Let’s face it, at one point or other, most of us have locked ourselves out of a Jeep with the keys still inside, haven’t we? If you have found yourselves in this predicament and wondering how to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with keys inside, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will be looking at some of the easiest ways of accessing your Jeep while the key is still inside and you don’t have a spare key.
Unlocking your Jeep Cherokee without a key should not take a long time if you use the right tips and tricks discussed in the following sections. So, let’s find you away inside your Jeep, Shall we?
There are several ways to unlock a Jeep Cherokee with keys inside, but we will limit our discussion to the methods that don’t damage your vehicle. Your Jeep Cherokee is not cheap, and it can be expensive to fix damage to it as well. So, shattering the window is an option we won’t discuss here.
So, let’s see how to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with keys inside
Method 1: Seek Help
If you happen to have your cellphone, call for help. It can be a friend, mechanic, or even a locksmith for hire. If you can’t find a locksmith by yourself, call a friend or a family member, and they might be able to get hold of a local mechanic or a locksmith for you.
If you have locked yourself outside your Jeep Cherokee in a rough neighborhood and you think you could be in danger, it is okay to call 911. The 911 dispatcher can help you find a mechanic or a locksmith nearby. Just remember that 911 is an emergency service, and you should be using them only if there is no other option left or if you feel the situation is dangerous.
If you plan on exercising this option, remember that calling in an expert, a mechanic, or a locksmith can set you back about $100. The cost can significantly increase if they have to travel far to help you.
Several insurance companies provide roadside assistance, and you can also take advantage of that. If you have a AAA membership, they will come and unlock your Jeep Cherokee free of charge for the first couple of times. So, it pays to subscribe to paid AAA membership.
What if you can’t or don’t want to call for help?
What can you do to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with limited resources?
Let’s see how you can use common objects that you, in most likelihood, have to unlock your Jeep with keys still inside
Method 2: Use your Shoelace
If you are stranded outside your Jeep and wearing shoes with laces, you are in luck. You can turn your shoelaces into a useable tool to unlock your Jeep door with a little patience. You might need to use the laces from your shoes to get the job done. Here is what you need to do-
- Get the shoelaces out of your shoe and tie a small knot the size of your index finger in the middle so that when you pull on the two ends, it tightens.
- Now try to wiggle the shoelace through the gap between the door and the Jeep frame. You might need to create a little space by pulling on the door a bit, but the job is half done once the lace is inside.
- Pull down the shoelace gradually so that the loop is around the lock. Once in position, pull both the lace ends to tighten the noose around the lock and pull it.
- The shoelace should pull the lock knob and open the door of your Jeep Cherokee.
Opening your Jeep’s door like this might sound wild, but it works! It takes a few minutes, but if you persevere, you can unlock your Jeep free of cost using this little trick. If you don’t have a shoelace, a piece of string works equally well.
Method 3: Use a Slim Jim Tool
A Slim Jim is a thin metal tool that many Jeep owners keep in their vehicles. If you are in a position to stop a couple of Jeeps passing you by, you can ask if they have a Slim Jim tool. You are sure to find one in the first few vehicles you stop.
It is incredibly easy to open the lock f your Jeep Cherokee using this tool. Here is how you can use the Slim Jim tool to open the lock-
- Always try to open the passenger side door if you plan to use a Slim Jim tool. If you accidentally damage the locking mechanism, you do so to a door that is not used that frequently.
- Create a space between the window glass and the weather stripping by inserting a wedge. You need to create a small enough room for the Slim Jim to slide through it. Make sure that you insert the end of the tool with the notches between the Jeep door and window.
- Slide the Slim Jim into the created space slowly and gently while aligning the tool with the lock. It is crucial to be careful during this step as you don’t want to catch on any wiring or mechanism on your way down.
- Once the tool is just below the level of your door lock, try and wiggle it slightly and carefully monitor the locking mechanism of your Jeep Cherokee. If the Slim Jim latches on to the locking mechanism, the lock knob will show slight movement as you wiggle the tool.
- Once you observe that the Slim Jim has latched onto the locking mechanism, it is the time to pull it upward, ever so gently, till your door unlocks. Ensure that your motion is smooth so as not to damage any critical parts or sang onto any wiring systems in the door.
It sounds a bit complicated, right? However, the process is not that difficult. You must have seen thieves unlocking Jeeps with a Slim Jim in seconds in movies. It might take a bit more time for you, but if you follow the instructions above, you should be able to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with this method.
