spare key or a smartphone app, call roadside assistance or a professional locksmith to help you unlock your car.

How do I find a reputable locksmith?

Word of mouth is always a good way of finding a locksmith you can trust. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or local auto clubs. And of course, everything’s online nowadays, so check reviews and ratings on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Angie’s List. Also check that the locksmith you’re considering is licensed, bonded, and insured. 

When you talk to them, request a quote to avoid unexpected charges. Reputable locksmiths will be happy to offer you one, although this may come as a range rather than a specific price since the actual cost depends on many factors.

How can I prevent locking my key fob inside my car?

Keep a spare key in an accessible and secure location. This way, you’ll always have a backup way of unlocking your car. You can also make a habit of checking for your key fob before locking the car as part of your routine. Be prepared by installing an app from the car manufacturer that lets you unlock the door remotely. If none is available, install a car tracking device with remote unlocking features.