how to unlock a Honda Civic door without a key

How to Unlock a Honda Civic Without a Key

Losing your keys and getting locked out of your car is a much bigger problem than it used to be given how modern vehicles are tougher to steal. However, you have locked yourself out of your Honda Civic, there are a few ways you can get back in without using a key… and hopefully not damaging the car!

Before you even consider breaking a window or amateur attempts with a credit card, shoelace, Slim Jim, or hangar, read the guide below. The problem with some of these options is that they are not very effective and can damage your door if you don’t know how to do it properly.

Thankfully there are some methods you can use if you want to know how to unlock Honda Civic door without key… 

How to unlock your Honda Civic without a key

1. Unlock a Honda Civic door with a plastic strip

This method can be tried to unlock Civic doors on newer models which have a button unlocking system. If your car keys are left inside and it is ON too. Using a plastic strip might work if your car driver seat side has all the control buttons. 

To try it, slide the strip from the corner and once it’s through, you can press any button you like. Just press any door unlocking button.

Watch this video:

2. Unlock a Honda Civic door using string or shoelace

Unlocking a car door with a shoelace or piece of involves a tie in it like a slipknot. Then slide the string inside your car door. Try the corner of your car door to slide the lace inside by using back and forth motion until it reaches the doorknob. 

This will create a loop in the shoelace and the knob so with a flick tighten the knot and pull the doorknob up. That might open your car instantly… with luck.

Watch this video:

3. How to unlock a Honda Civic with a hangar / aka Slim Jim

Another way to unlock your Honda Civic is with a Slim Jim which is a modification of the wire coat hanger method you’ve likely seen on a TV show. It works on cars that use a door latch system. The basic principle is to use the wire coat hanger to pry the door handle off the door. 

This is typically done by twisting the coat hanger until it breaks. Twist it enough that one side is straight but the other has a hook at the end, which will be used to pull the lock. Now slide the hanger through the weatherstrip of the door till it’s only 2 inches between the window and the car door. 

There you’ll find the control arm, but it may vary with your car model so do it accordingly. 

At last, is the tricky part but as you reach down, rotate the Slim Jim hangar until its hook is faced toward the control arm. It might be difficult but if you’re lucky you will find it and as you locked onto it immediately pull the hanger and your car is unlocked.

Watch this video:

Handy Hint: Here’s all the various reasons why your Honda Civic is leaking water, either on the inside or underneath the car.

The myth about unlocking a car door with a tennis ball

Whilst researching how to unlock a Honda Civic door without a key, one tip kept appearing on other websites: the tennis ball method. Sadly, this isn’t true, and is a complete myth. 

It’s meant to work by cutting a small hole in the tennis ball, placing the hole over the Civic’s door lock, then pushing the tennis ball hard to create a vacuum and suck back.

This has been debunked as not working. If it did, Honda Civics would be getting stolen every time they park up… and if you’re interested here are theft statistics for your vehicle.

how to unlock civic door no key
You can’t unlock a Civic door with tennis ball.

Unlocking the electric door in Honda Civic (Hatchback models)

This method of opening the door from the outside is slow and tricky. But keep in mind that this method is not for windows and doors with auto-lock as they would temper with the car’s whole wiring system causing you extra stress. 

Follow these steps:

  • Make a long metal stick with a bent at one end like a hook.
  • Try to slide this equipment through the bottom of the door.
  • Also, be careful not to damage any wiring along the way.
  • Now peel the rubber from the edge with a force so you can reach the locking mechanism.
  • Usually, it is installed exactly below the hatch so try to slide the tool in that direction.
  • As soon as the tool gets intact with the key you desire, pull back the rod and the door will open.
  • Sometimes it might open the rear of your car so if that happens then give it another go.

Related questions

How to break in through the trunk of your car

It’s easy if you manage to go into the trunk. You just have unplugged the alarm which might go ON as trunk sensors feel any motion. This might lock your car and you could get stuck in it.

But as soon as you are in, just crawl your way toward the back seat or try brute force to break the back seat and enter the vehicle. 

Handy Hint: For more help, I’ve listed 4 methods of manually opening a Honda Civic trunk.


The methods listed above to unlock your Honda Civic door without a key have no guarantee of working.

The best thing you can do in situations like this is to contact a locksmith or a local Honda dealer.

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