How To Unlock A Car

How To Unlock A Car

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  1. When I was a kid, my baby sister once spent several hours locked inside of our family station wagon along with my mom’s car keys.  It came as no surprise to me since I had spent many hours sitting on curbs waiting for my dad to arrive from the other side of town with the spare set of keys.  Not long after that incident every family on our block that we knew and trusted had a spare set of our car keys.  After watching AAA, police officers, strangers, friends, and family members have to rescue my mom from many similar situations, I quickly learned that the best way to unlock a car was the easiest: always keep track of your car keys!  Luckily, if you’re one of those people like my mom that always seems to lose your keys or lock them in your car, there are some alternate ways to unlock a car.

    A Few Things You Might Need:

    • wire coat hanger  or
    • Slim Jim
    • some type of wedge
    • cell phone
    • key hideaway

    Prevent The Problem:

    Let’s face it, most of us have done it: you get out of the car, maybe you’re fiddling with your cell phone or calming your kids down, you shut your car door- and then you experience that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that you’re on the outside and your keys are locked inside.  The good thing is that with a little bit of planning and foresight, and just a few dollars, you can avoid that embarrassing call for rescue.  There is a great little invention called various names, but most commonly, a key hideaway.  It’s a small pouch that holds a key and has a strong metallic strip that you can attach to the underbody of your car.  Just find a safe and secure place under your car to stash your secret weapon and you have a guarantee that you’ll always be able to unlock your car.

    Deal With The Problem:

    After the sick feeling in your stomach fades away a little bit, and you’ve finished cursing yourself for not installing that hideakey, you do have another option for unlocking a car to consider.  If you can remain calm, and have access to a wire coat hanger or a Slim Jim, then you can still save the day by breaking into your own car.  You’ll also need to find some sort of wedge-like object, but it can be as simple as a small stick or a lip gloss bottle from your purse.

    Step 1: If you have a wire coat hanger then you need to straighten it out so you have a lot of length to work with, but also make sure that you leave a hooked end to grab with.  If you have a Slim Jim then your tool is ready to go, no further preparation is necessary.

    Step 2: If you were lucky enough to leave a window cracked, or have an older model car where you can pry it open, then slip your tool in hooked end first and snag the lock or handle.  You’ve now successfully unlocked your car so you can skip the rest of the steps! If you weren’t one of the lucky ones, read on.

    Step 3: Go to the passenger side of your car and insert your wedge between the black rubber seal and the window itself to create a space for your tool to fit.  This is important so you avoid scratching your window or paint.

    Step 4: Insert the tool hook side down into the gap you created with the wedge and gently feel around until you find the lock rod.

    Step 5: Once you have the lock rod firmly hooked, gently move it up and down until you hear and feel it release.  You’ve mastered unlocking a car with nothing more than a few household items!

    Even though you may have locked yourself out of your own car so many times that you consider yourself a pro with the jimmy method and want to volunteer to help a stranded motorist, it is very easy to damage a car with a coat hanger or Slim Jim, so you only want to try this on your own car.  Also take a moment to look at the make, model, and year of the car because many newer model cars are impervious to any attempts to jimmy the lock and can cause serious damage.

    Call In Reinforcements:

    If you’ve struggled with your wire hanger for two hours and still haven’t made any progress it might be time to consider some of the classic methods to unlock a car.  Luckily most of us carry a cell phone in today’s world so if you’re someone who does you have a range of options.  A family member or friend that lives close by and has access to a spare key is usually the best option, even though it might be embarrassing. If you have AAA, they will come out and try to unlock the car, or at the very least tow it for you- usually at no charge.   You can also try the police; if they aren’t busy they will come out and try to Slim Jim it open.  A final option is a locksmith, although you can have a price tag ranging anywhere from $50 to $100’s depending on the time of day or night.

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