2002-2005: Best way to hide key on vehicle exterior?

The eBay combo Hide-A-Key lockbox will not fit in the gas cap cavity; I just tried it.
HOWEVER - if you reach through the front bumper slot just to the right of and below the bumper light on the passenger side and put your arm in there about 10" there is a steel frame brace with a definite shelf on it where the box DOES fit; I just tried it...

You'll have to feel around for the shelf on the left up in there but its very secure and the box will attach magnetically with no problem. No way its moving around up in that spot.

As to the touch keypad, just call me skeptical about adding any more electrical do-dads onto these cars considering the PATS security system...mess that up and you are in a world of hurt...
Thank u 4 the informative update. I'll check it out this week. "I'll be back"

Frankie the Fink

Well-Known Member
I understand. All I can tell you is that I know someone on another forum that has been using this for some years now. Perhaps he has an older version of the keypad that was compatible.
As stated, it may just be a signal emitter, like the key fob, that broadcasts when the right combo of keys are struck. Even so, not something I'll be adding.


Active Member
My thanks to all of u for volunteering to assist a newbie stranger. I've given a lot of thought to all your comments. Your ideas r good and have even gotten me thinking of other things as well.

At this moment I'm undecided. As i said, perfect solutions r elusive.

If any1 else comes along, and sees the thread, and has an idea, it will be rec'd+read+acknowledged w/ appreciation.

Due 2 the current so-so condition of the car, and due 2 the fact I've never had it o'night anywhere besides my home or the home of friends (neither of which is theft-proof but r theft-less-likely), the ultimate solution will be an easily installed + easily accessed but hidden key on the vehicle. Odds of a very rare lockout r higher than odds of a more rare theft attempt. As i said in older T'birds a magnetic key box likely would've sufficed but on the '03 there r essentially no metal surfaces with both ez reach + ez installation of a hidden key.

Either now or next time wife or i r locked out of the car we'll be 2 old or o'wise unable to shimmy underneath a low-2-the-road chassis like a T'bird. As i said b4, unfortunately FOBs/remote entry isn't the solution or prevention in this unique instance. I'm motivated, and will come to a resolution, but not b4 exhausting all possibilities. Thanks again to all of u
Just inside of the gas fill door on back side is dead space enough to wire a key to and drop it in, The key can not be seen and you can easily untwist the wire and pull it out. Just have a plane key cut to get into the car but not programed to start the car.

Frankie the Fink

Well-Known Member
AAA membership
The AAA model for roadside service has changed a bit due to the COVID virus - I had to call them recently for a tow, and was not allowed to ride with the tow truck driver (which I always did before over the years), but had to have somebody else drive me from the location of the breakdown. Their usual 20 minute response time has stretched out considerably too in my experience.

Their lockout service is pretty slick, they have a device like a blood pressure cuff they stick in the window frame and pump the door far enough away to get a tool inside to pop the door open with the interior handle - prob different methods for different cars I'd bet. HOWEVER, if you're not in a safe place of need to get going you might not have the luxury of waiting for help.


Active Member
Greetings. I'll spare you the reasons but i must hide a key on the exterior of a 2003. The answer in this case is not about FOBs or remote entry or key codes or alarms. I must hide the ignition/door key the old fashioned way. Historically one might have used a small metal key box attached somewhere with a magnet. However virtualy no accessible metal surface on the vehicle. Want it to be a method such that many years from now it will still reliably be in place. Thank you for your suggestions.
I like the keypad remote idea the best! Use that idea with the “behind the
License plate idea” but instead of using a screwdriver to remove it put a hinge on top of the plate like the 60’s cars did to reveal the gas fill.
Thanks to everyone for the input. It was helpful. While i doubt the world was waiting anxiously, I promised i would say what i decided.

I also said there's no perfect solutions. Examples: an incident that contributed to my inquiry was AAA's impossibly slow process when i was stranded one evening in difficult circumstances. The hide-a-key with combination lock is a good device but it's not long enough to close the case with an ignition smart key (with chip) inside. It can only accommodate a plain key w/o the hard rubber end. The license plate solution is good if one has a handy screwdriver. The other on-vehicle ideas have some drawbacks previously discussed in installation or difficulty. The key-in-the-wallet would take a different wallet and the AAA incident happened near the 24-hr gym where it's not a good idea to bring in a wallet (lockers and locker room discouraged in the covid era). World is not coming to an end this week, just saying the perfect solution was elusive.

Here's what i did: had 1 new-additional ignition key copy made. Gives me 2 extras. One went to my wife, one went on top of the inner front bumper bar as better described by "Frankie the Fink". I also found two unprogrammed clickers in an unopened envelope. I had ordered them in the mail yrs ago, and never used them. One of these i'm leaving with a local friend (I drive 90% locally in this car), one of them may become my version of Bond007's idea to keep a key in my wallet. The spare clicker would fit in pockets, even in socks if necessary. So would a key of course, but happened to have bonus clickers.

Sort of solving it by quantity if not perfect quality. I should be covered and likely won't have a repeat of the night from he__ I experienced in mid-September. Thanks again, to all
Have not hidden a key on my T Bird, but years ago on another car, I took key wrapped in plastic to keep
clean, and used plastic tie straps to tie key to car under fender. Just use small enough tie strap so you can
twist key and break tie strap.