One more thing to remember if you opt for this method-don’t force the tool and try multiple times. If you cannot open the door in a couple of tries, move on to the next door. You don’t want to damage your locking mechanism that needs immediate repair.
Method 4: Use a Tennis Ball
Believe it or not, a simple tennis ball can come to your rescue if you have locked yourself outside your Jeep Cherokee. We are trying to create a pressure differential within the keyhole of your Jeep so that the locking mechanism pops up. All you need to implement this method is a tennis ball and a knife to cut a hole.
Here is how to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with keys inside using a tennis ball.
- Please make a small hole in the tennis ball, making sure it is not too bit; the size of a penny works best. You can use a knife or a lighter to burn the hole.
- Place the hole you just created right on top of the keyhole of your Jeep and squeeze it. You want to push the air as fast as possible to create a pressure differential within the keyhole.
- Ensure a tight seal between the lock and the tennis ball if the air is leaking out.
- Repeat the steps till the door lock pops up.
The method is incredibly simple yet effective. If you might need a few tries to get it just right, you can open your Jeep’s door with a tennis ball. Besides, there are no downsides to trying this method. You don’t risk damaging your vehicle or the locking mechanism.
So, if you ever find yourself stranded outside your Jeep Cherokee with the keys inside, a tennis ball can be your best friend!
Method 5: Use a Coat Hanger
The coat hanger method is applicable only if you have a coat hanger lying around, which is unlikely while you are out and about. But if you ever lock yourself out of your Jeep Cherokee outside your apartment or any residential place, a coat hanger can be a great tool to unlock your Jeep door.
A coat hanger works almost like a Slim Jim tool discussed above. Here is how you use a coat hanger to unlock your Jeep Cherokee if you have accidentally left the keys inside-
- Take a coat hanger that is made from metal wire. It is okay even if it is plastic coated. You don’t want a wooden hanger for this job.
- Open the hanger and stretch out the long enough wire to reach the lock mechanism (about 1 foot). Leave the hook part intact-you are going to hold on to this part.
- Bend the lower portion of the wire into a ‘V’ shape using a set of pliers or with your hands. The intention here is to create a sort of a hook so it can latch on to the lock channel that runs through your door.
- Create a small wiggle room between the glass and the weather trim of your window and insert the coat hanger tool you just made; the hook end first.
- Move the hanger around till you catch the lock post that runs across the Jeep door. Depending on your Jeep’s year of manufacture and model, you might need to either depress the lock post or pull it to unlock the door.
Alternatively, you can also use the coat hanger to pull the lock knob by prying the door and inserting the hooked part inside the Jeep. However, this can be difficult with a coat hanger. Rather, you can use the shoelace method we discussed before if you want to go via this route.
Method 6: Use Uconnect App
If you own a Jeep Cherokee made in 2020, or later, it should come standard with a Uconnect infotainment system. It is an award-winning all-in-one system that provides remote connectivity for your Jeep Cherokee.
You need to fire up your smartphone and log into the Uconnect app. Once in the app, you can control your Jeep’s various aspects, including the central locking mechanism.
You will need your phone and mobile data. So, if you have locked your mobile phone inside your Jeep, you are out of luck. Besides, it can be used only on newer Jeeps. If you have an older Cherokee, you can’t use this method to unlock your SUV.
Uconnect service is not free; you will have to activate the service and pay a monthly subscription fee to avail of some of the features, including the remote lock and unlock feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have made this far in the post, you should have all the answers to unlock your Jeep Cherokee without your key. If not, here are some FAQs that you might find helpful.
Can I unlock my Jeep Cherokee remotely?
You can unlock your Cherokee remotely only if you have an active subscription to the Uconnect service. If you don’t have the subscription or your vehicle was manufactured before 2020, you can’t unlock your Jeep remotely.
Is breaking the window necessary to unlock my Jeep if I accidentally left the keys inside?
Absolutely not! It is unnecessary to break your window if you have accidentally locked yourself out of your Jeep. You can use several methods detailed above to get the job done. You should consider breaking the window only as a last resort if everything else fails.
Is Jeep Cherokee easy to break into?
Unfortunately, Jeep Cherokees, especially the older models, are not that difficult to break into. Even the newer models with Uconnect systems can be hacked and broken into remotely. It might be a good thing if you have lost or misplaced your keys, but a bad thing for security reasons.
If you have unfortunately locked yourself out and wondering how to unlock your Jeep Cherokee with keys inside, you don’t need to panic. We covered some of the easiest and best methods to unlock your Jeep without keys. If you are patient and careful, you can end your ordeal in minutes!