If you locked your keys in the car, getting into the car by having a professional open it can be a messy and expensive proposition. 70 euros for five minutes of work? Come on. It’s not particularly difficult to break into vehicles with automatic or manual locks, or even see if you can get in through the trunk, all free methods at your disposal. Don’t resort to breaking a window to get your key back.
- 1 Picking electric or automatic locks
- 2 Pick manual locks
- 3 Break in through the trunk
- 4 Tips
- 5 Warnings
Picking electric or automatic locks
Find your tool of choice.
The basic method for picking into a car with automatic locks without damaging anything is to wedge a crack in the door and use a long stick to hit the lock button. It may be gross, but it’s pretty much what a locksmith does when you call one, except it doesn’t cost you $70 for five minutes of work. To do this you will need a wedge and a stick. Possibilities include: The best wedges can include spatulas and doorstops, the thinner the better. Ideally, you should only open it as little as necessary to insert your wand. Locksmiths use a balloon to pump air in and create space. The best sticks include a car antenna, unscrewed, and a straightened wire hanger. You may need pliers to straighten the shackle and consider doubling it down for better control and thrust when you get to the buckle button. Pretty much any tool that’s narrow enough to fit through the window gap and long enough to reach the latch knob will do.
Wedge open the door.
Wedge a doorstop or equivalent wedge-like tool into the space between the top of the door and the car. Use the heel of your hand to firmly tap the wedge into the door/car space. If you’re concerned about damaging your car’s paintwork, cover the wedge with a cloth or some kind of felt surface to protect the paintwork before you begin.
Stick your staff in.
The wedge wedged in creates a gap between the door and the car. Stick your wand in the space between the door and the car. Move the wand to the lock button.
Press the button firmly with your wand. It may take a few tries to get to it, but if you do, you’ve successfully broken into your car. Open the door and get your key.
Pick manual locks
Catch the lock with a hanger.
The biggest difference in picking into a car with manual locks is that if you want to do it manually, you have to pull up the lock pin when you get in. Follow the same instructions, wedging and stabbing through the space you create, but then you’ll have to pull up carefully to lock out the car. Pushing a button is one thing, but catching the pin is harder. You have to slip the loop over the head of the lock button like a sling and pull it up to unlock the car. It may take a few tries to get it right.
Consider using a Slim Jim, or making your own.
A Slim Jim, also known as a lockout tool, is an automotive tool commonly used by police officers to help open doors with manual locks. It is used by wedging into the door mechanism itself, between the window and the door rubber, hooking the locking pin, and pulling it from the inside. If you have access to a Slim Jim, it can be a quick fix. Create your own by straightening a hanger and leaving only the curved (hook) end in its original shape. You may need to use pliers to unfold and straighten the hanger, and then double it to strengthen it. Note that this method is not recommended for cars with automatic windows and locks. These cars have lots of wires in the doors which could get damaged in this breaking-in process.
Find the passenger side door.
There are usually fewer wires on the passenger side than in the driver’s side door, making it a bit easier to pry open.
Introduce your tool.
Identify the black door weatherstrip along the bottom edge of your car window. The locking mechanism is generally in line with the lock itself, usually toward the rear of the door. Use your fingers to gently peel this rubber strip off the window to reveal the gap between the window and the outer portion of the car door. Carefully insert your straightened hanger, curved end first, into the gap between the window and the rubber strip.
Lower the hanger inside.
You should be able to lower the hanger a few inches into this gap without resistance, then begin feeling for the pin. If you can look at your car’s owner’s manual, you’ll be able to have an idea of where the lock pin is and how to access it. if you blindly dig around in the door, you risk messing up the wiring and causing damage. Try to figure out where the locking pin is before inserting the Slim Jim.
Search for the pin.
Move the hanger around in the gap until you feel a small pin. This pin can be pulled to release the door lock. It is usually located about 5 cm below the window, next to the inside door handle.
Gently pull the pin towards the back of the car.
When you find the pin, unhook it and gently pull. If you succeed, you will feel the pin move and hear the door open. After you have successfully opened the door, carefully pull out the hanger and open the door to get your key back.
Break in through the trunk
Find the emergency cord.
If you’re lucky and your trunk isn’t locked, but the cart with your key in it is locked, open it and look inside for the emergency cord that opens the trunk to the car. It is often in the trunk lid or on the roof of the trunk.
Pull the cord.
When you find the string, pull on it. This opens the rear seats and lets them fall forward in some models. In some sedans, this is a common feature.
When the seats are released, you can slide them forward. Now you can climb into the car through this new entrance and manually open the rear door yourself.
Be careful not to damage your car’s paintwork or door rubbers when you pry it open. Before breaking into your locked car yourself, consider calling a locksmith to have your door professionally unlocked with a “Slim Jim.”
Stealing cars is a crime. This information is only for the purpose of unlocking doors on cars that you own.