Are you an inquisitive soul just searching for the answers? Or an aspiring locksmith? Part of the locksmith's job is to open car locks without keys. They are educated and trained on different types of car locks, their working mechanisms, and the most reliable repair methods.
Knowing about these methods comes in handy in situations when you do not have access to a professional locksmith. No amount of theoretical knowledge is enough to enable you to work as a professional locksmith does but it still can be a lifesaver in emergencies. You need some specialized tools, manual dexterity, and presence of mind to deal with car lockouts.
Here is a brief guide about how do locksmiths unlock a car which is then followed by some safe DIY techniques to get back in your car without professional help.
Unlock A Car Door
Following are the most commonly used tools used by professional locksmiths.
1- J And L Tools
The older car models have their unlock buttons located on the inside and they can easily be accessed with J and L tools. Automotive locksmiths have the expertise of passing the J tool from the top of the car windows and pressing the unlock button to gain entry. The L tool has the same function but it is used for other car models.
2- A Wedge And Probe
Pairing up a probe with a wedge is one of the most effective ways to open a simple car door. The wedge is pushed in the crevice between the car and the door. It is then inflated to create a gap and enter a probe. The probe can be a simple bar, J, or L tool which is used to manipulate the car lock.
3- Slim Jim
A rather informal name, but Slim Jim is another popular tool among auto locksmiths. It’s a primary probing tool that is inserted between the glass and the weather stripping of the window. It is lowered gradually to reach the lock handle and open it.
4- Lishi Picks/Tools
Lishi pick is another exclusive tool for car lock opening. A locksmith identifies the keyway and enters the most suitable pick in the lock. Each wafer is individually adjusted according to the lock pins. Once it is completed, the Lishi tool is simply used to turn the lock and open it.
5- Mechanical Key Code Cutter
Modern vehicles feature keyless entry that demands a higher level of expertise and sophisticated tools to open. Professional auto locksmiths employ a key analyzer to determine the electrical resistance values and then use a mechanical code key cutter to make a new car key.
6- Broken Key Extractor
At times all a locksmith need is a broken key extractor. This simple machine uses a vacuum to suck out the broken pieces of car keys from the lock or ignition. Once it is removed, a spare key is used to open the door.
7- Automatic Car Door Without Key
All the car models made after 2000 have lock systems that are unlocked by a key fob. It features a latch, actuator, and actuator rods that engage or disengage after receiving a radio signal. The most effective way of opening an automatic car door without a key is to reprogram it. The immobilizer system in the car communicates with the transponder in the fob so a locksmith uses a car key programmer to connect the OBD port with the ECM. The system resets a new key for the car door disengaging the immobilizer system.
8- Unlock A Car Door With A Screwdriver
A screwdriver can also be used to open a locked car door. Although it is not one of the safest and recommended methods, you can use it to get inside your car. Here is how to do it.
The screwdriver method is the typical wedge and probe method. Insert a ruler or tools between the car door and frame to make space for the screwdriver.
Slide the screwdriver inside the car from the top of the window. Stay away from the hinges while you are pushing the screwdriver. Be very gentle as you can damage the car door during this stage.
Now you have enough space to enter a thin wire to dislodge the lock.
9- Unlock A Car Door With Power Locks
A power lock allows the driver to lock or unlock all the doors at the same time. This central locking system is typically controlled by buttons on the dashboard and the key fob.
A certified locksmith uses a thin strip of metal or slim-jim to hook the actuator of the lock. Once it is engaged, a quick pull can open all of the doors at once. The opening mechanism is one of the most complex ones so it is recommended to hire a professional locksmith instead of trying harmful DIY methods.