Picture this: you popped the trunk to unload some items, then set your keys down for a second, and suddenly, you shut the trunk door without knowing that your keys are trapped inside the trunk. But don’t worry, stay calm, as we have a trunk full of handy tricks for liberating those imprisoned keys. Or getting you back on the road without any worries.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline both clever hardware store fixes and ways to manually release the latch. So you can retrieve items from a locked trunk. You’ll also gain critical insights into your vehicle’s valet/emergency trunk release that you can leverage to your advantage in this annoying situation.
We’ll even cover precisely what to tell that locksmith dispatcher to save precious time popping the trunk if you require pro help. Whether you drive a classic or modern vehicle, we have plenty of straightforward locked trunk workarounds that might spare you the hassle and expense of calling for rescue. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get into work to get your keys back!
Table of Contents
Potential Solutions For Recovering Keys That Are Locked Inside A Car’s Trunk
Use trunk emergency release
- Most modern cars have a glowing trunk release handle inside the trunk itself to open from the inside.
- Locate and pull the release handle to escape a locked trunk.
Access valet/emergency trunk release
- There is often a remote trunk release in the driver’s sidekick panel accessible from the back seat.
- Consult your owner’s manual for instructions to open the trunk in that way.
Fold rear seats (if accessible)
- Some sedans allow rear seat folding for interior trunk access.
- Fold the rear seats down to access the trunk and keys if possible.
Use a slim Jim
- Locksmiths can manipulate the trunk latch open with a slim Jim-type tool to gain entry without damaging the lock or latch mechanisms.
Pass-keys out through seat fold
- If folding rear seats allow access to keys, try using a wire grabber tool fished from the cabin through the seat pass-through to retrieve keys.
Call roadside assistance
- Many auto insurance and vehicle brands offer 24/7 roadside assistance with lockout service for minimal fees without requiring full locksmith dispatch.
Various Ways Keys Can Accidentally Get Locked In A Car’s Trunk
Now you know the suitable troubleshooting steps to take in this situation. Let’s find out how you could fall into this situation to be more aware of the conditions.
Setting keys down inside the trunk
- Drivers may temporarily set their keys inside the trunk while loading cargo, groceries, strollers, etc., only to have the lid close and latch with keys trapped inside before retrieving them.
The remote key fob was left in the trunk
- Many will hit the remote trunk release on their key fob to pop the trunk, and place items inside, and then close the lid without realizing the fob is still in the cargo area, which leaves them locking them out without even knowing.
Loose items fall on keys
- Unloading armfuls of items from the trunk might results in losing possessions like groceries or bags, which can fall over onto the keys by sweeping them into the trunk inadvertently when the trunk lid is closing.
Pet jumps into the trunk
- Dogs hopping in open trunks to retrieve balls or explore may accidentally hit the latch or lock tabs by trapping keys inside before owners can rescue their curious pets.
Handfuls lead to locked trunks
- Trying to carry too many items in one trip causes people to juggle belongings precariously by, leading to spilt keys into the open trunk when they are loading up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Keys Locked In Trunk
Q: Should I immediately call a locksmith if my keys are locked in the trunk?
A: Not necessarily – many vehicles have interior releases allowing self-recovery. But if you cannot gain entry yourself, locksmiths can work wonders with proper manual manipulation of the latch mechanism.
Q: What information does the locksmith need over the phone to resolve the issue more quickly?
A: Provide the exact car make, model and year, along with any details on fold-down seats, known internal releases and your precise location. This allows proper equipment and fast response.
Q: Can I manually release the trunk latch from the outside?
A: Latch releases are to prevent external access as a security measure. Use great care and only attempt accessing external latch cables in an emergency to avoid damage.
Q: Should I expect damage to my car if I force the trunk to open without keys?
A: There is undoubtedly a risk of scratched paint or bent metal forcing when opening it hastily. With patience, proper tools usually provide clean, non-destructive trunk entry. Make sure to avoid damage if possible.
Q: How much does it typically cost to have a locksmith to recover keys that are locked in the trunk?
A: Costs average $50-$150+ depending on location, time of day, vehicle make, and complexity. Many locksmiths offer phone quotes. A note to remember is that you can expect higher rates for emergency after-hours service.
Q: Why do keys seem to find a way to get locked inside trunks so easily despite modern conveniences like keyless entry?
A: Ironically, the remote trunk releases found on most modern key fobs and electronic latches may lead many to misplace those handy remotes once the trunk is open. With hands full of loading cargo, it takes just a moment of distraction for the electronic latch to lock belongings and keys without even knowing.
Q: I accidentally hit the trunk release on my key fob, which was still inside the cargo area. What clever shortcuts can help me recover it?
A: Check for glow-in-the-dark emergency releases inside the trunk, fold-down rear seat access to the cargo area, and also hidden trunk releases typically under the driver’s side dash that your manual should access. Leverage these sneaky internal options before a force entry.
Q: My Nissan has an accessible fold-down rear seat, releasing access to the trunk. But my keys slid just out of reach when I opened the pass-through. Any crafty methods to retrieve them?
A: Using a long grabber tool, stiff wire, coat hanger, or even a ladder belt synch gently manipulated through the seat fold access to hook your keys could succeed if barely out of reach. Because flexible tools allow snagging without scratches.
Q: I suggest manually prying my trunk open by yanking the exposed outside latch cable. How risky is it when I physically force the trunk to open?
A: Exterior cables are to break or detach before compromising locks through brute outside force as a theft deterrent. Therefore, doing so has a higher damage risk. So, my advice is to only attempt gentle cable access in an actual emergency with no alternatives.