How To Unlock GMC Sierra Without Keys [4 Ways]

You're already running late for work, and while you're frantically digging through your purse for your car keys, you realize with a sinking feeling that you've locked them inside your truck! This terrible inconvenience befalls most of us at one time or another, and thankfully there are inexpensive and viable remedies to this common mistake. Should you mistakenly lock your keys inside a GMC Sierra, we've researched methods to retrieve your keys from this vehicle.

There are several methods to unlocking your GMC Sierra without keys, and we've listed some of the most helpful ones below:

  • use your key fob itself (or your spare one, if you've misplaced the main one) instead of unlocking the door with the key
  • use a slim jim
  • call OnStar or use the OnStar app on your phone (subscription to this service required)
  • call a trusted local locksmith

All of the greatest technology in the world still won't totally negate human error. Please read on to learn how to perform each of these key retrieval/unlock methods. We'll also share tips to avoid locking yourself out again. If you're curious about GMC Sierra's passive locking system, we've got that covered too, including how to disable it.

A 2005 HD GMC Sierra parked outside a parking lot, How To Unlock GMC Sierra Without Keys [4 Ways]

Use Your Key Fob

These little gadgets are commonly provided with every new vehicle that rolls off the assembly lines these days. Some are on the keyring with your keys, and some are actually a part of the vehicle's key itself. Simply press the "unlock" button on the fob, and your GMC Sierra will be unlocked. When you buy a new vehicle, the dealership will give you two of these fobs. Keep one for everyday use and stash the spare someplace safe, just in case you lock yourself out and need a quick and easy way to get back into your Sierra.

Man pressing lock button of his pickup truck

Use a Slim Jim

This is a handy little tool that works so much better than a coat hanger for unlocking a vehicle's doors from the outside. It's been used by locksmiths for decades and can pop open the lock in seconds if you know how to use one properly. But if you don't know how, it's probably best to call a locksmith, so you can prevent damaging the interior of your door panel.

A car thief using a piece of metal to unlock a car


This is a great service that will do much more than just unlock your vehicle if you're locked out. services, alerts first responders if it detects that you've been in a crash, and so much more. Should you subscribe to this service ahead of time, you can either call OnStar and have a live representative unlock your Sierra or use their phone app to do so.

Call a Locksmith

Sometimes it's best just to bite the bullet and call in a trusted local locksmith to do the job. Most locksmiths have a 24 hour service, although they tend to charge a premium fee for late-night and weekend/holiday calls. But they're professionals, and they will be able to unlock your Sierra quickly and safely should you find yourself out of other options.

A man opening a car door using a lockpicker

What is GMC Sierra passive door locking?

Passive door locking is a great feature for those that are sometimes forgetful in locking their vehicle's doors. If you walk away from your GMC Sierra without locking the doors yourself, the car will automatically lock the doors on its own after several minutes.

Several conditions must be met for the passive door locking feature to work before your Sierra will auto-lock. The Sierra cannot be left running; the sensor detects a running engine and will not activate for safety reasons. This is important to remember if you're thinking about starting your Sierra on a cold day and letting it warm up while you run back inside your warm house. It'll still be running AND unlocked unless you manually lock the doors.

All of the doors to your Sierra have to be firmly closed for the passive locking system to auto-lock. Your control panel should indicate if any doors are still open, should the ignition key be still switched to the on position. Before exiting your Sierra, make sure no doors are left open.

The passive door locking feature will also not lock the doors if you leave your key fob in your Sierra. This is to make sure you don't accidentally lock yourself out of your vehicle.

Can you disable the automatic door locking?

If you would like to disable the automatic door locking feature, there is a simple way to temporarily shut it off. Simply stand near your closed, locked Sierra and hold the "unlock" button on your key fob for a few moments. When you hear a series of beeps from your Sierra, then you'll know that the automatic door locking has been paused. This auto-locking will remain disabled until you hit the lock button on your truck's interior door or when you start the Sierra's engine.

Your Sierra's owners' manual will assist you in permanently disabling the automatic door locking feature, beginning on page 167. You'll be guided through how to "Personalize Your GMC Sierra" here. On your infotainment screen, select the settings button, then press the button indicating the vehicle. You'll then see a list of features. Select the passive door locking feature and hit the "disable" button. Your automatic door locking will now be disabled unless you turn it back on, using the same steps.

How to prevent getting locked out of my truck?

The best way to prevent getting locked out of your Sienna is always to make sure that your key fob is in your hand before you walk away from your truck, and making a habit out of always keeping the key fob or keys in the same place.

Undercarriage magnetic boxes used to be a great place to store an extra key fob or key, although some vehicle thieves have gotten wise to this over the years. The technology and design of these have greatly improved, though, with many on the market boasting of "waterproof" boxes with super strong magnets. These seem to be great for stashing a mini GPS device inside, also, in case your Sierra gets stolen.

Click here to see this magnetic box available on Amazon.

For more information about how to get into a locked vehicle, you might find this post informative: "My Car Keys Are Locked In-What to Do?"


Hopefully, the technology featured in the GMC Sierra pickup truck will help you from ever locking yourself out of your vehicle, and you'll never need any of the above tips. But if you do find yourself in this frustrating situation, we hope you've found this post to be helpful in both getting your GMC Sierra unlocked and for helping you prevent it from happening again in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about the GMC Sierra, we've linked some very informative articles about this model pickup truck below:

Does the GMC Sierra Have Cooled Seats?

Does the GMC Sierra Have Apple CarPlay?

How Much Does the GMC Sierra Weigh?

How Many Miles Does the GMC Sierra Last?


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