Locksmith door opener

When it comes to locking doors it is a very easy process. With modern cars, the door can be locked with the push of a button. Sometimes the process is so easy we do it by accident. And sometimes those accidents leave you locked out. It happens to everyone. It happened to me in Hawaii (see the conclusion for the whole story). Luckily I had some experience with car lockouts. Experience that I am now going to share with you, so when you get locked out you are just as prepared. There are three basic ways of getting back into your locked car, and they all have endless variations. Unlike door lock technology cars come out with new models every year and people try to make their models last as long as possible. As a result, auto re-entry is a vast grab bag of possible solutions. Each solution is more of a jumping off point then it is an easy fix, but once you know them all you can get back into your car and enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian beaches (unless you aren’t in Hawaii, then you might have to drive to a beach, the beauty of which will vary).

Wedge and Probe (Wedges)

The most common practice in auto locksmithing is to wedge the door open. This method looks significantly more harmful than it is. In truth, wedging is one of the safest and most harmless ways to re-enter your locked car. The wedge is placed between the door and the door frame of the car. It is pushed in the crevasse to create a point of entry for a bar, or other long reach tools. If you own a BMW that was manufactured anywhere from 1996 to 2000 you are going to need to focus on grabbing the keys with your tool (hopefully they are not in the trunk).wedge1 The reason for this is that BMWs from those years turn off the car’s battery when the keys are not in the ignition, making the electronic door locks useless. If you don’t have a BMW from 96-2000 it is pretty simple: Use the wedge to wedge the door open, and use any kind of long bar or tool to manipulate the door locks.

There are several types of wedges that you can use for this type of entry. A common household door stop is used by many locksmiths because it provides a softer and more flexible surface that will not scratch the door. You could also just simply cut a piece of wood into a wedge shape, but if you are concerned with scratches to the car, I would suggest laying down a piece of fabric (maybe a rag or small towel) so the wood does not scrape against the weather strip or paint. An even more professional way of wedging a car door is to use an air wedge. An air wedge is an inflatable bag that when deflated can be slipped between the doorway.

Once the air wedge is in place it can be inflated to wedge the door open enough for a long reach tool to be used. A manual wedge can also be useful, but because of its power, it is best to use this tool with extreme caution. Before placing the manual wedge in the doorway, wrap it in a cloth so it does not destroy your paint job. Fasten it by placing the “L” in the doorway and then pulling back to slip the tool into place. As you turn the apparatus you will be able to see that the gap in the closed door is widening.slimjim Too many turns will result in bending the door or breaking the window, so be very cautious.

Probe Tools

With probe tools, the possibilities are similarly as endless as the ways to wedge a door. In conjunction with the wedge, the door can be opened with these types of tools. The wedge’s opening can be exploited by probing into the hole and releasing the lock. Depending on the make and model of the car the probe will need to work differently. Most cars can simply be opened with a rod that presses the unlock button, but not all cars have such a feature. With many American brands of cars, the doors have side sliding locks or side of the door push buttons, and that may require a probe with a hook. A hook could also be used in cases where you need to retrieve your keys, such as when the battery is dead. A dead battery could disable the electronic functions that make the buttons on doors open the corresponding locks. A hook or a lasso type tool are also great for upright locks (also known as post locks). Grabbing an upright lock by lasso or hook requires you to just pull up on in order to unlock the vehicle.

Wire coat hangers or sticks may also be used to fashion makeshift probe tools in times of need, but there are several things to keep in mind. You always want to make sure that whatever material you are using is strong enough to manipulate the lock. If it is a stick, you don’t want it to break, and if it is a wire hanger you do not want it to bend while in use. With the wire hanger, you can strengthen the device by twisting two sides of the wire together, and you can also bend it yourself to fit the need of the car.pick-rake The plus of a wire hanger is that you may not even need a wedge depending on the tightness of the doorway.

Always make sure that the entry you have made with your wedge is large enough for your probe because scraping against the car with the probe could ruin the paint on the automobile. For this reason, it is good to make sure that your probe is not too large in diameter because any unnecessary stress to the door could damage the frame or the window glass. Keep the size of the probe no bigger than a pen, in diameter. It is also best to handle this task quickly because it is not great for the car to have prolonged torque from a wedge.

Key Take Aways

  • Assess the type of probe tool that you will need to manipulate your particular type of door locks.
  • Have your probe tool no larger than the diameter of a pen.
  • Make sure your tools are up to the task in terms of the pressure they can withstand.
  • Secure the area around the wedge to assure that the car is not scratched.
  • Place the wedge, and make sure that it provides enough of a gap to place your probe tool.
  • Proceed carefully, but do not leave the wedge in the doorway for an extended amount of time.

Closed Doorway Tools

Using a Slim Jim is probably the method most commonly thought of to open a locked car. This tool is probably the most common type of closed doorway tool, and what that means is that the doorway remains sealed even as the car is being opened. How these type of tools work is they are placed between the window glass and the weather stripping of the door. In the case of the Slim Jim, it is most effective on upright locks (or post locks), with a few exceptions. The way that the Slim Jim is used relies heavily on finesse and a light touch.

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