These Are The 5 Different Ways To Unlock Your Jeep Cherokee Without Keys

Locking the vehicle with keys inside is a common mistake many owners inadvertently make.

According to an estimate, roughly 4 million Americans lock themselves out of their vehicle with keys inside annually.

Imagine you step out of the vehicle to pick up some grocery items and, upon return, find out that it’s locked now. This can be frustrating and embarrassing at the same time.

Short Answer

There are several methods to unlock your Jeep Cherokee (2001 and 2004 models, to be precise) with no key. These include using a slim Jim tool, the Uconnect app, an inflatable airbag with the rod, auto-jiggler keys, etc.

But don’t worry; this blog post will discuss several ways to unlock a Jeep Cherokee. Many of these methods can be applied to other vehicles, too.

5 Ways to Unlock Jeep Cherokee With Keys Inside

1. Use Uconnect App

Use Uconnect App

The easiest way to unlock Jeep Cherokee is to use the Uconnect app.

This app allows you to unlock any Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and FIAT vehicle from the phone, among other things.

Here’s how you can use it:

  • Download the Uconnect App from the Play Store or App Store.
  • Open the app and create your account.
  • Turn on Bluetooth in the Jeep Cherokee.
  • Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone and select your vehicle from the ‘Device List.’

Now, you can control your vehicle with the smartphone and unlock it remotely.

All you need to do is to press the unlock button in the app and enter the security PIN you entered during the setup process.

Apart from remote locking and unlocking, you can also use Uconnect to locate your vehicle nearby or get the vehicle health report.

The only downside of this method is that it’s preemptive. This app requires an initial setup before allowing you to control the vehicle remotely.

You can’t use it if you’re already out of the vehicle and haven’t completed the setup process.

2. Use a Slim Jim Tool

Use a Slim Jim Tool

If you have an older Jeep Cherokee model that utilizes the traditional mechanical locking mechanism, a slim Jim tool can be used to unlock it.

It’s a common tool locksmiths (and carjacks) use to unlock vehicle doors. It’s a thin, flat metal (almost shaped like a ruler) with a hook on one end.

First, you need to insert the slim jim into the gap between the window and the door frame, right above the location of the door lock.

Then, twist it in both directions and find the location of the cable or rod that controls the locking mechanism.

You need to hook onto that cable/rod and pull/push it to simulate the action of turning in the key. This will trigger the lock to disengage, and the door will unlock.

For more info, you can watch this video below:

Apart from being suitable for only older vehicles, this method also requires some practice beforehand.

If you’re doing it for the first time, you are at risk of damaging the door, window, or even the locking mechanism.

3. Use an Auto-Jiggler Key

Use an Auto-Jiggler Key

Auto-Jiggler keys are another method you can use to unlock the Cherokee.

Also known as try-out keys, these are thin, flat metal strips, and each of them comes with a common notch pattern used in vehicle keys.

You need to insert each of them one by one into the keyhole and wiggle while pulling the door handle simultaneously. Do this for at least 10-15 seconds before moving on to the next key.

The main idea is that one of these keys may mimic the original key and unlock your door.

4. Use an Airbag and Rod

This method takes a slightly different approach to unlocking the vehicle.

Instead of inserting any tool into the keyhole or the lock mechanism, it focuses on creating a slight gap in the door jamb with the help of an inflatable airbag (such as this one).

Then, insert a flat rod through this gap and press/pull the unlock button to open the locked door.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Slide the airbag in the door jamb. Make sure it gets at least 50% inside.
  • Start pumping the airbag and continue to do so until you notice a visible gap.
  • Insert a flat, narrow rod through this gap and press/pull the unlock button.
  • The rod should be long enough and require some precision to be used effectively. You can also use a Slim Jim for this purpose.

5. Call a Locksmith:

Call a Locksmith

If you’ve analyzed all the methods and none works, I suggest calling a locksmith.

The main problem with the above methods is that most of them require tool(s) not everyone has access to – at least in isolated locations.

They also require some level of experience. Otherwise, there’s a high chance of you damaging the vehicle.

Locksmiths can solve both of these issues as they know how to get it done and have the right tools at their disposal.

They can charge $50-$150 depending on the complexity of the task and your area.

Still, it’s cheaper than the repair jobs for the damages you may cause to your Cherokee (breaking the window, for example) while unlocking it.


Locking yourself out of the vehicle with keys inside is annoying but can also be dangerous in rare cases. That’s why you should try unlocking it ASAP with the abovementioned methods.

In addition to these, there are some other methods, such as breaking the window, using a hammer/screwdriver, or using a tennis ball, that I didn’t mention. That’s mainly because they’re not as effective and can damage your vehicle.

Some people suggest calling 911 in such situations. But I won’t advise you to do this either unless a pet or kid is locked up inside the car, as it’s for other types of emergencies.

Instead, you should call a locksmith if everything else fails.

To make sure such incidents never happen again, I suggest making a spare key (store it in your wallet/purse, not the vehicle).

Many Jeep Cherokees come with a keyless entry system that allows you to unlock the door with a key fob.

Even if your particular model doesn’t have it by default, there are some aftermarket solutions to add this feature. So, I recommend adding that as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do You Unlock a Jeep Door Without a key?

There are several ways to unlock a Jeep door without keys, such as a Slim Jim tool, auto-jiggler keys, the uConnect app, or an inflatable airbag with a rod.

Can You Lock the keyless car with keys inside?

Contrary to what many believe, some keyless cars can be locked with keys inside. To prevent this, always carry the key fob in your pocket.

Can You Call 911 For Keys Locked In The Car?

Usually, it’s not advised to call 911 immediately, as this service is mainly used to report accidents or medical emergencies. Therefore, unless a kid, pet, or patient is locked up inside, you should try to unlock the car by yourself or call a locksmith.

What If I Break My Key Into The Car Door?

Several methods exist to pull out a broken key inside the car door. These include spraying the WD-40 into the keyhole, using needle-nose pliers (if some part of the key is outside the hole), or using knives.

Where Should I Put A Spare Key For My Car?

You can hide a spare key in the garage or any other secure area in your home. Your purse/wallet can also be considered.

Can I Leave my Key Fob in the Car?

Leaving the key fob in the car can increase the risk of theft (they can start the vehicle with the key fob and drive away easily), drain the key fob’s battery, and lock you out of the car. Therefore, it’s not recommended.

Ayden Morris is the founder of Vehicle Sphere. He shares expert advice and practical tips to help car owners maximize the performance and longevity of their vehicles. Buckle up and join him on this exhilarating ride through the world of car care.

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