Keys locked in the car? How NOT to open your car
Let’s be honest, We have all (me included) locked the keys in the car, or at least know people who have.
Often, our first reaction is to think we will have to put a window through. Many people do just that, and then regret it straight away. This is the worst possible way to get into a car if the keys are locked inside. The best thing is to have a spare car key but never smash, or pry, the window.
Firstly, the number one place to lock your keys in, is in the boot and in many cars, access from the seating area to the boot is not possible because there is a bulkhead behind the rear seats, so it won’t help anyway.Sure, hatchback and estate cars mean you can get to keys locked in the boot, but not all, and certainly not saloon cars. Press all the release buttons you want - without a programmed key in the ignition, nothing will happen.
Secondly, most people look for the smallest window thinking this will be cheap to replace. Wrong. Inevitably they smash the quarter light - and this is a bonded window that is part of the cars’ structure making it both expensive and dangerous to go without, leaving you carless for days awaiting a replacement from an auto glazer.
Worse, you can look forward to months of clearing bits of glass from the inside of your car.
Don’t follow the nonsense on youtube and other social media. The methods they show about reaching in with a hook or a coat hanger and pulling levers and pushing buttons don’t work on the majority of modern cars. Don’t believe me? Try it. Sit in your car and with no key in the ignition, press the lock button of the remote key (twice on a Vauxhall). Your car is now deadlocked and your mission is to get out, without using the key or putting it in the ignition. Once you are bored / hungry / cold, use the remote to unlock it and admit I’m right. If you can’t unlock it when you are sat inside, a coat hanger has no chance.
Even proximity car keys can get locked in. Honestly, I’ve seen many proximity keys locked in the car boot. This is because the boot is like a metal case and it blocks the signal from the car key to the car, just like the designer key case you just bought to stop thieves.
Don’t send for the local car thief, or your uncle who had a dodgy youth. I promise they will try to prise the door (expensive damage), force down a window (smash) or stick a different key or screwdriver in the lock (new lock time). If they mention pouring water in the door or cutting a tennis ball in half, decline the offer and call for medical help for them.
These are all featured on social media under “opening a car without a key”, and really they don’t work. If they did, car insurance would be even more than it is now as no car would be safe.
Think about it for a moment. The idea that putting half a tennis ball over the car lock and squeezing will force the lock to lift due to air pressure is ludicrous. Do you really believe that your car lock is airtight? The water one is even better. The claim is that pouring water down the side of the window, into the door skin, will operate a safety system that cars have to make sure the door unlocks automatically in the event you drive off the road and into a river.
All the electrics in the door are safe from water ingress so that you don’t blow up the electric windows every time it rains. Secondly, with rare exceptions, car door locks are not electric. They are manual, with a simple solenoid to operate the central locking.
Remember, a car thief doesn’t give a damn about damaging the car, but you do, so if you lock your keys in your car, call a locksmith. Quick, cheaper than a new window and absolutely damage free.
It doesn’t have to be me, try anyone you like, but do yourself a favour. Ask how they will do it and what happens if they cannot get the keys out of your locked car.
The answers should be that they will pick the lock and that they make no charge if they fail to open the car. The reason? There are dishonest people out there. I know, hard to believe isn’t it? I speak to many people who have called a recovery company or locksmith who has produced a long hook, inserted it into the car, pulled the door handle and pronounced the car to be deadlocked, and they cannot retrieve your keys from inside your locked car. Their next job is to hold out their hand and ask for their call out fee!!
They knew before they took the job on, that they could not unlock your car, but it’s very easy money for the unscrupulous.
In the next post, I will tell you how a professional does it. No secrets, nothing hidden, full instructions. I might even post a video instructing how to do it and showing it works, and it is the only way you can guarantee getting into a locked car with no chance whatsoever of causing damage.