Opening a locked door with a coat hanger requires creating a loop or hook at the end of the hanger, feeding it through the window, and either unlocking the interior locking mechanism or pressing the unlock button, usually found on the door. This technique will only work if there is enough space to slide the hanger between the door frame and the window.
Using a coat hanger to open a locked car door works best on older cars that have the little button on the window ledge. In this instance, straighten the hanger and bend the end into a loop, feed it through the window and carefully hook it around the button, slowly pulling up to unlock the door.
Vehicles equipped with smooth lock buttons may be the most difficult to open with a coat hanger and usually require professional assistance to get the door open.
People who own newer-model vehicles may have to deal with locking their keys in their vehicle, despite the fact that many cars today have a fail-safe that will not allow the doors to be locked with the keys in the ignition. Those with digital keys may need to contact their dealer for a replacement key. Some of today's newer models will allow drivers to open the door using an override switch.